Starting a Business
   Expanding my Business
   Modernizing my Business
   Developing my Community
   Program Information
   Success Stories
   Multi Media
   Program Information
   Success Stories
   Multi Media
   Site Closure Program Update
   Mine Water Management
   Success Stories
   Multi Media
   Environmental Assessment
   Success Stories
   Property Listings
   Multi Media
   Annual Reports
   Corporate Plan Summaries
   Special Examinations
   Access to Information and Privacy
   Completed Access to Information Requests
   Proactive Disclosure
   Public Meeting
   Quarterly Financial Reports

Archived Content
As of June 19, 2014, the operation of Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation has been transferred to both the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency and the Public Works and Government Services Canada.  Content on this site has been archived for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes.
Web pages that are archived on the Internet are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. For more information on archived materials, please visit Library and Archives Canada.
Please refer to the appropriate Government of Canada Agency/Department for updated information:

Corporate Plan Summary 2007-2008 to 2011-2012


1.1 Position within Government 

2.1 Mission 
2.2 Organizational Structure 
2.3 Risk Management 
2.4 Federal Identity Program (FIP) 
2.5 Access to Information and Privacy 
2.6 ECBC Receivables 

3.1 Youth and Education 
3.2 Sustainable Development 
3.3 Official Languages Act (OLA) 
3.4 Human Rights 

4.1 Economic Impacts 
4.3  The Planning Process 

5.1 Provision of Services for the Government of Canada 
5.1.1 Program Sub-activities Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation (CBGF) 
5.2 Support to Business 
5.2.1 Program Sub-activities  Access to Capital Human Resource Initiative  e-Commerce Initiative  Entrepreneurship 
5.3 Support to Communities 
5.3.1 Program Sub-activities Community Capacity Building Festival and Events Initiative Convention and Sporting Events Initiative Cape Breton Business Partnership Aboriginal Community Development 
5.4 Business Recruitment and Investment 
5.4.1 Program Sub-activities Promotional Activities 
5.5 Policy and Research 
5.5.1 Program Sub-activities 
5.6 Corporate Administration 
5.6.1  Program Sub-activities Subsidiaries/Operations Communications Finance Information Management and Technology Services Human Resources Internal Audit/Audit Committee Policy and Planning 

6.1 Tourism 
6.2 Knowledge-based Industry 
6.3 Manufacturing and Processing 
6.4 Natural Resources 

7.1 Project Monitoring 
7.2 Performance Management 
7.2.1 Reporting 


The Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (ECBC) corporate plan for 2007-2008 to 2011-2012 does not diverge significantly from the strategic direction chosen during the previous planning period. The plan is focused on developing a sustainable economic future for the Island through investments in innovation; business development and expansion; export development; investment attraction; community and business infrastructure; and by investing in sectors of interest that have potential for significant economic growth.

Over the next five years, ECBC will focus its activities on six main areas.
- Provision of Services for the Government of Canada
- Support to Business
- Support to Communities
- Business Recruitment and Investment
- Policy and Research
- Corporate Administration

This work will be carried out within the overall framework of ECBC’s Program Activity Architecture (PAA).

In this planning period, Advocacy is no longer a stand-alone program activity. The advocacy of Cape Breton Island’s interests will be carried out through other program activities. 

ECBC is undertaking a mandate review, as requested by the Treasury Board of Canada. The process was delayed due to management changes within the Corporation; however, steps are underway to ensure that the mandate review is completed in 2007-2008.  As requested by the Treasury Board, a review of the Corporation’s performance management framework was also scheduled to take place during 2006-2007, but has been carried forward to 2007-2008.

The majority of funds from the Cape Breton Growth Fund (CBGF) have been invested and a process has been set in motion to transfer the assets and liabilities to ECBC on or before March

31, 2008, and to dissolve the CBGF as soon as practical thereafter. The Treasury Board Submission authorizing the incorporation of the CBGF (#828344) sought authority for any assets or liabilities outstanding when the Corporation is wound up to fall under the responsibility of ECBC, the sole shareholder. This will include any surplus funds or receivables generated by the Corporation's investments. The resulting Order-in-Council (2000-1341) approved the submission. During this planning period, ECBC is seeking the recommendation of the Treasury Board to the Governor in Council for approval to procure the dissolution of the CBGF.


Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation (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). 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.
ECBC’s small geographic 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 and involve all stakeholders in the local economy for direction and input.

