Archived — Departmental Performance Report 2011–12

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Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d'être

The global economic recession had a significant impact in every region of Canada, including southern Ontario. As Canada's most populous region—home to more than 12 million residents living in 288 communities—southern Ontario's economy is a key contributor to the health of the Canadian economy as a whole. As a result, the Government of Canada created the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) with a five-year mandate, in 2009, as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

To fulfill its mandate, FedDev Ontario supports the competitiveness, innovation, and diversification of southern Ontario's economy by: delivering strategic investments to businesses, non-profit organizations and communities; establishing and strengthening collaborative partnerships with key economic stakeholders; and representing the region's interests at the federal and national level.


FedDev Ontario is responsible for responding to southern Ontario's economic challenges to help restore long-term prosperity to the region and position southern Ontario as an important driver in building a stronger Canadian economy.

Scope of Operations:

FedDev Ontario is headquartered in Kitchener and has regional offices in Peterborough, Toronto, Ottawa and Stratford to support program delivery. Its mandate covers southern Ontario, as defined by the following 37 Statistics Canada census divisions:

  • Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry
  • Kawartha Lakes
  • Niagara
  • Middlesex
  • Prescott and Russell
  • Peterborough
  • Haldimand-Norfolk
  • Huron
  • Ottawa
  • Durham
  • Brant
  • Bruce
  • Leeds and Grenville
  • York
  • Waterloo
  • Grey
  • Lanark
  • Toronto
  • Perth
  • Simcoe
  • Frontenac
  • Peel
  • Oxford
  • Haliburton
  • Lennox and Addington
  • Dufferin
  • Elgin
  • Renfrew
  • Hastings
  • Wellington
  • Chatham-Kent
  • Prince Edward
  • Halton
  • Essex
  • Northumberland
  • Hamilton
  • Lambton
Figure 1: Map of Southern Ontario (the long description is located below the image)
Description of Figure

A map of southern Ontario that shows FedDev Ontario's scope of operations, from Cornwall in the east to Owen Sound in the west, and from Pembroke in the north to Windsor in the south. According to Statistic Canada's annual population estimates for 2010, southern Ontario has a population of more than 12 million people, representing 93.5 percent of Ontario's total population and 35.9 percent of the total population of Canada.

The 37 Statistics Canada census divisions of southern Ontario include the following: Stormont, Dundas and Glengarry, Kawartha Lakes, Niagara, Middlesex, Prescott and Russell, Peterborough, Haldimand-Norfolk, Huron, Ottawa, Durham, Brant, Bruce, Leeds and Grenville, York, Waterloo, Grey, Lanark, Toronto, Perth, Simcoe, Frontenac, Peel, Oxford, Haliburton, Lennox and Addington, Dufferin, Elgin, Renfrew, Hastings, Wellington, Chatham-Kent, Prince Edward, Halton, Essex, Northumberland, Hamilton, Lambton.

According to Statistics Canada's annual population estimates for 2011, this area has a population of over 12 million, representing 93.5 percent of Ontario's total population and 35.9 percent of the total population of Canada.

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Strategic Outcome and Program Activity Architecture

FedDev Ontario's 2011–12 Program Activity Architecture was designed to support its strategic outcome through a variety of programs and initiatives that make up its program activities and sub-activities below. With a focus on people, businesses and communities, the Agency targeted its investments to address short-term issues while also working to return southern Ontario to a cycle of prosperity and sustained success. In 2010–11, the Agency launched the following seven Southern Ontario Advantage Initiatives (SOAIs) under the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP) to place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy:

These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. They are incorporated into the sub-activities that follow and are further detailed in Section II of this document.

Figure 2: Program Activity Architecture (the long description is located below the image)
Description of Figure

This figure shows a flow chart of FedDev Ontario's PAA in which the top box reads "Strategic Outcome: The economy of southern Ontario is competitive and diversified." This connects to the next tier of four boxes, the first of which says "Program Activity 1.1: Business Innovation and Development." The three boxes that flow under this box present Business Innovation and Development sub-activities. They are "Business Financing Support," "Innovation and Commercialization" and "Enhanced Enterprise Productivity."

The second box in the row of four boxes under the "Strategic Outcome" box says, "Program Activity 1.2: Economic Regional Development and Infrastructure." There are five boxes flowing under this box in succession presenting the specific sub-activities of this Program Activity. From top to bottom these sub-activities are: "Human Capital and Skills Development," "Regional Economic Diversification," "Official Language Minority Communities Development Program," "Brantford Greenwich-Mohawk Remediation Project," and "Ontario Infrastructure Program Delivery."

