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Annual Report 2009

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Message from the Chairperson
Message from the CEO
Board of Directors
Senior Management
Human Resources Committee and Audit Committee
Who We Are 
Economic Context
Performance against Objectives
    Support to Business
    Support to Communities
    Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment
    Advocacy
    Policy and Research
    Property Development and Management
    Provision of Services for the Government of Canada
Human Resources
Corporate Social Responsibility
Official Languages and Communications
Corporate Governance
Risk Management
Financial Statements

 

Message from Chairperson
Monique Collette

As Chairperson of the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) Board of Directors, it is my pleasure to present this Annual Report, which provides an update on the Corporation’s work in partnership with governments, the private sector and the community to assist, promote and coordinate efforts that will generate wealth and create jobs on Cape Breton Island and in Mulgrave.

Since its inception, ECBC has played an important role in the development of the Cape Breton Island and Mulgrave economy. Over the years, the area has undergone dramatic structural changes due to the closure of major industries and the collapse of the fishery. As the area’s principal federal government organization dedicated to economic development, ECBC has partnered with the community to build on local strengths in order to better position the area for growth and prosperity.

The Corporation has undergone a number of changes in the past year. In June 2009, ECBC welcomed the appointment of
John Lynn as the Corporation’s new Chief Executive Officer. In accordance with the ECBC Act, Mr. Lynn also became a member of the Corporation’s Board of Directors, bringing the Board to a full complement of seven. The mandate review of the Corporation, requested by the Treasury Board of Canada, continued in 2008-2009 and the steering committee submitted its report in January 2009.

Throughout the year, the Board of Directors has continued to focus on corporate governance issues and the strengthening of the Board’s stewardship responsibilities. The structure of the Board’s audit committee was revised and a new human resources committee was created to assist the Board of Directors in fulfilling its oversight responsibilities with respect to the application of sound human resource policies and practices. The Board was also active in shaping and approving a new strategic business plan for the Corporation, which clearly defines strategic directions, as well as specific and measurable goals and objectives for achieving its legislative, commercial and public policy mandate. The Board was also engaged in updating the risk management framework and the approval of a number of strategic initiatives.  

Throughout my tenure as Chairperson, it has become increasingly clear to me that the Corporation’s strength rests not only in its broad and flexible mandate, but most importantly in the dedication of its Board of Directors and staff. They are community-minded individuals whose contributions are critical to the Corporation’s past and continued success. It continues to be a pleasure to work with them towards the advancement of economic opportunity on Cape Breton Island and in the Mulgrave area.

Message from Chief Executive Officer
John Lynn

As Chief Executive Officer of ECBC, I continue to meet with business and community leaders to advance economic development on Cape Breton Island and the Mulgrave area.

This community, like many others in Canada, is in economic transition. A traditional heavy industry and resource-based economy has diversified as the Island moves to place a greater emphasis on value-added and service-oriented industries.  Tourism, health care, education and customer care centres have become our major employers.

Cape Breton is fortunate to have its own economic development Crown corporation working exclusively on its behalf. Its mandate is broad and flexible, enabling it to react quickly to changing conditions and to increasingly assume leadership roles on key issues. The ECBC brand is strong and its efforts over the years have been valued by the community. Given the current global economic climate, the mandate continues to be relevant.

In 2008, ECBC embarked on an extensive strategic planning process that has supported a shift in corporate culture. Senior management is expected to accept executive leadership roles and to ensure that community and business initiatives are identified and advanced as appropriate. Staff is encouraged to be proactive in the development of projects and solutions for clients and for the economy. We are committed to bringing the appropriate stakeholders together to plan and execute activities to benefit businesses and the community.

To deliver on this new plan, we have implemented a revised corporate structure and division of responsibility for the Corporation. We have added human resources in the area of trade development and events planning and marketing. We have also strengthened our analytical capacity by hiring a full-time economist.

Our new business plan is taking us in some new and exciting directions.  We are examining a number of initiatives that have the potential to positively impact the economy over the mid to longer term.

It is not always easy exploiting opportunities and driving growth, especially in a recessionary economy; however, ECBC has an excellent leadership team and employees who are committed to the development of our economy and our communities.  We will work to better utilize and leverage our resources and to be more efficient. We believe that Cape Breton will emerge from this challenging period stronger and positioned to take advantage of the opportunities that the new economy will present. 

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

MONIQUE COLLETTE
Ms. Collette assumed the responsibilities of Chairperson of the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation in 2003. She is also President of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

JOHN LYNN
John K. Lynn assumed the role of Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation in June 2008. He holds degrees from St. Francis Xavier University and Queen’s University and studied at the University of Western Ontario. He has an extensive private sector background, having served on numerous private sector, not-for-profit and Crown corporation boards and various board committees. He has also been very active in his community.

TERRY MILLER
Mr. Miller is a long-time resident of Cape Breton Island. He is a graduate of St. Mary’s University and recently retired from a career in banking. He is currently employed with the Cape Breton District Health Authority.

SARA FIGLIOMENI
A native of North Sydney, Ms. Figliomeni is a graduate of Mount Saint Vincent University with knowledge and experience in the hospitality industry gained through her work as an entrepreneur. Ms. Figliomeni is currently the owner/operator of Joe’s Warehouse Restaurant in Sydney and works with several boards and community organizations.

EVA LANDRY
Ms. Landry, a resident of St. Peters, brings a wealth of professional experience to the Board. Ms. Landry was the first woman to hold the positions of inspector and superintendent of schools in Nova Scotia, and she has worked as a consultant in education. Now retired, Ms. Landry is an active volunteer in her community.

BOB MUNROE
A native of Sydney, Mr. Munroe is a chartered accountant and an associate partner with MGM & Associates in Sydney. He has extensive experience in auditing, accounting, tax and other financial advisory services. Mr. Munroe is involved in various professional and community activities.

FRANK MACINNIS
Mr. MacInnis, a resident of Creignish, Inverness County, is a graduate of St. Francis Xavier University. He is now retired from a career in education. Mr. MacInnis serves on several boards and numerous organizing committees.

SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM

JOHN LYNN
Chief Executive Officer

MARLENE USHER
Executive Director General

LORI MARENICK
Director General, Corporate Services

SHELLY KEHOE
Director General, Commercial Development

THOMAS PLUMRIDGE
Director General, Community Development

JOE CASHIN,
Director, Property Development and Management

D.A. LANDRY,
Director, Communications and Access to Information/Privacy

KENNETH LANGLEY
Director, Legal Services and Strategic Initiatives

HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE

Frank MacInnis, John Lynn, Sara Figliomeni and Edmund MacEachern*

AUDIT COMMITTEE

Lori Marenick*, Bob Munroe, Sherri Beresford*, Terry Miller and Eva Landry

* staff member

Who We Are

ECBC is a Crown corporation established pursuant to Part II of the Government Organization Act, Atlantic Canada, 1987 (also known as the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Act).

ECBC’s small geographical focus, local control and flexible mandate enable the Corporation to devise initiatives that are very specific to local needs and priorities. The Corporation can take a direct or holistic approach to any problem, and is able to bring together all stakeholders in the local economy to offer direction and input.

As a Crown corporation, ECBC is a distinct legal entity reporting to Parliament through the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

In addition to its own programs, ECBC is responsible for the delivery of ACOA's programs on Cape Breton Island. In 1995, ECBC and ACOA signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) allowing ECBC to design its programming and economic development strategies so as to complement ACOA’s programming. The MOU was renegotiated for two additional five-year terms, effective April 1, 2000 and April 1, 2005.

ECBC has a history of working in partnership with various stakeholders including Service Canada, Nova Scotia Economic and Rural Development, regional development authorities, Nova Scotia Business Inc., Nova Scotia Department of Tourism, Culture and Heritage, Nova Scotia Department of Energy, Cape Breton Development Corporation and Destination Cape Breton. ECBC also partners with community business development corporations, various not-for-profit organizations, municipalities and the private sector on a number of economic development initiatives.

OUR MANDATE

The Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Act provides the Corporation with a broad legislative mandate which reads:

The objects of the Corporation are to promote and assist, either alone or in conjunction with any person or the Government of Canada or of Nova Scotia or any agency of either of those governments, the financing and development of industry on Cape Breton Island* to provide employment outside the coal producing industry and to broaden the base of the economy of Cape Breton Island.

*This definition of Cape Breton Island includes the Mulgrave area.

OUR MISSION

The mission statement focuses the Corporation on the major issues affecting the economy of Cape Breton Island and the Mulgrave area. ECBC’s mission statement reads:

Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) is the principal federal government organization for economic development in Cape Breton. ECBC, in partnership with all levels of government, the private sector and other community stakeholders, will use its broad and flexible powers to assist, promote and coordinate efforts that foster an environment supportive of the generation of wealth to effect sustainable job creation throughout Cape Breton Island and Mulgrave.

Economic Context

At the beginning of 2008-2009, there were few signs that the fallout from the American sub-prime mortgage crisis and the disruption of credit markets would force the Canadian economy into a recession. The labour market remained robust, energy prices were climbing, and the real gross domestic product was expected to grow at a steady pace. Exports were slowing due to the strength of the Canadian dollar and the economic uncertainty in the United States, but construction was holding steady and domestic consumer spending appeared strong.

By mid-year, however, it was evident that economic growth was waning with falling commodity prices and reduced demand for Canadian exports. The declining dollar could not stem a sharp decline in exports to the United States, especially in the resource sectors. In addition to lower prices and lay-offs in the manufacturing sectors, most tourism-related indicators registered negative growth. Also during this time, the federal and provincial governments began to discuss economic stimulus packages aimed at dampening the impact of the recession through investments in community infrastructure projects.

Cape Breton’s economy mirrored that of Nova Scotia and Canada. In August, employment rose to 59,500, almost equal to the 10-year peak level. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 10.3%. By mid-year, however, it became apparent that there would be job losses in the manufacturing industry accompanying the seasonal trend. The unemployment rate began a steady assent to 17.2% in March 2009, and this trend may continue in the coming year.

Source:  Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey

At the beginning of 2008-2009, there were few signs that the fallout from the American sub-prime mortgage crisis and the disruption of credit markets would force the Canadian economy into a recession. The labour market remained robust, energy prices were climbing, and the real gross domestic product was expected to grow at a steady pace. Exports were slowing due to the strength of the Canadian dollar and the economic uncertainty in the United States, but construction was holding steady and domestic consumer spending appeared strong.

By mid-year, however, it was evident that economic growth was waning with falling commodity prices and reduced demand for Canadian exports. The declining dollar could not stem a sharp decline in exports to the United States, especially in the resource sectors. In addition to lower prices and lay-offs in the manufacturing sectors, most tourism-related indicators registered negative growth. Also during this time, the federal and provincial governments began to discuss economic stimulus packages aimed at dampening the impact of the recession through investments in community infrastructure projects.

Cape Breton’s economy mirrored that of Nova Scotia and Canada. In August, employment rose to 59,500, almost equal to the 10-year peak level. At the same time, the unemployment rate fell to 10.3%. By mid-year, however, it became apparent that there would be job losses in the manufacturing industry accompanying the seasonal trend. The unemployment rate began a steady assent to 17.2% in March 2009, and this trend may continue in the coming year.

Source:  Statistics Canada’s Labour Force Survey

The world-wide recession is an added complication with respect to maintaining manufacturing and export opportunities. This heightens the need for continued efforts in the area of economic development and diversification. Some examples include a new shrimp processing facility in North Sydney and a 24 MW wind farm in Point Tupper that now has regulatory approval to proceed. 

As the 2008-2009 fiscal year drew to a close, a number of infrastructure projects were being pursued in Cape Breton. These include an upgrade to Centre 200 (an arena in Sydney), the re-building of the marina in Port Hawkesbury, expansion of the hospital in Inverness, as well as harbour dredging and bridge building. The remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds also continues to be an economic driver, creating construction and engineering jobs.

Performance Against Objectives

Effective April 1, 2005, the Management, Resources and Results Structure Policy (MRRS Policy) replaced the 1996 Planning, Reporting and Accountability Structure policy framework. The MRRS Policy provides the federal government with an integrated, modern expenditure management framework to establish a common government-wide approach to the collection, management and public reporting of financial and non-financial performance information. The MRRS Policy requires departments to develop a MRRS comprising three components: Strategic Outcomes, Program Activity Architecture (including a performance measurement framework), and a Governance Structure.

During 2008-2009, ECBC worked with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat to update the Corporation’s performance measurement framework as part of an overall effort to implement a MRRS. Once approved by the Treasury Board of Canada, it is anticipated that the new MRRS will be implemented in 2010-2011. 