1.1 Position within Government

As a Crown corporation, ECBC is a distinct entity, which reports to Parliament through the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA). In 2006, ACOA became the Portfolio Agent responsible for ECBC and the Cape Breton Growth Fund (CBGF). 

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 to complement ACOA’s programming. The MOU was renegotiated twice with ACOA for additional five-year terms, and will remain in effect until April 1, 2010.  

In August 2000, the CBGF was incorporated as a wholly owned subsidiary of ECBC with its own board of directors. The Governor-in-Council declared that Part X of the Financial Administration Act (FAA) applies to the CBGF and, as such, must report separately as if it were a parent Crown corporation. The CBGF is a transitional corporation designed to commence winding up its operations on or before March 31, 2008. The Treasury Board Submission authorizing the incorporation of the CBGF (#828344) sought authority for any assets or liabilities outstanding when the Corporation is wound up to fall under the responsibility of ECBC, the sole shareholder. This will include any surplus funds or receivables generated by the Corporation's investments. The resulting Order-in-Council (2000-1341) approved the submission.

ECBC has a history of working in partnership with Service Canada, Nova Scotia’s Department of Economic Development, Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO), Cape Breton Business Partnership, regional development authorities, community development corporations, municipalities, businesses and non-profit organizations to address a number of economic development initiatives. Over the next five years, ECBC will continue to foster working relationships with governments and organizations at all levels.

2.1 Mission

The mission statement focuses the Corporation on the major issues affecting the economy of Cape Breton Island. 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 co-ordinate efforts that foster an environment supportive of the generation of wealth to effect sustainable job creation throughout Cape Breton Island and Mulgrave.

2.2 Organizational Structure

In the past, ECBC’s board of directors comprised the President of ACOA, the Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of ECBC and five outside directors appointed by the Governor-in-Council. The Chairman and CEO (ex-officio) roles were filled by one person, who was also the President of ACOA. As part of the implementation measures of the Federal Accountability Act, the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Act was amended to separate the positions of Chair and CEO. On April 1, 2007, the definition "Vice-President" and “President” in section 26 of the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Act was repealed and replaced with “CEO” and “Chairperson”, respectively.  

The Corporation operates from its main office in Sydney, Nova Scotia, with a satellite office in Port Hawkesbury, Nova Scotia. Internally, ECBC is organized into a number of administrative units that report to the CEO. The administrative units include commercial programs, development, internal audit, corporate services, communications and access to information. 

During 2003-2004, the Corporation reactivated its subsidiary DARR (Cape Breton) Limited, as a real estate holding and development company. DARR manages the Corporation’s four operations: the Point Edward Resource Centre, the Port Hawkesbury Business Facility, Silicon Island Art and Innovation Centre, and MacDonald House. Activities and results for DARR are reported directly through ECBC.

2.3 Risk Management

ECBC conducted a risk assessment in the spring of 2005. The focus of this initiative was to establish the foundation for a risk framework that would assist ECBC’s management in the implementation of an ongoing integrated risk management process. During the assessment, ECBC developed a profile of its current corporate risk areas and developed a risk framework to clearly define and document risk areas and fully integrate with strategic and operational processes. This process leveraged the Integrated Risk Management Framework (IRMF) that was established by the Treasury Board Secretariat in 2001.

To assist in the completion of the risk framework, ECBC contracted the consulting firm of Deloitte and Touche. Deloitte was asked to review management’s perspectives on risk and to establish a risk profile and framework. Deloitte compiled management’s assertions of ECBC’s inherent risks.  Each risk was reviewed with management to determine methods to mitigate the risk. A mitigation plan was developed to identify mitigation strategies. Mitigation strategies include actions that could monitor, accept, transfer or further research a risk. General timing of the actions and the allocation of responsibility to ECBC business functions and/or individuals has been established.

2.4 Federal Identity Program (FIP)

ECBC acknowledges the decision to strengthen federal presence and visibility and has incorporated the Canada wordmark into its corporate and promotional materials. ECBC also acknowledges the contributions made by the Government of Canada, where appropriate, through its funding agreements, signage, brochures, promotional material, advertisements and media releases, as well as the ECBC website.

2.5 Access to Information and Privacy

ECBC became subject to the Access to Information Act (ATI) and the Privacy Act in September 2005. The purpose of the ATI Act is to extend the present laws of Canada to provide a right of access to information in records under the control of a government institution. This is in accordance with the principles that government information should be available to the public, that necessary exceptions to the right of access should be limited and specific, and that decisions on the disclosure of government information should be reviewed independently of government.

