Archived — 2013–14 Report on Plans and Priorities

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Section I: Organizational Overview

Raison d'être

As Canada's most populous region—home to more than 12 million residents living in 288 communities—southern Ontario is a key contributor to the Canadian economy. The Government of Canada created the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) in 2009 to help the region mitigate and overcome regional and global economic challenges. To fulfill its mandate, FedDev Ontario supports technological innovation, business development, and community economic development in southern Ontario by working with partners and stakeholders across the region and responding to emerging opportunities and challenges. The Agency directs resources toward activities with the greatest impact to address community and business needs, and as a means of propelling the southern Ontario economy forward to a position of strength and prosperity, both in Canada and on the global stage.


FedDev Ontario is responsible for positioning southern Ontario as a key factor in building a stronger Canadian economy.

Scope of Operations

FedDev Ontario is headquartered in Kitchener and has offices throughout southern Ontario 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
  • Halton
  • Essex
  • Brant
  • Bruce
  • Leeds and Grenville
  • York
  • Waterloo
  • Grey
  • Lanark
  • Toronto
  • Perth
  • Simcoe
  • Frontenac
  • Northumberland
  • Hamilton
  • Peel
  • Oxford
  • Haliburton
  • Lennox and Addington
  • Dufferin
  • Elgin
  • Renfrew
  • Hastings
  • Wellington
  • Chatham-Kent
  • Prince Edward
  • Lambton
Figure 1 - Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) - Catchment Area and Census Divisions (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 2011, 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.

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 Alignment Architecture

To support its ongoing mandate and to continue delivering results for Canadians, FedDev Ontario has maintained its Program Alignment Architecture (PAA) for 2013–14 (see below). The Agency's strategic outcome of a competitive southern Ontario economy will continue to be supported by four programs—Technological Innovation, Business Development, Community Economic Development, and Internal Services—to create the conditions for prosperity and provide new opportunities for jobs and economic growth in southern Ontario.

Figure 2 - Program Alignment Architecture Diagram (the long description is located below the image)
Description of Figure

A series of boxes are interconnected. The top box says, "Strategic Outcome: A Competitive Southern Ontario Economy. "This box connects to three others in a row beneath it. They read, "Program 1.1: Technological Innovation," "Program 1.2: Business Development" and "Program 1.3: Community Economic Development." Under the Program 1.1 box there are three boxes. They read, "Sub-Program 1.1.1: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematcs Awareness," "Sub-Program 1.1.2: Skills Development" and "Sub-Program 1.1.3: Technology Development and Commercialization." Under the Program 1.2 box there are two boxes. They read, "Sub-Program 1.2.1: Business Investment," and "Sub-Program 1.2.2: Business Productivity and Innovation." Under the Program 1.3 box there are four boxes. They read, "Sub-Program 1.3.1: Community Futures Program," "Sub-Program 1.3.2: Eastern Ontario Development Program," "Sub-Program 1.3.3: Official Language Minority Communities" and "Sub-Program 1.3.4: Infrastructure Delivery." There is a final box that sits beneath the entire table that reads, "Program 1.4: Internal Services."

Organizational Priorities

Organizational priorities—Enhancing collaboration and advancing the interests of southern Ontario
Priority TypeFootnote 1 Programs


Footnote 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 RPP. (Return to footnote 1 referrer)

Enhancing collaboration and advancing the interests of southern Ontario New
  • Program 1.1—Technological Innovation
  • Program 1.2—Business Development
  • Program 1.3—Community Economic Development
  • Program 1.4—Internal Services

Why is this a priority?