Given that the MRRS was not fully developed before the 2008-2009 planning period, in this annual report, the Corporation will continue to report on results for the 2008-2009 period in accordance with the performance management framework implemented in 2000. In future years, the Corporation will report on results based on the new performance measurement framework developed as part of ECBC’s MRRS. 

ECBC’s corporate plan outlined a number of program activities and objectives on which the Corporation focused in 2008-2009. They include:

• Support to Business;
• Support to Communities;
• Business Recruitment, Trade and Investment;
• Advocacy;
• Policy and Research;
• Property Management; and
• Provision of Services for the Government of Canada.

A discussion of each area of activity will follow. 

SUPPORT TO BUSINESS

OBJECTIVE

To grow the economy by encouraging private sector investment in projects that enhance the competitiveness of commercial enterprises and increase trade opportunities to produce long-term, sustainable jobs.

The global economic downturn experienced in 2008-2009 presented increased challenges for a number of businesses on Cape Breton Island. Many businesses became more vulnerable and struggled to maintain current operations as recessionary forces further compounded existing challenges in the respective sectors. 

Access to capital remains one of the greatest challenges for businesses on Cape Breton Island. Due to the size and make-up of the Island’s economy, and its distance from major markets, the ability to access capital from traditional lenders, venture capitalists and other levels of government is limited. The Corporation provides access to capital to businesses on Cape Breton Island in the form of secured, unsecured or interest-free loans, equity or non-repayable assistance. Throughout the 2008-2009 fiscal year, ECBC committed over $4.2 million in assistance as part of its support to business activities. This funding was used to make investments in business start-ups, expansions, innovation, export development, e-business, business skills development and strategic infrastructure. 

In terms of e-business, the Corporation recognized early on that to be competitive in the global economy, businesses on the Island had to adopt an Internet presence. In 2003-2004, ECBC implemented the E-commerce Initiative. Originally targeted at the tourism industry, this initiative was later expanded to other sectors. The e-commerce Initiative helps local businesses to establish an Internet presence by developing an informational, and/or fully functional e-commerce website. These websites provide a strong technology infrastructure, and give businesses on Cape Breton Island a competitive edge by making local products more accessible to international markets. Since 2003-2004, ECBC has assisted 47 businesses through the E-commerce Initiative. The Corporation supported nine businesses through this initiative in 2008-2009, achieving 90% of its annual target.

ECBC provided assistance to Protocase Incorporated of Sydney to help establish an innovative manufacturing facility.  Protocase Incorporated supplies customized enclosures to the electronics industry and research organizations.  The company was incorporated in 2001 and has over 1,200 customers, including Boeing, Motorola, NASA, MIT and Stanford.  With assistance from ECBC, the company has developed a new 3,050-square-metre manufacturing facility with state-of-the-art laser equipment.  ECBC sees this as an investment to enhance the client’s productivity, create jobs and expand opportunities for Cape Breton businesses to increase export capacity.

ECBC’s support to this initiative has helped businesses to increase employment, export sales and other sources of investment. Although job creation remains an important focus for the Corporation, job maintenance in the midst of a global recession became particularly important during 2008-2009. The Corporation worked with a number of existing clients throughout the year, as they evaluated financing options to help mitigate the impact of the current economic downturn.  As a result, the Corporation fell short of its annual target for estimated jobs created, achieving 17% of its target.

Export development remains a priority for the Corporation. ECBC continues to work with companies to develop new markets for their products and services. During the year, ECBC exceeded its target for export sales. 

Private sector investment is the main engine of growth for the Cape Breton economy. The Corporation works with companies to maximize the amount of private sector investment in projects. During the year, the Corporation came close to achieving its target, leveraging over $4.6 million or 94% of its target for dollar value of leveraged funds. 

SUPPORT TO COMMUNITIES

OBJECTIVE

To help communities plan and implement community development projects that have a direct link to long-term, self-sustaining activity.

During 2008-2009, ECBC worked with Cape Breton communities on over 148 projects ranging from festivals and events, strategic planning, infrastructure and skills development, a farmers’ market, fishery development, immigration navigators, streetscapes, tourism projects, and GPS mapping, among others. 

Centre 200

The Corporation made a significant investment in Centre 200 in 2008-2009. Opened in 1987, the Centre was constructed as a municipal bicentennial project and was named in honour of the 200th anniversary of the founding of Sydney in 1785. Centre 200 is the Cape Breton Regional Municipality’s (CBRM) primary sports and entertainment facility and home to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League’s Cape Breton Screaming Eagles. The multi-use facility hosts many community events, major concerts and exhibitions. The facility currently features arena seating for more than 4,800 spectators, expandable seating to 6,500 for concert hall purposes, and 17,000 square feet of exhibition space.

ECBC provided funding to the CBRM for extensive renovations to Centre 200. The project will help to position the Centre as a modern regional venue suited to hosting of a variety of significant events.

Centre for Small Business Development
Shannon School of Business

The Corporation also provided funding for the Centre for Small Business Development at Cape Breton University (CBU) to help existing businesses and prospective entrepreneurs succeed. The CBU Small Business Development Centre will operate under the auspices of the Shannon School of Business and will focus its efforts on new business start-ups, business growth and retention, innovation and training, with the overall goal of fostering a culture of entrepreneurship within the university and the broader Cape Breton community.  There are currently five small business development centres operating at universities across Nova Scotia. They offer guidance for clients on various aspects of starting and growing businesses by providing counselling, consulting services, entrepreneurship promotion, training, and access to research and development. Consulting projects are done for a fee and often involve students.

Festivals and Events

Festivals and events are an important element of the area’s tourism product. They offer visitors additional reasons to choose Cape Breton Island as a destination or to extend their stay, while providing an authentic cultural experience. Many of the festivals and events that received funding from ECBC over the years have become very successful at destination marketing.

The Celtic Colours International Festival is a celebration of the living Celtic culture of Cape Breton Island and is positioned to coincide with the brilliant fall foliage. In 2008, the 12th annual festival took place in communities all over Cape Breton Island, from October 10 to 18, generating an economic impact of $4.5 million. 

The Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in March 2009, is one of the largest adult hockey tournaments in the world. Every year, over 150 teams from across Canada and the United States come to Cape Breton to be part of this event. Organizers for the Vince Ryan Memorial Hockey Tournament estimate that the event generates $5 million in economic benefits annually for the local community.