The third box under the "Strategic Outcome" box says, "Program Activity 1.3: Policy, Advocacy and Coordination."

The fourth box under the "Strategic Outcome" box says, "Program Activity 1.4: Internal Services."

Organizational Priorities

Summary of Progress Against Priorities

Summary of Progress Against Priorities (1)
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Strategic Outcome and Program Activities
  • Continued to deliver the seven SOAIs, which are administered through the SODP. The initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training, innovation, research and development and increased productivity. As of March 31, 2012, FedDev Ontario supported 249 projects through the SODP, which included 97 new projects in 2011–12. This resulted in a total 2011–12 investment of $156.7 million.
  • Developed a more robust Performance Measurement Strategy for the Agency's core program, SODP, to ensure measures are in place to effectively assess the performance of the SOAIs. Ongoing review of performance indicators will allow for continuous improvements.
  • Demonstrated responsiveness to the economic needs and priorities of the region by continuously evaluating and assessing the effectiveness of its suite of initiatives and programs. FedDev Ontario has demonstrated its ability to be nimble and responsive to the needs of southern Ontario. For example, the extension of the Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative (ARC) reflects a response to comments and feedback from partners and stakeholders, including their desire for additional support to improve outreach to small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in southern Ontario.
  • Enhanced the Community Futures Program (CFP) by adopting a performance-based funding model to ensure support is targeted towards organizations that demonstrate excellence in program delivery and that provide the greatest results for their clients.
Investing through a balanced strategic portfolio New
  • The economy of southern Ontario is competitive and diversified
  • Business and Innovation Development
  • Economic Regional Development and Infrastructure
Summary of Progress Against Priorities (2)
Priority Type Strategic Outcome and Program Activity
  • Developed an engagement framework to ensure internal consistency and coordination within FedDev Ontario, and more significantly, to provide an overall plan to achieve its engagement objectives. This includes raising awareness about the Agency's mandate and programming as well as developing effective partnerships in order to establish FedDev Ontario as a credible, effective partner in supporting the economy of southern Ontario.
  • Built linkages between not-for-profit organizations, post-secondary institutions (PSIs), businesses and potential investors. As of March 2012, FedDev Ontario has supported partnerships between more than 2,700 organizations such as SMEs, PSIs and not-for-profit organizations, and has leveraged approximately $812 million (or $2.6 for every $1 FedDev Ontario has committed) through its SOAIs that were launched in 2010. These activities have contributed to larger projects with greater potential for positive results and impacts.
Enhancing collaboration and strengthening partnerships New
  • The economy of southern Ontario is competitive and diversified
  • Policy, Advocacy and Coordination
Summary of Progress Against Priorities (3)
Priority Type Program Activity
  • Improved internal service delivery through the standardization of human resources processes, engagement of the Agency's workforce and ensuring a healthy and respectful workplace through transparent and timely decision-making. The Agency also adopted management action plans to address internal audits of support functions, collaborated with other regional development agencies to develop best practices, established an audit committee process to mitigate risk and invested in learning activities to improve knowledge and service delivery.
  • Expanded use of the executive correspondence system and leveraged coordination and tracking tool capabilities.
  • Improved financial management capacity through the introduction of a framework for recovering repayable contributions from recipients, the formalization of monthly financial forecasting and by launching work planning for 2012–13 across the Agency. The Agency also revised and updated the delegation of financial authority charts to further improve accountabilities and internal control, and streamlined procurement processes to meet the evolving needs of the Agency.
  • Supported adoption of several Government of Canada information technology and information management initiatives. Significant progress has been made to address the Directive on Record Keeping ahead of the 2014 deadline including participating as an early adopter of the Record Keeping Methodology. The Agency also moved forward with the implementation of the GCDOCS records management system to improve internal efficiencies and support the streamlining of records management across government. In addition, the Agency has advanced several initiatives including printer consolidation, and leveraged technologies including tablet and laptop computers and a wireless asset tracking system in order to reduce paper consumption and become more environmentally responsible.
Stabilizing processes and systems New
  • Internal Services

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Risk Analysis

Operating Environment

The global economic recession had a significant impact on all regions of Canada and Ontario in particular. While Canada weathered the global recession better than most other industrialized countries, continuing uncertainty in the global economy could have an impact on southern Ontario's ability to recover in the short term, as well as its ability to adjust to the realities of a transitioning economy in the medium-to-long term.

Southern Ontario remains home to a number of competitive advantages including a well-educated and diverse population, an excellent network of higher learning institutions, and a business-friendly environment. Strategic collaborations and partnerships between the private sector, PSIs and government can provide the blueprint for capitalizing on these assets and moving towards a more innovative and competitive economy.