  • Collaboration enables the Agency to extend its reach and optimize its existing assets and access the skills and resources of regional partners and stakeholders to demonstrate value for money for Canadians.
  • Strong relationships allow the Agency to provide flexible, targeted support tailored to the specific needs of the communities and economic sectors of the region.
  • The Agency can act as a convenor to bring others together to harness collective capacities and maximize impact through coordinated action.
  • The Agency can work as an advocate to bring federal prominence and visibility to the challenges faced by regional partners and stakeholders, and facilitate greater policy alignment across federal organizations and between other levels of government.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Maintain relationships with various organizations such as post-secondary institutions and sectoral organizations to support the delivery of funding to stakeholders.
  • Maintain ongoing partnerships with key stakeholders within the region, including other federal departments, the provincial government, municipalities, and First Nations, to support investments in public infrastructure priorities across all of Ontario.
  • Represent southern Ontario interests in the development of national procurement strategies and promote the capabilities of southern Ontario companies to contractors with Industrial Regional Benefits obligations or other federal procurement opportunities.
  • Continue to work with other federal departments and agencies, especially other regional development agencies (RDAs), in areas of mutual interest and in the sharing of best practices regarding policies and programs.
  • As Chair of the Ontario Federal Council (OFC), continue to support collaborative efforts with respect to economic development in southern Ontario.
Organization priorities—Excellence in innovative programming
Priority Type Program
Excellence in innovative programming Previously committed to
  • Program 1.1—Technological Innovation
  • Program 1.2—Business Development
  • Program 1.3—Community Economic Development

Why is this a priority?

  • FedDev Ontario must ensure that its programs and services are relevant and effective, and continue to respond to the economic needs of the region and its communities.
  • FedDev Ontario must consider comprehensive sectoral, community, and business intelligence to ensure its policy-making and program delivery continue to evolve as the Agency moves forward.
  • Innovative programming will allow the Agency to capitalize on the region's existing assets and help businesses and communities prosper through innovation, commercialization, business productivity and growth, and community or regional diversification.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Maximize results under the Community Futures Program (CFP) by continuing to provide performance-based funding incentives to recipients.
  • Enhance the Agency's integrated policy/research agenda to support program direction and design for the future.
  • Implement a comprehensive, risk-based monitoring plan for funded projects to ensure value for money.
Organization priorities—Strengthen organizational management
Priority Type Program
Strengthen organizational management New
  • Program 1.4—Internal Services

Why is this a priority?

  • Strengthening organizational management allows the Agency to be flexible and responsive to change while ensuring transparency and accountability at all levels.
  • It supports FedDev Ontario in meeting its Budget 2012 implementation targets, including reductions to operating and transfer payment funds, and facilitates well-managed and efficient government operations.
  • It enables the Agency to best position itself for renewal upon the completion of its current five-year mandate.

Plans for meeting the priority

  • Streamline and improve internal management practices, including decision-making processes, to improve coordination and timeliness and minimize redundancies.
  • Continue with the implementation of environmentally friendly office practices to improve efficiencies and be a leader in modernizing the workplace.
  • Continue horizontal collaboration with other RDAs to identify common activities and adopt best practices to eliminate duplication and reduce operating costs while continuing to deliver quality services to Canadians.
  • Continue to augment procedures to measure performance and support accountability.
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Risk Analysis

External Risk Analysis

While the region has more than recouped all of the output and jobs lost during the global recession, the southern Ontario economy remains under significant pressure.

In addition to dealing with ongoing adjustment challenges in traditional industries and some communities, the region is still vulnerable to economic instability in global markets. As an export-intensive region, with strong trade links to the United States, the southern Ontario economy is particularly exposed to developments outside its borders. Prolonged uncertainty, continued sluggish growth of the US economy, and weaker growth projected in global and emerging markets all have the potential to adversely affect the region's employment and economic outlook.

A further challenge to southern Ontario and its industries is the access to capital required to enhance productivity and bring new products and services to market, which is essential to compete effectively in global markets.

Over the longer term, a key challenge will be building and retaining a highly skilled workforce. With an aging population and slower labour force growth being primary trends over the foreseeable future, a strong workforce will help to mitigate the risk of a potential skills shortage, increase the region's ability to bring products to market, and support innovation needed to drive productivity.