A relatively new event supported by ECBC is Lobsterpalooza. This event will celebrate its third season this year. It is a springtime seafood festival that takes place in communities along the Cabot Trail during May and June. The American Bus Association has named Lobsterpalooza one of the top 100 events for 2009.

During the year, the Corporation provided funding to what will become an annual summer music festival. Alive on the Island is organized by the Cape Breton Christian Music Festival Society, which comprises members from various Christian traditions. The Society’s goal is to make this event the largest of its kind in Atlantic Canada. The inaugural festival will be held from August 28-30, 2009, and will feature an array of Christian musical artists. Many of the events will be held in Sydney during the first festival; however, the intention is to host future shows in venues across Cape Breton Island. This will encourage visitors to stay longer, resulting in additional economic benefits to the host communities. 

In addition to the larger festivals and events supported by the Corporation’s Festival and Events Initiative, ECBC also provides funding on an annual basis to smaller festivals and events taking place across the Island. During the year, ECBC provided funding to 102 festivals and events, leveraging over $2.3 million with an investment of $201,000.

Convention and Sporting Events

A potential area for growth during the off-season includes sporting events and the meetings and conventions travel market. To capitalize on these opportunities, the Corporation continues to provide support to sporting and convention events that demonstrate potential to generate significant economic benefits for the area, particularly in the off-season. During the year, the Corporation provided assistance to host a Newcomers Welcoming Communities Conference and the Tall Ships Atlantic Challenge to be held in the summer of 2009. The Corporation is also a major sponsor of the 2009-2010 Round the World Clipper Yacht Race. Given that the Convention and Sporting Events Initiative has been ongoing since 2003-2004, it is anticipated that an assessment will be forthcoming over the next two years to determine its impact.

At all times, the Corporation emphasizes the importance of partnership in its approach to community economic development. As such, ECBC encourages clients to seek multiple sources of financing for their community projects. As a result, the Corporation has increasingly exceeded its target for dollar value of leveraged funds over the past number of years. In 2008-2009, the Corporation leveraged over $8 million in community investment, exceeding both the annual and five-year targets.

BUSINESS RECURITMENT, TRADE AND INVESTMENT 

OBJECTIVE

To attract new business investment to Cape Breton Island and to increase the number of exporters and export sales in current and growing markets.

Foreign direct investment plays a major role in the Canadian economy by creating jobs, advancing productivity, and fuelling innovation and technology. ECBC recognizes the importance of foreign investment and exports in terms of economic growth. A need exists to work with local companies to encourage them to explore export opportunities and to assist them in becoming export-ready.

Over the past year, the Corporation supported a number of initiatives related to business recruitment, trade and investment.

During the year, ECBC continued to work with the Cape Breton Partnership on the re-development of the “Invest in Cape Breton” website launched in May 2009. The website provides an easily accessible Web-based investment attraction portal that gives the latest and most accurate economic data and other important indicators.

In 2008-2009, ECBC provided support for an Incoming Buyers and Media Program during the Celtic Colours International Festival. This program provides festival directors, booking agents, producers, photographers and writers from outside of Atlantic Canada with an opportunity to experience Cape Breton’s Celtic culture during the Celtic Colours International Festival. The purpose of the program is to increase international exposure for Cape Breton artists through bookings outside of Atlantic Canada and through magazine articles highlighting the Island’s talent. Every year since 2005, ECBC has provided financial incentives to delegates from Europe, the United States, and other parts of Canada. This provides Cape Breton musicians, dancers, and performers with an opportunity to expand their business by showcasing their talents. It also allows for additional exposure via media coverage.

Working in collaboration with the Province of Nova Scotia, ECBC hosted representatives of the Korean shipbuilding company, Daewoo Shipbuilding and Marine Engineering, on a fact-finding tour of Cape Breton Island during their visit to a number of locations in the province. They are interested in exploring commercial opportunities in Nova Scotia in marine fabrication, offshore oil and gas exploration, and renewable energy and have recently entered into a memorandum of understanding with the Province of Nova Scotia.

ECBC captures new investment by identifying foreign investment from outside Canada, as well as off-Island investment from within Canada. The global economic crisis has made it increasingly difficult to find new sources of investment during 2008-2009. ECBC attracted an estimated $752,000 in new investment to Cape Breton, falling short of its target.

ADVOCACY

OBJECTIVE

To advocate for Cape Breton Island interests, priorities and concerns.

Advocacy as a program activity contributes to all activities carried out by ECBC. It has four components.

1. Providing advice on issues that can affect the opportunities for economic development on Cape Breton Island through participation in meetings, working groups and committees.
2.  Ensuring awareness of the interests, priorities and concerns of Cape Breton Island on behalf of other government departments and agencies through partnerships/networking.
3.  Ensuring an effective two-way process of information sharing and providing insight and knowledge of policies, perspectives and priorities on and off the Island.
4.  Working co-operatively with other government departments from mainland Nova Scotia and Ottawa.

During 2008-2009, the advocacy agenda focused on four areas of priority for the Corporation.

1. The Atlantic Gateway Strategy;
2. Environmental initiatives and energy sustainability;
3. Entrepreneurship awareness; and
4. Board governance training for businesses and organizations.

Atlantic Gateway Strategy

In recognition of the critical role that gateways and corridors play in Canada's international competitiveness, the Government of Canada announced the National Gateways and Border Crossing Fund in Budget 2007. The Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor, the Ontario-Quebec Continental Gateway and Trade Corridor, and the Atlantic Gateway are the three most prominent components of the national system. The Atlantic Gateway presents a significant opportunity for the transportation sector in Cape Breton, offering the potential to increase international trade and ultimately economic development in the region.
 
Port of Sydney

ECBC has been working with the Port of Sydney in a planning, development and advocacy capacity to ensure that it will be ready for the opportunities presented through the Atlantic Gateway Strategy. The Corporation sits as a member of the Federal-Provincial Committee for Atlantic Gateway, as well as an internal ACOA committee on Atlantic Gateway.

In November 2007, the Sydney Port Master Plan was completed with assistance from ECBC. It will be used as a blueprint for development opportunities for the Port of Sydney. The master plan has identified a number of new commercial opportunities, including container traffic, bulk and break bulk cargo, as well as potential linkages between cruise, transport and ferry customers.

