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1 Overview

Jean-Pierre Blackburn

1.1 Message from the Minister

Over the past few years, competition from emerging nations, new environmental challenges, the transformation of the global economy, the appreciation of the Canadian dollar and higher energy prices have taken on such proportions that they require unprecedented effort from Quebec's enterprises and regions to adapt to this new reality.

In that context, since 2006, the Government of Canada has implemented numerous initiatives with a view to increasing the collective wealth and taking the country farther along the path to prosperity. Thus, with Advantage Canada, the government adopted a long-term economic and strategic plan aimed at delivering dynamic economic growth and better-paying jobs for Canadians. To achieve these goals, it is important to enhance the business environment and provide enterprises and regions with the means and tools for their development.

In fact, since I took on the duties of Minister of Labour and Minister of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec, I have consulted a large number of economic stakeholders through the advisory committees we have set up in all of Quebec's regions. I have had many opportunities to see that enterprises and the regions constitute an endless source of knowhow, creativity and leadership.

It was to support these regions and enterprises that over the past 18 months I announced initiatives to diversify the economic base and reduce communities' dependency on traditional economic sectors, and to help enterprises improve their competitiveness on foreign markets. It is my intention to continue enhancing the tools that an Agency such as ours can deploy in order to meet the specific challenges of regions and communities with low economic growth, and to support the performance of innovative, competitive SMEs.

In its constant concern to adapt the parameters of its intervention to the needs and issues of the moment, and to institute management more closely based on results, the Agency introduced new programs in April 2007: Community Diversification, Business and Regional Growth, and Regional Development Research.

The Agency will also be changing the way in which it supports non-profit organizations. It will now be favouring ad hoc projects which generate measurable results for the regions of Quebec. This decision could also help free up funding for projects involving, among others, SMEs and community economic facilities.

I invite you to read this new edition of the Report on Plans and Priorities, in which you will see how the Agency counts on the boldness, ingenuity and drive of Quebec's enterprises and regions to meet some major challenges and build a strong economy for current and future generations, and how it plans to support them to that end.

Jean-Pierre Blackburn
Jean-Pierre Blackburn

Minister of Labour and Minister of the
Economic Development Agency of Canada
for the Regions of Quebec

1.2 Management representation statement

I submit, for tabling in Parliament, the 2008-2009 Report on Plans and Priorities of the Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec.

This document has been prepared based on the reporting principles contained in the Guide to the Preparation of Part III of the 2008-2009 Estimates: Reports on Plans and Priorities and Departmental Performance Reports:

  • It adheres to the specific reporting requirements outlined in the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat guidance.
  • It is based on the Agency's strategic outcomes and program activities that were approved by the Treasury Board.
  • It presents consistent, comprehensive, balanced, and reliable information.
  • It provides a basis of accountability for the results achieved with the resources and authorities entrusted to it.
  • It reports finances based on approved planned spending numbers from the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.


Guy Mc Kenzie
Guy Mc Kenzie
Deputy Minister/President

Date: February 7, 2008

1.3 Summary information

Raison d'être


The object of the Agency is to promote the long-term economic development of the regions of Quebec by giving special attention to those where slow economic growth is prevalent or where opportunities for productive employment are inadequate. In carrying out its object, the Agency shall take such measures as will promote cooperation and complementarity with Quebec and communities in Quebec.


In the long term, Quebec's regions and communities will have increased their development capabilities, dynamism and prosperity in a significant, lasting manner for the benefit of their residents.

Three long-term strategic outcomes

Vitality of communities

Revitalize communities so they enjoy better socio-economic prospects and maintain and develop the economic activity base.

Competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and regions

Reinforce conditions conducive to sustainable growth and the competitive positioning of SMEs and the regions through the development of SMEs' capabilities, networks, innovation and knowledge.

Policy, representation and cooperation

Foster the development and implementation of policies, programs and initiatives which reflect national priorities and the realities of Quebec's regions, reinforcement of the coherence and added value of federal action with respect to regional development, and cooperation with the Government of Quebec and other development agents.

To contribute to the Government of Canada's results

By fostering strong economic growth.

By focusing on four departmental priorities

Program priorities
Priority #1:
  • Continue the economic diversification of regions and communities posting slow economic growth.

Priority #2:

  • Reinforce the performance of innovative, competitive SMEs in key sectors.
already established
Management priorities
Priority #3:
  • Implement the Departmental Action Plan with regard to the report of the Independent Blue Ribbon Panel on effective program delivery.

Priority #4:

  • Continue improving management of expenditures, results and risk.

already established

Through an integrated regional development approach

  • Global: take economic, social, cultural and environmental dimensions into account in the design of policies, programs and initiatives.
  • Territorial: establish strategies geared to the type of area defined in terms of similar socio-economic issues.
  • Horizontal: build on cooperation and collaboration with federal partners, the Government of Quebec and Quebec communities.
  • Participatory: elicit participation by the economic agents concerned.

In relation to...

  • primarily enterprises (particularly SMEs)
  • non-profit organizations (NPOs).

By building on its 14 business offices.

By eliciting and supporting development

  • through the provision of guidance and advice services
  • through the drafting of analyses of issues, forward-looking studies, referrals and information
  • through the offer of financial assistance programs.