The Privacy Act serves to protect the privacy of individuals with respect to the collection, use, disclosure and retention of personal information held by a government institution and it provides individuals with a right of access to that information.

In response to the extension of the Acts to include ECBC, the Corporation has set up an Access to Information and Privacy Unit. Two staff members have been assigned to the unit and they have received appropriate training in the application of the laws. ECBC officials have also received training on the impact of the ATI Act and the Privacy Act on their work, as well as their respective roles and responsibilities when it comes to responding to requests.

2.6 ECBC Receivables

The Corporation provides a mix of investment instruments to clients, including loans, grants and conditionally repayable contributions, in order to achieve the appropriate balance required by clients to grow and expand their businesses, while minimizing the return on capital for the Corporation. Loan instruments include forgivable loans, interest-bearing loans, non-interest bearing loans, preferred shares and conditionally repayable contributions. In the first three quarters of 2006-2007, the Corporation committed $1.8 million in loans to clients, in addition to grants and contributions under the various programs administered by ECBC.

Over the past four years, ECBC had an average delinquency rate of 1% on the ACOA business development program, one of the lowest rates in the region.


3.1 Youth and Education

Since its inception, ECBC has committed to partnering with educational institutions and key stakeholders to build an economy that offers opportunities for youth.

During 2007-2008, ECBC will continue its Youth Summer Employment Initiative by hiring six summer students to work at the Corporation in all areas of economic development.

ECBC recognizes that youth are the future of the Island and that entrepreneurship is a concept that must be instilled at an early age. The Corporation, through its role as a delivery/service agent, funds the Student in Business program. This program assists students ages 15-29 who are interested in creating and operating a full-time business during the summer months. The Corporation also provides assistance to First Nation communities on Cape Breton to undertake entrepreneurship summer camps. The camps are targeted at young, business-minded students who are interested in learning about self-employment, entrepreneurship and technology. 

ECBC supports the delivery of Junior Achievement programming to students throughout Cape Breton.  School programs consist of: Our Business World, The Economics of Staying in School, The Company Program and Junior Achievement Titan.
ECBC will continue to work closely with the Junior Chamber International (JCI). The Corporation assists the JCI in a number of areas, particularly entrepreneurship and skills development, export development and internships.

Over the next five years, ECBC will continue to identify and support opportunities for youth.

3.2 Sustainable Development

ECBC is helping to transform Cape Breton’s economy to ensure that there are sustainable, healthy communities for future generations. To this end, ECBC is committed to promoting sustainable communities and businesses on Cape Breton Island and to setting an example in the environmental management of its operations. Sustainable development is aimed at achieving social and economic goals without harming the environment on which present and future generations depend. It involves the creation of more competitive, resource-efficient and sustainable businesses on Cape Breton Island.

ECBC ensures that all projects it supports are subjected to appropriate environmental assessment. Since June 2006, ECBC is subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act (CEAA). The Corporation has made investments in staff training to carry out its own environmental assessments and to ensure that all projects are assessed for environmental impact. Any identified mitigation measures are incorporated into the terms and conditions of the assistance agreement between ECBC and the applicant. In addition, ECBC continues to utilize the services of Public Works and Government Services Canada to carry out environmental impact assessments.

Through the terms and conditions of future assistance agreements between ECBC and applicants, the Corporation will encourage clients to examine energy costs and sustainability issues when carrying out capital projects.

The Corporation will continue to integrate sustainable development principles into its program delivery and internal operations.

3.3 Official Languages Act (OLA)

ECBC works to ensure compliance with the Official Languages Act (OLA). A close working relationship has been developed, and is maintained, with the minority language communities on Cape Breton. The Corporation employs bilingual officers who specifically serve the two Francophone communities on the Island. 
With regard to section 41 of the OLA, the Corporation also participates in the development of ACOA action plans that are produced in consultation with local community groups and province-wide Francophone associations. In accordance with recent amendments to the OLA, ECBC is developing program policies to ensure compliance with its obligation under section 41 to enhance the vitality of the linguistic minorities, to support their development, and to foster the full recognition and use of English and French. The Corporation has assigned an OLA champion who liaises with other Crown corporation OLA champions including Marine Atlantic Inc., Farm Credit Canada and the Canadian Tourism Commission, among others. 
3.4 Human Rights

ECBC employees and clients are entitled to have their dignity as human beings respected and to work in an environment free from intimidation, hostility or offensiveness. ECBC is committed to creating and maintaining a work/business environment that is free from harassment and discrimination on prohibited grounds. These prohibited grounds include age, race, colour, religion, creed, sex, nationality, ethnic or place of origin, citizenship, language, political belief, marital or family status, pregnancy, sexual orientation and disability. ECBC’s policies on human resource matters are regularly reviewed to ensure that ECBC remains an employer of choice on Cape Breton Island.