The plan also identifies the need to conduct a dredging program to increase the depth of the harbour from 11.5 to 17 metres. The dredging of the harbour is required to accommodate a proposed container operation, as well as coal exports from the Atlantic Canada Bulk Terminal. The cost of the dredge is estimated to be $35 million and financing is being pursued from public and private sources. An environmental assessment was required before dredging could commence. ECBC approved a $650,000 non-repayable contribution toward the work necessary to support environmental assessment requirements and to partake in actions pertaining to the development of Sydney harbour. Previously, the Corporation assisted with preliminary environmental assessment testing, which included bathymetric charting and seabed vibracoring work.

The Sydport Industrial Park has been identified as a suitable location for a container operation and a local consortium. Laurentian Energy Corporation is promoting the development of a two-berth container facility with a yearly capacity of 750,000 tonnes, able to accommodate the world’s largest ships.

Over the past year, stakeholders representing the organizations surrounding the Port of Sydney came together to form the Sydney Marine Group (SMG). Its vision is to implement the strategies outlined in the Port Master Plan, with an ultimate goal of dredging Sydney harbour allowing for the development of the container terminal.

The steering committee of SMG includes the Sydney Ports Corporation, Marine Atlantic, Nova Scotia Power Incorporated, Logistec, MV Osprey Limited, Laurentian Energy Corporation, and Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation. The committee has been instrumental in moving the environmental assessment and permitting process forward as the environmental screening report has now been approved by the federal and provincial government.

The steering committee, through Sydney Ports Corporation, has also been tasked with developing a new governance structure for the Port that will see the creation of an entity responsible for not only port development in Sydney, but also other modes of transportation such as air, rail and road infrastructure. The steering committee commenced this process with a three-day strategic planning session and intends to have a formal structure defined within the coming year. Specifically, ECBC has provided leadership in bringing the partners to the table and promoting a proactive approach to port development. In addition, ECBC has committed up to $1 million to assist the steering committee with this initiative.

Strait of Canso

ECBC has provided assistance in preparing a comprehensive Port Master Plan for the Strait of Canso. The plan is currently under development. An environmental plan has been approved for port development and stakeholders continue to be optimistic regarding the development of a container port. The efforts at the port are largely initiated by the private sector and ECBC continues to engage with these stakeholders.

Environmental Initiatives and Energy Sustainability

ECBC is part of a coalition of local, provincial and national institutions supporting the establishment of an environmental research facility the Institute of Sustainability, Environment and Energy (ISEE) at Cape Breton University (CBU). The $20-million environmental and energy research facility will take advantage of opportunities presented by the cleanup of the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens site. The research focus will include mine water management, environmental remediation and renewable and sustainable energy.

ECBC provided funding and consultation for the development of a business case for the institute. The business case provides an overview of the ISEE, including background and context for its establishment, an analysis of challenges that can be met by the institute and that are not otherwise addressed in Canada, its vision and mandate, its strategic objectives and key activities, a governance structure, and anticipated resource and funding requirements.

ECBC continues to work with its provincial and federal partners to ensure the best model for the institute is adopted. Recently announced federal economic stimulus funding for universities is a potential source of funding and ECBC continues to advocate on the university’s behalf at both federal and provincial levels.

Board Governance Training for Businesses and Organizations

Management at ECBC recognized that there are inherent weaknesses in many volunteer Boards of Directors, in that many non-profit clients do not always understand their roles and obligations with respect to contracts. Consequently, it was determined that many groups could benefit from board governance training. ECBC assisted three boards in acquiring the necessary training, and several other boards are in the planning process. Those who received training include the Cape Breton Farmers Market Cooperative, le Conseil cooperative acadien de la Nouvelle-Écosse Ltée and Two Rivers Development Association. Recipients of this training have expressed their appreciation, as most non-profit organizations are not in a financial position to undertake such an initiative.

Entrepreneurship

ECBC staff has continued to foster and promote the spirit of entrepreneurship. Throughout the fiscal year, staff worked with senior officials at CBU to develop best practices for the operation of an entrepreneurship centre. The centre recently celebrated its grand opening, and ECBC continues to work collaboratively with the centre’s executive director to ensure that the training and education modules are specifically tailored to young entrepreneurs. In addition to this development, staff has partnered with the regional development authorities (the Cape Breton County Economic Development Authority and the Strait Highlands Regional Development Authority) to ensure delivery of the Business Retention and Expansion Program. This program is structured to work with existing entrepreneurs to identify and overcome barriers to growth and improve competitiveness by evaluating and addressing business needs and concerns. A database will be developed to assist all development agencies in identifying targeted programs for entrepreneurship.

POLICY AND RESEARACH 

OBJECTIVE

To help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs.

Research and analysis are required to understand the economic challenges and opportunities facing Cape Breton Island, and to guide the advocacy and policy-making activities of the Corporation. 

ECBC policy and research activities reflect and support:

• emerging local economic issues;
• structural challenges and opportunities;
• sector-specific considerations;
• federal policies;
• ECBC’s program and development initiatives; and
• the need for ongoing performance management and evaluation. 

During 2008-2009, the Policy and Research Unit continued to work with a number of consultants to complete research initiated in the previous fiscal year, including a review of ECBC’s performance management, economic impact of federal development assistance on Cape Breton Island, the Cape Breton prosperity gap model, and sector profiles of the Cape Breton economy.

ECBC’s research activities focused on the ECBC mandate review process, by acting as research support to the consulting team and steering committee. The final report and recommendations for the mandate review have been presented to the Minister responsible for ECBC, who will proceed to Cabinet with a recommendation to either reconfirm or amend the Corporation’s mandate.

The Policy and Research Unit worked closely with Destination Cape Breton as part of a steering committee that led the development of a tourism marketing strategy for Cape Breton. The strategy is now complete with a process in place for its implementation.

The objectives of the study are to:
• provide a comprehensive analysis of the demographic trends on Cape Breton Island over the past 20 years;
• identify the demographic changes that Cape Breton Island will face over the next 20 years and assess how these changes will impact the labour market and the overall social and economic well-being of the region;
• identify the challenges that will be faced by individuals, businesses, educational and training institutions and governments in responding to the demographic changes taking place;
• describe the type of interventions necessary to address the demographic challenges;
• provide a comprehensive analysis of out-migration to Alberta from Cape Breton Island; and
• provide an economic impact assessment of how the migration is impacting the Cape Breton Island economy (both positively and negatively).

In December 2008, the Corporation contracted the services of the Novus Consulting Group to undertake an extensive demographic study of Cape Breton Island. A final report is due in June 2009. One of the biggest challenges facing the area is population decline. This decline has resulted in significant demographic shifts, particularly as they relate to the labour force. 