External Risk Analysis

In the 2011–12 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP), FedDev Ontario identified access to capital, lagging productivity and innovation, a volatile dollar, heavy reliance on the US market and future labour shortages as areas where the Agency could strengthen its focus.

While the region of southern Ontario and its industries continue to face these critical challenges, FedDev Ontario invested in research and development projects, business productivity, increasing innovation capacity and commercialization activity, and support for the skills development of entrepreneurs and youth. These investments aimed to mitigate these risk factors and aided in achieving the Agency's target of contributing to the 2 percent growth in Ontario's gross domestic product (GDP).Footnote 2

Additional information concerning how the Agency's programming responded to these challenges to improve the competitiveness of the southern Ontario economy can be found in Section II: Analysis of Program Activities by Strategic Outcome.

Internal Risk Analysis

During the fiscal year, considerable progress was achieved on the implementation of mitigation measures to address the key internal risk areas identified in the 2011–12 RPP.

Human Resources (HR) has made efforts to advance and sustain internal processes to meet the evolving needs of the Agency. The first half of the year saw the continuation of staffing activities to stabilize many positions within the Agency with a shift mid-way through to a modified approach to staffing in anticipation of Budget 2012. HR also continued to ensure due diligence, delivery and official language requirements were met. Efforts were made to solidify the workforce through activities that supported employee retention, such as an increased investment in individual training; the offering of part-time developmental language training to all employees; and the launch of the FedDev Ontario Recognition program. The Agency staff demonstrated their engagement by participating in the 2011 Public Service Employee Survey at a rate of more than 90 percent of eligible employees. These results have provided guidance to management on areas of success and risk.

To stabilize the Agency's processes, impact assessment tools were developed for each of the Southern Ontario Advantage Initiatives (SOAIs) to improve the effectiveness of investment decision-making. Monthly Financial Situation Report and Work Plan exercises were executed to improve the accuracy of the organization's forecasting and budget allocation processes. Delegation of financial authority charts were revised and updated to further improve accountabilities and internal control procedures.

To reduce reliance on third-party organizations, FedDev Ontario continued to build its in-house capabilities by assuming responsibility for claims processing and financial verification of payroll activities previously provided by Industry Canada.

To improve the Agency's research, measurement, reporting, audit and evaluation capacity several projects were successfully carried out. These included the development of an Agency Performance Measurement Framework, an Evaluation Plan, and a Performance Measurement Strategy for the SODP as required under Treasury Board policy. As well, the Agency produced a Policy Framework to contextualize the Agency's roles, direction and priorities. An audit committee process was established through the mechanism of the Small Departments and Agencies Audit Committee, which is managed by the Office of the Comptroller General of Canada.

To enhance the Agency's relationships and strengthen partnerships, an outreach and engagement plan was implemented to raise awareness across the region about the Agency's mandate and programming in order to establish FedDev Ontario as a credible, effective partner in supporting the economy of southern Ontario. In addition, a standard approach was adopted to track success stories and accomplishments relating to FedDev Ontario's impact on the region.

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Summary of Performance

2011–12 Financial Resources ($ millions)

2011–12 Financial Resources ($ millions)
Planned Spending Total AuthoritiesFootnote * Actual SpendingFootnote *


Footnote * Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable. (Return to footnote * referrer)

220.3 278.7 230.4

In support of its strategic outcome, FedDev Ontario's financial resources were primarily directed towards supporting innovation, commercialization and productivity in southern Ontario businesses while also working to build linkages between business and potential investors, PSIs and not-for-profit organizations. In 2011–12, the Agency's Planned Spending initially totalled $220.3 million as reported in the 2011–12 Main Estimates. Further in-year adjustments through Supplementary Estimates were received to support transfer payments to the City of Brantford and the extension of the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program and several projects originally funded under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), which resulted in a revised total of $278.7 million.

In 2011–12, FedDev Ontario was able to expend approximately 83 percent of its authorities, primarily in the form of transfer payments to external clients. In total, the Agency expended $215.3 million in both operating and transfer payments under its three external program activities in 2011–12, and $15.1 million in operating funding on its internal service functions. The SODP provided the majority of this funding ($156.7 million) through its seven SOAIs while the RInC program spent $29.8 million and the CFP expended $12.2 million in transfer payments.

The variance between actual spending and total authorities is driven mainly by the SODP ($27 million), RInC ($5.2 million) and the City of Brantford ($11.6 million) due to project delays and reduced final costs on closed projects.