Internal Risk Analysis

The Agency's corporate risks were determined through the application of a rigorous, consultative process intended to provide the Agency with a systematic view of the risks it faces in the course of carrying out its objectives and achieving its mandate. Risks identified include inherent exposures in the Agency's functional areas, horizontal or collective activities, and organizational priorities, as well as threats to operationalizing key elements of FedDev Ontario's strategic plan. The table below outlines the top three key risks identified, as well as their accompanying mitigation strategies. The mitigation strategies identified will be implemented and monitored to ensure that the impact of risks is reduced.

Risk analysis—Internal risks: Key corporate risks & mitigation strategies
Key corporate risks Mitigation strategies
Financial Management and Stewardship of Resources
Risks associated with managing Agency finances, including financial planning, expenditure management, reporting, analysis, and control
  • Continually improve forecasting competency, functionality of tools, and integrated planning processes
  • Monitor and strengthen the effectiveness of core Agency internal controls
  • Engage regularly with external partners to support the effective transition of the Agency to a new Government of Canada enterprise resource planning system
Core Program(s) and Administration
Risks associated with the design and delivery of key programs, through their life cycle, in support of the Agency's overall objectives
  • Use third parties to deliver and efficiently and effectively manage contributions when projects involve large numbers of recipients
  • Carry out risk-based monitoring and site visits, as well as integrated risk monitoring, claims processing, and recipient audit processes
  • Continue implementing the information management strategy for the transition to electronic document management
Performance Measurement and Reporting
Risks associated with measuring, tracking, and reporting of results achieved and performance realized by programs, as well as by the Agency overall
  • Utilize multiple methodologies for validation and performance measures / lines of evidence, along with implementing third-party attestation for select outcome measures
  • Use benchmarks for comparative analysis of efficiency and value for money
  • Consolidate and unify systems and tools for data collection and reporting

Planning Summary

Financial Resources (Planned Spending—$ millions)
Total Budgetary
(Main Estimates)
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
Planned Spending
222.8 222.8 15.4 15.4

FedDev Ontario's financial resources for 2013–14 total $222.8 million, with the majority of this funding ($194.9 million) coming in the form of transfer payments to deliver Agency programs, including the Southern Ontario Development Program (SODP), the Eastern Ontario Development Program (EODP), the CFP, and the second year of the Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF).

With 2013–14 marking the end of FedDev Ontario's initial five-year mandate, the Agency's financial resources decline to $15.4 million in both 2014–15 and 2015–16. These amounts reflect continued funding for the delivery of the CFP and infrastructure programming carried out by FedDev Ontario on behalf of Infrastructure Canada.

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents—FTE)Footnote 2
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16


Footnote 2 No planned FTEs have been identified for 2014–15 or 2015–16, as those periods are beyond the Agency's current mandate. (Return to footnote 2 referrer)


FedDev Ontario's FTE total for 2013–14 reflects the anticipated positions to date that the Agency has in place for the fiscal year in order to carry out its activities and achieve its strategic outcome. At the time of publication, the status of program renewals and FTE requirements for 2014–15 and 2015–16 are unknown.

Planning Summary Table ($ millions)
Program Actual
Planned Spending Alignment to
of Canada
OutcomesFootnote 3
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16


Footnote 3 Information on departmental alignment to Government of Canada outcomes is available on the Treasury Board Secretariat's website. (Return to footnote 3 referrer)

A competitive southern Ontario economy Technological Innovation 3.2 28.8 54.4 62.8 An innovative and knowledge-based economy
Business Development 74.8 131.7 133.0 90.4 Strong economic growth
Community Economic Development 308.5 51.3 55.7 55.4 14.9 14.9 Strong economic growth
Subtotal 386.5 211.8 243.1 208.6 14.9 14.9  

FedDev Ontario is projecting to spend over $800 million through its three programs from fiscal year 2010–11 to the end of fiscal year 2012–13. Actual spending amounts for the Technological Innovation and Business Development programs in 2010–11 reflect the launch of the Southern Ontario Advantage Initiatives (SOAIs) in that fiscal year, while the increased spending in 2011–12 and 2012–13 demonstrate the maturation of the SOAIs. Spending in 2010–11 for the Community Economic Development program was largely driven by Economic Action Plan (EAP) expenditures for the Recreational Infrastructure Canada and Community Adjustment Fund programs. With the conclusion of EAP spending in 2011–12 and the introduction of the two-year CIIF in 2012–13, actual, forecast, and planned spending for the Community Economic Development program stabilizes until the conclusion of FedDev Ontario's current mandate at the end of 2013–14.