By using its financial and human resources

  2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
Financial resources (in thousands of dollars)
Human resources
(full-time equivalent – FTE)

1.4 Organizational information

1.4.1 Governance structure

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec
— Organization chart1

Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec Organizational Chart

1 A more detailed organization chart is available on the Agency's Web site at:
2 FTE: Full-time equivalent.

The President of the Agency acts as the deputy of the Minister. He has primary accountability for the Agency's three strategic outcomes. More specifically, the Vice-President, Operations has primary responsibility for the first and second strategic outcomes, Vitality of communities and Competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and regions. The Vice-President, Policy and Planning is responsible for guiding and providing a framework for Agency intervention for these first two strategic outcomes, and has primary responsibility for the third strategic outcome, Policy, representation and cooperation.

1.4.2 Votes and statutory items listed in Main Estimates

The following table reproduces the data in the 2008-2009 Main Estimates as tabled in Parliament. Parliament approves the votes each year, and the statutory items are presented for information only.

Vote or statutory item Truncated vote or statutory wording Main Estimates1
(in thousands of dollars)
2008-2009 2007-2008
1 Operating expenditures2 44,104 42,357
5 Grants and contributions 237,959 346,842
(S) Contributions to employee benefit plans 5,324 5,501
  Total for the Agency 287,387 394,700

1 The 2008-2009 Main Estimates of $287.4 million are $107.3 million lower than the 2007-2008 Main Estimates. This net difference is primarily due to a decrease in the amounts allocated for the Infrastructure Program and the Québec Port Authority.
2 The increase in operating expenditures is primarily attributable to the funding of Canada Business; in 2007-2008, the funds were received through Supplementary Estimates, so they were not included in the Main Estimates.

1.4.3 Departmental planned spending and full-time equivalents

The following table presents data from the Main Estimates by area of Agency intervention (program activity architecture) and specific adjustments made in the Main Estimates.

(in thousands of dollars) Forecast spending 2007-2008 Planned spending 2008-2009 Planned spending 2009-2010 Planned spending 2010-2011
Program activities
Development of communities 162,859 128,550 108,633 101,709
Infrastructure 100,101 27,050 2,195 1,409
Special intervention measures 8,078      
Competitiveness of enterprises (SMEs) 72,577 80,116 71,586 65,044
Competitive positioning of regions 44,497 44,790 45,481 43,142
Policies, programs and initiatives 6,588 6,881 6,881 6,808
Total Main Estimates1 394,700 287,387 234,776 218,112
Supplementary Estimates
Reinvestment of revenues from repayable contributions to increase economic development activities 4,000
Funding to provide information services on government regulations, programs and business support to small businesses and entrepreneurs 1,820
Funding in support of the Federal Accountability Act to evaluate all ongoing grant and contribution programs every five years 181
Transfer from Natural Resources Canada to support the Chrysotile Institute with a view to fostering the safe, responsible use of chrysotile internationally 125
Funding for the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund relating to investments in public infrastructure projects designed to improve the quality of life in both urban and rural communities 80
Transfer to the Canada Public Service Agency to support the National Managers' Community (4)
Transfer to Parks Canada to support the heritage presentation of the Petite île au Marteau and Île aux Perroquets lighthouses in the Mingan Archipelago National Park Reserve of Canada (345)
Transfer to Canadian Heritage to support the expansion and the modernization of the Musée de la Gaspésie (800)
Other adjustments
Treasury Board Vote 10 – Internal Audit Policy 160
Treasury Board Vote 15 – Salary adjustments 195
Treasury Board Vote 22 – Operating budget carry forward 2,235
Employee benefit plan (EBP) 160
Deferral to subsequent years (5,050)
Total adjustments 2,757 0 0 0
Net planned spending 397,457 287,387 234,776 218,112
Less: Non-respendable revenue2 (44,900) (43,500) (43,500) (47,200)
Plus: Cost of services received without charge 5,320 5,268 5,197  5,098
Total expenditures for the Agency 357,877 249,155 196,473 176,010
Full-time equivalent3 409 411 405  371

1 The 2008-2009 Main Estimates of $287.4 million are $107.3 million lower than the 2007-2008 Main Estimates. This net difference is primarily due to a decrease in the amounts allocated for the Infrastructure Program and the Québec Port Authority.
2 This refers to reimbursements of repayable contributions to be billed to promoters in future years.
3 The substantial decrease in FTEs in 2010-2011 is largely attributable to the termination of temporary funding.

1.4.4 Agency areas of intervention: Program activities by strategic outcome

The following table presents the Agency's overall intervention and outcomes on the basis of its program activity architecture (PAA), and shows the link with its priorities.

Program activities 1 Expected end results Planned spending
(in thousands of dollars)

Associated Priority
2008-2009 2009-2010 2010-2011
Strategic outcome #1: Vitality of communities
Development of communities
  • Development initiatives and projects generate socio-economic spinoffs within communities.
  • Communities benefit from enterprises that generate jobs and wealth, thus leading to diversification of the economic fabric.
  • Communities are attractive, tangibly drawing and retaining tourists and skilled individuals.
Priority #1
  • Rural and urban communities have quality public infrastructure.
Special intervention measures2  
Strategic outcome #2: Competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and regions
Competitiveness of enterprises (SMEs)
  • Enterprises are high-performance and competitive.
Priority #2
Competitive positioning of regions
  • Competitive regions and poles contribute to enhancing Canada's competitive positioning.
Strategic outcome #3: Policy, representation and cooperation
Policies, programs and initiatives
  • Quebec communities and regions benefit from adapted, coherent and effective federal action that generates socio-economic spinoffs, and Quebec communities and regions can grasp business and development opportunities.
Grand Total  

1 For further information on program activities, resources and planned outcomes, see section 3.
2 The program activity Special intervention measures enables the Agency to come to the assistance of communities and regions facing significant economic shocks or natural disasters. This activity is funded through Government of Canada supplementary funding. Currently, the Agency has no dedicated funds available.