2011–12 Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])

2011–12 Human Resources (full-time equivalents [FTEs])
PlannedFootnote 3 Actual Difference
215 221 6

The table above provides a summary of the total planned and actual human resources for FedDev Ontario for fiscal year 2011–12. The initial planned FTE total for the year was driven by its original planned spending figure as noted in the previous table. However, the increase to the Agency's total authorities (of $58.4 million, or a 26.5 percent increase) as the year progressed to support increased program delivery requirements necessitated the increase in FTEs, resulting in six additional FTEs. The FTE breakdown by Program Activity and the resulting differences between planned and actual are presented in Section II of this document.

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Summary of Performance Tables

Progress Toward Strategic Outcome
Progress Toward Strategic Outcome
Strategic Outcome: The economy of southern Ontario is competitive and diversified
Performance Indicators Targets 2011–12 Performance
Annual growth rate of GDP in Ontario. 2% 2%Footnote 4
Performance Summary, Excluding Internal Services
Performance Summary, Excluding Internal Services
2010–11 Actual Spending  ($ millions) 2011–12
($ millions)
Alignment to Government
of Canada Outcome
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total
AuthoritiesFootnote *
SpendingFootnote *

Footnote * Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable. (Return to footnote * referrer)

Business and Innovation Development 93.7 134.5 134.5 176.6 169.5 An innovative and knowledge-based economy
Economic Regional Development and Infrastructure 294.6 68.8 68.8 84.0 43.1 Strong economic growth
Policy, Advocacy and Coordination 2.0 2.0 2.0 2.8 2.7 Strong economic growth
Total 390.3 205.3 205.3 263.4 215.3  
Performance Summary for Internal Services
Performance Summary for Internal Services
Actual Spending    ($ millions)
($ millions)
Main Estimates Planned Spending Total
AuthoritiesFootnote *
Actual SpendingFootnote *

Footnote * Excludes amount deemed appropriated to Shared Services Canada, if applicable. (Return to footnote * referrer)

Internal Services 15.3 15.0 15.0 15.3 15.1

Strategic Environmental Assessment

During 2011–12, FedDev Ontario considered the environmental effects of initiatives subject to the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals.Footnote i Through the strategic environmental assessment process, departmental initiatives were found to have no positive and/or negative environmental effects on goals and targets in Theme I – Addressing Climate Change and Air Quality; Theme II – Maintaining Water Quality and Availability; Theme III – Protecting Nature; or Theme IV – Shrinking the Environmental Footprint – Beginning with Government.

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Figure 3 — Departmental Spending Trend
Bar Graph – Departmental Spending Trend [Description of Figure 3]

The chart above demonstrates the progression of spending at FedDev Ontario from 2010–11 to 2011–12. The significant decrease in total authorities ($314.4 million) and actual spending ($175.2 million) was due to the conclusion of Economic Action Plan (EAP) funding for the RInC and CAF programs and the close-out of the Canada-Ontario Infrastructure Program and Ontario Potable Water Program in 2010–11. The Agency's core funding vehicle, SODP, represented approximately three quarters of both FedDev Ontario's G&C authorities and expenditures in 2011–12.

The Agency's success in increasing its program delivery and internal service capacity with a stabilized workforce resulted in a significant increase in efficiency and a greater utilization of authorities in support of the Agency's focus on building a highly competitive, diversified and innovative southern Ontario.

Estimates by Vote

For information on FedDev Ontario's organizational Votes and/or statutory expenditures, please see the Public Accounts of Canada 2011 (Volume II). An electronic version of the Public Accounts 2011 is available on the Public Works and Government Services Canada's website.Footnote ii


  1. 1 Type is defined as follows: previously committed to: committed to in the first or second fiscal year prior to the subject year of the report; ongoing: committed to at least three fiscal years prior to the subject year of the report; and new: newly committed to in the reporting year of the Report on Plans and Priorities or the Departmental Performance Report. (back to footnote reference 1)
  2. 2 Growth in gross domestic product (GDP) refers to growth in real GDP by industry (value-added based), measured in chained (2002) dollars. Source: Statistics Canada. GDP by Industry (CANSIM table 379-0025). (back to footnote reference 2)
  3. 3 This planned figure was based on FedDev Ontario's anticipated staffing levels in 2011-12, which gave consideration to the need to stabilize HR processes, invest in activities to support employee retention and development, attrition of existing staff and the time requirement to staff remaining vacancies. (back to footnote reference 3)
  4. 4 Source: CANSIM Table 379-0025, GDP calculated by industry by province, Chained 2002 dollars. (back to footnote reference 4)
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