Due to time and human resource constraints, only 25% of the Corporation’s target was achieved for research studies during 2008-2009. The Policy and Research Unit was heavily tasked with information and data requests as part of the mandate review process. It also led the process to develop and implement the Corporation’s MRRS, as well as a new strategic direction developed for the Corporation for 2009-2010. These requirements for the MRRS were imposed by the Treasury Board of Canada and were considered a priority for the Corporation.

PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT AND MANAGEMENT 

OBJECTIVE

To manage the Corporation’s real property holdings and to acquire and dispose of properties for economic development purposes.

Property Development

ECBC reactivated DARR (Cape Breton) Limited  (DARR) in 2003, a real estate holding company, in order to consolidate real property management and promote economic development in Cape Breton.

DARR deals with the acquisition and disposition of properties that financially benefit Cape Breton by encouraging private sector investment. DARR follows the policies of ECBC and reports its operational and financial activities at meetings of the ECBC Board of Directors.

In June 2000, the Government of Canada announced its decision to close its coal mines on Cape Breton Island, to sell the Cape Breton Development Corporation’s assets, and to wind down the Corporation. In 2002-2003, ECBC entered into an MOU with the Cape Breton Development Corporation to transfer properties with economic development potential to ECBC. This MOU expired in March 2008.

The approval of a new MOU with the Cape Breton Development Corporation is important to the work of DARR. ECBC has submitted a draft to the Cape Breton Development Corporation and is awaiting that corporation’s final amendments. ECBC will then execute the amendments. ECBC and the Cape Breton Development Corporation currently work together to identify and redeploy properties for commercial and community economic development purposes.

DARR completed an agreement with Cape Breton Island Developers -- the proponent in a large-scale land development project in Louisbourg that includes a resort, golf course and spa -- for the sale of a 40-acre tract of land. The Corporation received the appraised price for the parcel and net proceeds of $60,000 were reinvested through ECBC programs.

Also negotiated was the sale of the Cape Breton Development Corporation’s Victoria Junction site, the former coal wash and preparation plant for coal operations. The site underwent intensive environmental remediation over the last number of years. The last of the remaining buildings, situated on approximately 10 acres, was considered a good fit for a commercial development project.

DARR negotiated a fair market price, and net proceeds from the sale will be reinvested in ECBC programs. Public road access was made possible by the local municipal government, and now allows for the development of other portions of the property, as well as adjacent private lands.

DARR is in the final stages of negotiations with Confederation Power Inc. to sell an additional 67 acres of former Cape Breton Development Corporation land for the expansion of a wind farm operation in Lingan. Confederation Power is a developer and operator of renewable power projects. The Lingan site currently has seven 2 MW wind turbines, and all electricity produced is sold to Nova Scotia Power under long-term power purchase agreements. The next phase of the development is anticipated to add 13 MW of capacity.

To assist in managing its property holdings, DARR now has an operational Electronic Property Management System (EPMS) to which all relevant data related to land transfers from the Cape Breton Development Corporation have been transferred. The Nova Scotia Property On-Line information is now contained in electronic files and additional internal records are being added to the system. The base work for an integrated real estate listing has been completed and a Web-ready system for property listings will be functional by fall 2009.  

ECBC has commissioned additional development of the EPMS. The focus of this work is to refine the data entry and retrieval process, enhance the ability to capture information and enable the printing of reports to better serve management requirements. 

Currently, ECBC land holdings are accessible to the public through a link to the Directory of Federal Real Property on the ECBC website. This link will allow interested individuals to view a simple map of the selection, along with the property identifier information, size of parcel and location.

Property Management

The ECBC Property Development and Management Unit conducted regular preventative maintenance activities and completed facility upgrades. To ensure that all tenant and ECBC property concerns were addressed, a “tracking database” was created along with log sheets. The log sheets are used to enter detailed information about maintenance-related requests. Relevant information is captured in the database and any necessary work orders are assigned and tracked accordingly.

Silicon Island Revitalization

The planned revitalization of Silicon Island moved forward with many activities having been completed and others currently underway.

A passenger elevator and shaft are currently being installed. It is estimated that the project will be complete by July 2009 at a cost of $388,600. 

The parking lot was expanded and re-aligned at a cost of $60,575, resulting in approximately 30 new spaces. A survey of the new boundary lines was completed, resulting in the consolidation of six property identifiers into one. An agreement has been reached with a neighbouring property owner to realign a common boundary to alleviate an encroachment issue.

The Corporation’s need for office and meeting space has increased as a result of expanding business lines. Renovations totalling $47,827 were made to the basement and second level of the facility to create three offices and a small meeting room, and to improve lighting and site lines.

Total capital expended in 2008-2009 was $228,768. Other capital expenditures related to professional fees for property acquisitions, other building improvements and furniture.

Green Plan Initiative

In an effort to move forward with a Green Plan Initiative, DARR has chosen to adopt the Building Owners and Managers Association’s (BOMA) “go green” initiative, called (BESt). BOMA is the voice of the Canadian commercial real estate industry, with over 2,500 members in regional associations across Canada. This initiative provides a framework for environmental management and tools to measure and improve the environmental performance of commercial buildings. Silicon Island will be the first ECBC-owned building to go through the certification program, and it is anticipated that all ECBC-owned buildings will obtain certification in the future.

In the past year, an inspection was performed by Atlantic Coastal Action Program of Cape Breton, a local non-profit organization that is charged with environmental stewardship and education. The inspection provided information in the areas of solid waste management, water conservation, and energy efficiency improvements. This information will help DARR to become more eco-conscious and reduce its carbon footprint.

Environmental Assessments

Environmental assessments continue to be a high priority for ECBC and detailed monitoring of all projects ensures that environmental regulations and/or procedures are followed. Some projects require extensive monitoring due to their sensitive nature. An example of this is Phase III of the Wentworth Park revitalization. This project was monitored, at times daily and/or weekly, due to its potential impact on a local fish habitat and its proximity to a residential area. This monitoring ensured the appropriate level of mitigation was in place for the Corporation and the project's proponents.

In 2008-2009, ECBC continued its membership in ACOA’s regional environmental working group. This group meets regularly and has commissioned work on environmental sector trends and emerging technology pertinent to ECBC/ACOA clients and issues related to internal property matters.

PROVISION OF SERVICES FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA

OBJECTIVE

To deliver programs and services on behalf of government organizations in an effort to increase the opportunity for a coordinated approach to economic development on Cape Breton Island and, specifically, to enhance the growth of both earned incomes and employment opportunities in the region.