4.1 Economic Impacts

The impacts of a relatively high-valued Canadian dollar, fluctuations in energy prices, ongoing border security issues, as well as a slowing U.S. economy will result in ongoing adjustments for the Cape Breton economy during 2007. 

Cape Breton Economy

Economic restructuring continues to evolve in Cape Breton after the closure of the Island’s two major industries, coal and steel. Despite the closure of these industries, the Cape Breton economy has remained stable. The Government of Canada, through ECBC and the CBGF, has made investments in a number of sectors, and thereby helping to mitigate the negative impact of these closures. Employment in the tele-service industry has meant the addition of an estimated 3,300 jobs, as well as the creation of a significant amount of export revenue. Value-added manufacturing has been a growing segment of the economy, as has environmental remediation. Investments in various types of infrastructure, including telecommunications has helped to create a positive climate for investment in Cape Breton.

According to recent data releases, the overall economic indicators for the Cape Breton economy have been showing improvement.

Cape Breton’s annual unemployment rate was estimated at 13.1% in 2006. Continuing a downward trend in the unemployment rate, this is the lowest annual unemployment rate in decades, although still higher than the national and provincial averages of 6.3% and 7.9% respectively.  This is dramatically different from over a decade ago when the unemployment rate for Cape Breton reached 25.3% in 1993. Employment figures continue to show resiliency as the Island redefines itself. Employment on Cape Breton has exhibited long-term growth over the past 10 years.

The Cape Breton labour market has seen a major shift in employment trends over the last three decades. In 2006, the single largest segment of the economy was the service sector, which represents 82% of the workforce as indicated by the Labour Force Survey conducted by Statistics Canada. In 1987, the service sector made up 71% of the workforce. This sector comprises a number of different industry sectors, including tele-service, finance, educational services, and health care, among others. The tele-service industry employs more than 3,500 people on Cape Breton.The most recent income data available for the Island show growth in employment income per earner at a steady pace. Total earned income grew by 2.2% in 2004.

Despite a number of challenges including out-migration, the Cape Breton Island economy is making progress. It is successfully evolving from a goods-producing economy to one based on service. The future continues to look positive for Cape Breton. The Donkin Mine project is expected to move forward this year. The Government of Nova Scotia announced in December 2005, that Xstrata PLC, a Swiss multinational mining firm, was selected to revive the abandoned Donkin coal mine on the eastern coast of Cape Breton. It will be three or four years before the mine is operational, when it could employ 300 people. Xstrata will spend $15 million pumping water out of the mine in 2007, which will create short-term employment for a number of local companies.

It is expected that the remediation of the Sydney Tar Ponds will begin in 2007 and continue for at least nine years, at a cost of about $400 million. The remediation will create up to 150 construction jobs, providing opportunities for local, national and international companies. 

In December 2006, an announcement was made by European developers to build a resort community near Louisburg, Cape Breton. The $300-million development – Louisbourg Resort Golf and Spa – will be sited on 2,500 acres of land and will include up to 400 luxury homes along with an 18-hole championship golf course. Land clearance and home construction have already begun, and three kilometres of roads have been constructed. The first homes are expected to be ready for spring 2007, with the total project expected to last between five and six years.

4.2 Operational Impacts

ECBC employees have approached the Public Service Alliance of Canada (PSAC) with the view towards obtaining union certification.  An application has been submitted by PSAC to the Canada Industrial Relations Board on May 31, 2007.  The application will be processed in accordance with Canada Industrial Relation Board regulations.

4.3 The Planning Process

During the current planning process, it was recognized that the program activities identified in the 2006-2007 corporate plan were still relevant; therefore, a decision was made to engage in a narrowly focused consultation process. The consultation process consisted of:

• an environmental scan carried out by the ECBC Policy Unit;
• a review of ECBC's quarterly performance reports;
• consultation with ECBC's Board of Directors;
• a review of research carried out by the Corporation and the CBGF; and
• meetings with the public and private sectors.