Planning Summary Table for Internal Services ($ millions)
Program Actual
Planned Spending
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Internal Services 19.1 18.6 19.5 14.2 0.5 0.5
Subtotal 19.1 18.6 19.5 14.2 0.5 0.5

FedDev Ontario is projecting to spend over $50 million on internal services from fiscal year 2010–11 to the end of fiscal year 2012–13. Actual spending totals for 2010–11 and 2011–12 are based on the current configuration of FedDev Ontario's PAA. Since its first full year of operation in 2010–11, the Agency's focus has evolved from establishing capacity and creating processes toward performance measurement. The Agency's internal service areas also support the delivery of Agency programming, stakeholder engagement, implementation of the Industrial Regional Benefits Policy, and play a key role in the activities surrounding the renewal of FedDev Ontario beyond its current five-year mandate. For 2013–14, FedDev Ontario's planned spending for internal services is reduced to reflect organizational restructuring and changes to funding levels as detailed in Budget 2012.

Planning Summary Total ($ millions)
Programs, and
Internal Services
Planned Spending
2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Total 405.6 230.4 262.6 222.8 15.4 15.4

FedDev Ontario's planned spending for 2013–14 reflects the programs and internal services that will be necessary to support the achievement of its strategic outcome. For 2013–14 the Agency anticipates spending $194.9 million in transfer payments while requiring $27.9 million for operating costs to support program delivery and internal services.

Expenditure Profile

Departmental Spending Trend

Figure 3 - Spending Trend ($ millions) from 2010-11 to 2015-16 (the long description is located below the image)
Description of Figure

A line graph called "Spending Trend" shows dollars in millions on the y-axis ranging from 0 to 450. The x-axis shows fiscal years from 2010–11 to 2015–16. The first line indicating Total Spending with programs sunsetting shows actual spending of $405.6 million in 2010–11 and $230.4 million in 2011–12, forecast spending of $262.6 million in 2012–13, and planned spending of $222.8 million in 2013–14, $15.4 million in 2014–15, and $15.4 million in 2015–16. The second line indicating Total Spending without programs sunsetting shows actual spending of $405.6 million in 2010–11 and $230.4 million in 2011–12, forecast spending of $292.4 million in 2012–13, and planned spending of $223.7 million in 2013–14, $225.2 million in 2014–15, and $225.2 million in 2015–16.

The first two years of FedDev Ontario's five-year mandate were focused on delivering EAP stimulus funding to address the immediate needs of the southern Ontario region. The forecast spending for 2012–13 and planned spending for 2013–14 are net of the changes to funding levels announced as part of Budget 2012, which included reductions to operating and transfer payment funds, as well as new funds made available for delivery of the CIIF.

The majority of expenditures in 2013–14 will be provided through the SODP, which is the vehicle for delivering FedDev Ontario's core transfer payment budget and is made up of the following seven SOAIs:

  • Applied Research and Commercialization Initiative (ARC)
  • Technology Development Program (TDP)
  • Investing in Business Innovation (IBI)
  • Prosperity Initiative (PI)
  • Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI)
  • Scientists and Engineers in Business (SEB)
  • Youth STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics)

FedDev Ontario will also continue to deliver the CFP and EODP in 2013–14 and continue to focus on delivering infrastructure programs on behalf of Infrastructure Canada.

The significant decrease in planned spending to $15.4 million in 2014–15 and 2015–16 is primarily due to the sunsetting of the SODP and EODP and the conclusion of the two-year CIIF program. With the Agency's five-year mandate ending in 2013–14, future funding for SODP or EODP is unknown at the time of this publication.

Estimates by Vote

For information on our organizational appropriations, please see the 2013–14 Main Estimates publication.

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