During 2008-2009, ECBC approved funding on behalf of ACOA in the amount of $16,388,048 for 132 projects. 

ECBC manages and/or delivers the following programs and initiatives on behalf of ACOA.

Business Development Program (BDP)
This program is designed to help small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) establish, expand and modernize by offering access to capital in the form of interest-free, unsecured loans. The BDP also provides non-repayable support to non-profit organizations.

Consultant Advisory Services (CAS)
The CAS program provides clients with access to consulting expertise in pursuing business opportunities or solving problems. 

Building Canada Fund (BCF)
This program operates through two components:
• Major Infrastructure Component targets larger, strategic projects of national and regional significance; and
• Communities Component focuses on projects in communities with populations of less than 100,000 – helping these smaller communities to face their unique challenges.

Atlantic Investment Partnership Second Wave
In 2000, the Atlantic Investment Partnership was launched as a $700-million investment to support economic development in Atlantic Canada. The Atlantic Investment Partnership is in its second phase and addresses areas that are fundamental to continued economic growth investing in innovation, investing in communities, investing in people and investing in the business climate.

Community Futures Program
This program supports autonomous, not-for-profit community business development corporations to help entrepreneurs in rural areas obtain access to the information, advice and capital required to succeed.

Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation

In addition to its program management and delivery on behalf of ACOA, ECBC has also been involved in the administration of the Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation (CBGF). The CBGF was incorporated on August 25, 2000, as a subsidiary of ECBC. It was set up specifically to administer an economic adjustment fund ($91 million) established by the Government of Canada and the Province of Nova Scotia in the wake of the federal government's decision to discontinue the coal mining operations of the Cape Breton Development Corporation. With the majority of the economic adjustment fund committed, the balance of the assets and liabilities (including project commitments) was transferred to ECBC on April 1, 2008, when the CBGF Corporation was dissolved.

ECBC continues to disburse project funds to satisfy CBGF contractual commitments and to incur CBGF-related administrative costs. As of March 31, 2009, the CBGF had an undisbursed balance of almost $11.5 million. It is anticipated that the balance of funds will be disbursed over the next two fiscal years.

HUMAN RESOURCES

ECBC is divided into a number of operational units. They are:

— Commercial Development;
— Community Economic Development;
— Policy and Advocacy
— Internal Audit;
— Human Resources;
— Legal Support and Special Initiatives;
— Property Development and Management;
— Corporate Services; and
— Communications and Access to Information/Privacy


ECBC has two locations to serve clients in its mandate area. The main office, located in Sydney, Nova Scotia, is the day-time home to 44 employees. The Corporation also has a satellite office in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia, which is staffed by two employees.

Many ECBC employees have significant private sector experience that contributes to the overall success of the Corporation. Over 15% of staff members hold professional designations and 8% have master degrees. Approximately 13% of staff members are bilingual.

Training is offered in a number of areas including annual development for the Corporation’s chartered accountants, university-level courses, leadership training, corporate governance training, technical training, international trade, access to information/privacy and business communications skills.

Union Certification

ECBC employees obtained certification with the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) in July 2007.  Collective bargaining has begun and a collective agreement is expected to be finalized in the near future.

In Memory

"The heart hath its own memory, like the mind. And in it are enshrined the precious keepsakes, into which is wrought the giver's loving thought."
                                                                                         H.W. Longfellow

A great friend and co-worker, Dave MacNeil passed away in April 2008. He will be forever missed by his co-workers at ECBC. Dave was a very thoughtful, kindhearted and loving man who will be remembered for his sense of humour, and for his kind and caring nature. He leaves us with many fond memories and precious keepsakes.

Rest in Peace, Good Friend.

OUR COMMUNITY

ECBC employees are an integral part of the community. As Cape Bretoners, they have a vested interest in the success of ECBC’s mission, and they also hold a true Cape Breton spirit.

Over the years, staff members at ECBC have been recognized as advocates for community involvement.  Whether they are coaching minor hockey or baseball, volunteering at schools, fundraising or supporting community-driven initiatives, employees of the Corporation are giving back to the communities they call home.  This year alone, their combined efforts have produced a monetary amount of approximately $3,400 for various charitable fundraising efforts.

• Spirits bloomed at the first sign of spring as ECBC employees participated in the Canadian Cancer Society’s Daffodil Day.

• Staff and management participated in the Big Brother Big Sister “Bowl for Kids’ Sake” fundraiser, and have continued to support The United Way Campaign.  Both initiatives have become traditions for ECBC staff.

• Keeping with the Corporation’s recycling initiative, employees at ECBC recycle their plastic bottles and donate the monetary return to the local food bank, Loaves and Fishes.

• Every Friday, ECBC employees take a break from regular business attire and sport their denims along with a modest charitable donation, in support of the local community. This year, the Casual Friday’s initiative has supported a local women’s charity, Every Women’s Centre.

• In response to an urgent call for blood donations extended by Canadian Blood Services in late October, ECBC employees rolled up their sleeves to help patients in need. During the December blood drive, 27 of the 53 units of blood collected were from employees of ECBC. With this help from the Corporation, Canadian Blood Services reached over 100% of its collection target.

CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY

Accountability and Transparency

The Corporation is committed to accountability and transparency in its operations. A policy of proactive disclosure has been implemented, whereby all travel and hospitality expenses of the chief executive officer and Board of Directors are regularly posted on its website. The site also contains a detailed listing of all approved projects.

ECBC became subject to the Access to Information Act (ATIA) and Privacy Act (PA) in September 2005. Since that time, the Corporation has invested in training for staff and additinal software to facilitate its compliance with this new legislative requirement. The Corporation had one ATIA request carried over from 2007-2008, and received three new ATIA requests in 2008-2009. There were no PA requests received in 2008-2009, and as of March 31, 2009, all outstanding requests had been completed.

Youth and Education

With out-migration numbers increasing, creating opportunities for our youth has become more important than ever. ECBC recognizes that youth are the future of the Island and, collectively, we must increase opportunities in education and entrepreneurship.

ECBC has partnered with educational institutions and key stakeholders to build an economy that offers opportunities for youth.

The Corporation also provides support to students through summer employment opportunities. In 2008-2009, nine summer students were hired with backgrounds in business, science and arts. By participating in Mount Saint Vincent University’s Co-Op Education Program, ECBC provided on-the-job training and mentoring for a Bachelor of Public Relations student.