Community consultations are an ongoing process for ECBC in its planning process. Meetings and consultations, both formal and informal, have taken place with a wide variety of stakeholders in the Cape Breton economy in order to determine the best direction for the Corporation to take. 

Government, business and community stakeholders are consulted on a regular basis in order to keep their concerns at the forefront of planning decisions for ECBC. Meetings were held throughout the year with regional development authorities and various municipal governments to ensure that they had input into the Corporation’s development policies, as well as with Aboriginal and Francophone communities on the Island.

The consultation process provided valuable information for the strategic direction of the Corporation.

The PAA is the structure of program activities upon which federal government organizations report expenditures and results to the Treasury Board and Parliament. The PAA identifies the strategic outcomes of the organization, describes the activities supporting these outcomes and how the organization is structured to manage them.  Each department’s PAA consists of two main elements: clearly defined and appropriate Strategic Outcome(s); and a complete program inventory that links all departmental programs and program activities so that they roll up to these Strategic Outcome(s). For ECBC, the PAA consists of a single Strategic Outcome: Community Economic Development that contributes to achievement of the Corporation’s mandate. 

Within the overall structure of the PAA, ECBC will focus its attention over the next five years on six areas of activity. They include Provision of Services for the Government of Canada, Support to Business, Support to Communities, Business Recruitment and Investment, Policy and Research, and Corporate Administration. Next year, ECBC will seek to amend its PAA to include property management, which is currently done under corporate administration.  

Additional information on ECBC’s activities can be found on the Corporation’s website at

Each of the program activities and sub-activities are discussed in turn. The discussions set out the key objective, the plans, activities and the expected results.

5.1 Provision of Services for the Government of Canada

The following has been established as the key objective for the Delivery/Service Agent for Government Services:

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

5.1.1 Program Sub-activities

Each of the programs expected to be delivered or supported by ECBC over the coming years are summarized below. Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)

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 entered into a Memorandum of Understanding under which ECBC delivers ACOA's programming for Cape Breton Island and the Mulgrave area. The MOU was renegotiated twice with ACOA, each time for additional five-year terms, the latest of which will remain in effect until April 1, 2010.

The delivery of ACOA programming on Cape Breton Island encompasses a significant portion of the Corporation's overall activities. Between April 2000 and January 2006, ECBC delivered $136 million in programming on behalf of ACOA, funding more than 717 projects.

The following programs and services are delivered by ECBC on behalf of ACOA.

• Business Development Program (BDP)
• Consultant Advisory Services (CAS)
• Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (MRIF)
• Community Futures Program
• Atlantic Investment Partnership (AIP)-Second Wave
- Investing in Innovation
- Investing in Communities
- Investing in People
- Investing in the Business climate

As a delivery agent for ACOA on Cape Breton Island, ECBC supports ACOA's structure of program activities. A more detailed account of ACOA's activities can be found in the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Estimates: Report on Plans and Priorities, which is available at Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation (CBGF)

Wind-up of the Cape Breton Growth Fund Corporation

The CBGF was incorporated in August 2000 as a wholly owned subsidiary of ECBC. Although a wholly owned subsidiary, Order-in-Council 2000-1341 – pursuant to Section 86(2) of the FAA – ordered that Part X of the FAA apply to the CBGF as if it were a parent Crown corporation, thus allowing a board of directors, independent of the ECBC, to be appointed by Order in Council.

The CBGF was established to administer the economic adjustment fund 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 (DEVCO). 

The CBGF is a transitional corporation designed to commence winding up its operations once the economic development funding is committed, or sooner if deemed appropriate by the Government of Canada.

The majority of funds from the CBGF have been invested and during this planning period ECBC will  embark on a process to transfer the assets and liabilities from CBGF to ECBC on or before March 31, 2008 and to dissolve the CBGF as soon as practical thereafter.  This date will coincide with the final audit to be performed at March 31, 2008, by the Office of the Auditor General of Canada.  This will facilitate a smooth and accurate transfer of balances.  Otherwise, there would be a need to consolidate ECBC and CBGF.  

5.2 Support to Business

The following has been established as the key objective for Support to Business:

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.

5.2.1 Program Sub-activities

ECBC pursues a broad range of strategies to assist small and medium-sized enterprises on Cape Breton Island. ECBC strategies complement other forms of economic development programming in the region. They include access to capital, e-commerce, entrepreneurship and business skills development initiatives. A brief description of each activity is provided below. Access to Capital

Access to capital remains an impediment to business growth on Cape Breton Island. Businesses continue to face a number of challenges due to a weak economic environment. This environment has dictated a market value for assets that is lower than that found in most regions of Nova Scotia. In particular, investments in Cape Breton present a higher level of risk for banks and other financial institutions, which has led them to limit their capital support. 