ECBC funds the “Students in Business” program to encourage young entrepreneurs throughout its mandate area to create their own summer employment and gain valuable experience in the field of entrepreneurship.

Government On-Line

In 2006, ECBC launched its own client portal called ECBC Direct. This secure channel infrastructure enables clients to access their project information and submit claims on-line. It also enables clients to correspond with ECBC officials in confidence.

OFFICIAL LANGUAGES AND COMMUNICATIONS

Official Languages

The Corporation is committed to the principles of the Official Languages Act (OLA) and works closely with the minority language (Francophone) communities on the Island that have identified economic development as a priority and a determining factor in their survival and growth.

With a bilingual staff complement of approximately 13%, ECBC maintains core staff that is able to deliver the Corporation’s various programs and services in both official languages.

The Corporation has developed close working relationships with minority language communities on Cape Breton Island and a designated development officer works directly with Francophone community groups and businesses. The Corporation has an official languages champion who is also a member of the management committee.

Communications

Excellent communication is a key element to building strong relationships with the Corporation’s shareholder and the community it serves. The overall goal of the Communications Unit is to relate how the Government of Canada, through ECBC, is investing to improve the economic outlook of Cape Breton Island.

ECBC projects have affected almost every community in the Corporation’s mandate area. It is important to recognize, celebrate and communicate these investments to promote a sense of pride and encourage further investment within these communities.

In 2008-2009, ECBC issued 24 news releases on various initiatives. In addition, ECBC officials delivered numerous speeches and presentations on the Island, as well as in other regions. ECBC also participated as either a corporate sponsor or an exhibitor in eight trade shows or trade missions. Forty-nine ECBC clients participated in trade shows.

Working directly with ACOA, the ECBC Communications Unit continues to assist and promote a number of initiatives related to entrepreneurship, innovation, trade and women in business.

The Corporation has an in-house graphic design capability, which not only reduces costs, but facilitates greater control over the design and management of public affairs materials. Throughout the year, 73 operational and promotional ads were created and placed in various publications. This in-house capability enables ECBC to produce its own annual report for which the staff takes responsibility for all aspects of its preparation.

CORPORATE GOVERNANCE

The ECBC Act sets out the Corporation’s mandate, powers and objectives. ECBC’s governance and accountability regime is set out in Part X of the Financial Administration Act (FAA), which establishes the Board of Directors at the centre of the governance regime. The Board oversees the management of the Corporation and holds management responsible for its performance. In turn, the Board is accountable to Parliament through the responsible Minister. In accordance with the FAA, ECBC must submit an annual corporate plan for Governor-in-Council approval. Annual capital and operating budgets are approved by Treasury Board. ECBC must also prepare an annual report, which is its principal means of accounting to Parliament and to all Canadians. The annual reports as well as summaries of all budgets and plans are tabled in Parliament.

All Crown corporations are required to maintain proper financial records that are subject to annual audit. As set out in the FAA, the Office of the Auditor General of Canada is the auditor of ECBC. Audit provisions include an annual audit opinion on the fairness of the presentation of the financial statements and on compliance with authorities and a provision to raise other matters as the auditors deem appropriate. ECBC is also subject to a performance audit known as a special examination, which is conducted once every ten years.

Corporate governance is an ongoing priority for the ECBC Board of Directors. Working in conjunction with the Conference Board of Canada in 2001, the Corporation conducted an assessment of its compliance with Guidelines for Corporate Governance in Crown Corporations. A follow-up survey was conducted in 2002.

ECBC has also established the following corporate governance self-assessment tool, which is completed on a yearly basis for inclusion in the Corporation’s annual report.

Board Activity

The ECBC Board of Directors is composed of the Chairperson, the Chief Executive Officer and five other members. The Board met ten times during 2008-2009, and the DARR Board met once. Priorities for the year included governance, strategic planning and risk management.

The Audit Committee convened six times during 2008-2009, in the course of performing its duties and functions. These include reviewing and advising the Board in respect to the financial statements and the related auditor’s report and the risk management framework. The Audit Committee also takes an active role in reviewing and recommending loan impairments, forgiveness and write-offs. The Audit Committee is assisted in its duties by the Manager of Internal Audit.

The Audit Committee Chair attended a conference organized by the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants on matters relating to audit committees. The committee is assisted in its duties by the Internal Audit Unit. The Office of the Auditor General of Canada also attends many of the committee’s meetings.

A Human Resources Committee was established in 2008-2009 as a committee of the Board. The Human Resources Committee met twice during the year, while performing its duties and functions, which include the oversight of human resource policies and practices.

The Human Resources Committee comprises two members of the Board of Directors, one of whom serves as Chair, and the Chief Executive Officer. The committee is assisted in its duties by the Human Resources Manager.

In March 2009, five Board members attended a day-long session on Roles and Accountabilities of Boards and Board Members.

RISK MANAGEMENT

Risk is a fact of life and it is understood that there is an element of risk in all of ECBC’s activities. The ECBC Board of Directors recognizes that it must ensure that the Corporation balances risk and opportunity in accordance with risk tolerance levels. To do this, the Board, through the Audit Committee, monitors the organization’s processes for managing risk and approves its risk management framework.

In 2005, ECBC commissioned the services of Deloitte & Touche to undertake the development of a risk management framework that would form the basis of a structured, systematic, disciplined approach to comprehensive risk management. The framework confirmed the significant risks impacting ECBC; provided a common means of classifying and communicating risk across the Corporation; provided a structure for the assessment, reporting and monitoring of risks by various groups; and ensured that due consideration is given to all risks in a day-to-day environment.

Risk management remains a priority of the Board of Directors and is a regular agenda item of Audit Committee. The risk management framework was initially approved by the ECBC Board of Directors in 2006. Each risk was reviewed to determine methods to mitigate the risk and a mitigation plan was developed. Mitigation strategies include actions that could monitor, accept, transfer or further reduce the risk. General timing of the actions and allocations of responsibility to ECBC business functions and/or individuals were established. In 2008-2009, the framework was once again reviewed and updated. The principal change in 2008-2009, was the addition of an assessment of impact and likelihood of occurrence for each of the risks identified.  


FINANCIAL STATEMENTS   

Please note, the Financial Statements for ECBC's 2009 Annual Report are only available as a pdf.  Please choose click on the link below to open them.

2009 ECBC Annual Report Financial Statements (pdf, 170kb)

 
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