ECBC recognizes access to capital as an issue that needs to be addressed. Over the next five years, the Corporation will provide commercial enterprises with access to capital in various forms including, but not limited to, equity, secured and unsecured loans. Whenever possible, ECBC works in partnership with other funding bodies to leverage investment dollars. Through its funding partnerships (e.g. Service Canada, Nova Scotia Economic Development, the regional development authorities, the Rural Partnership and community business development corporations), ECBC has the ability to increase the availability of business capital/services in both the urban and rural areas around the Island. Assistance will be targeted at new start-ups, new entrepreneurs and at establishments, expansions and modernizations that have an export focus. Assistance will also be provided to commercial enterprises and associations engaged in export development activities. Human Resource Initiative

Lack of management experience is a large contributor to small business failures on Cape Breton Island. In an effort to address this problem, the Corporation will assist companies in hiring senior management personnel such as chief financial officers, in order to bring financial management expertise to new and growing companies. This initiative enhances the likelihood of firms succeeding in the medium to long-term, targeting companies with annual sales potential over $1 million.

ECBC works closely with a number of companies to make certain that the appropriate skill sets are in place to ensure sustainable economic growth. e-Commerce Initiative

One of the key recommendations in the study entitled, Knowledge-based Economy: Situational Analysis, commissioned by the CBGF, is that an initiative should be established to assist entrepreneurs or small businesses, to conduct e-business.  

Within a very short period, e-commerce has transformed the way business is conducted in every sector of the economy. Businesses that make investments in e-commerce reduce costs, increase efficiency, expand markets and are more service-oriented. Many are now incorporating e-commerce as an integral part of the business planning process. 

The e-Commerce Initiative assists local businesses adopt an Internet presence in the form of an informational website and/or fully functional e-commerce website. The websites allow business to do more sophisticated marketing and merchandising, ultimately resulting in more revenues and jobs. The websites build a strong technology infrastructure, giving businesses on Cape Breton Island a competitive edge by making locally produced products more accessible to international markets. The initiative is available to a number of sectors on Cape Breton.

The Corporation has dedicated a full-time staff member to work on this initiative.

During 2006, ECBC commissioned a cost-benefit analysis of the e-Commerce Initiative. The study concluded that every one dollar spent on e-commerce generates $50.70 in sales.

Over the coming year, the Corporation will continue to assist local businesses to adopt an Internet presence in the form of an informational website and/or fully functional e-commerce website. Entrepreneurship

The majority of businesses in Cape Breton are SMEs. According to business registry data from Statistics Canada, almost 90% of companies on Cape Breton Island have fewer than 20 employees. ECBC recognizes the vital role that small business plays in the economy of Cape Breton and continues to encourage entrepreneurship development. 

ECBC supports the work of the Cape Breton YMCA Entrepreneurship Centre. Through ACOA programming, the Corporation provides assistance to the Centre to hire financial expertise to deliver a financial management support program. This program is available to new entrepreneurs and existing businesses that are struggling with financial management issues and unable to afford the services of a professional chartered accountant. The objective of this program is to increase the success rate of businesses on Cape Breton Island.

Through its role as a delivery agent, ECBC contributes financial assistance to women in business to strengthen their capacity to start and operate a business. The Corporation also provides support to the Open for Business site on the Eskasoni First Nation. The site provides information and counselling on the "how to" and "next steps" for anyone who wants to start, improve or expand a business. 

Over the coming year, the Corporation will continue to support activities related to entrepreneurship development including business skills development, business counselling and mentoring.

Expected Results – Support to Business

Annual Targets*

Five-year Targets
2007-2008 to 2011-2012

60 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs**        

400 full-time equivalent (FTE) jobs**

$5 million in leveraged funds     

$25 million in leveraged funds

$2 million in new export sales    

$10 million in new export sales

Assist 10 companies through the
e-Commerce Initiative

Assist 50 companies through the
e-Commerce Initiative

*Companies assisted by ECBC
** This includes FTEs created as a result of ECBC activities under Support to Business and Support to Communities.

5.3 Support to Communities

The following has been established as the key objective for Support to Communities:

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

5.3.1 Program Sub-activities

The driving force behind ECBC’s support to communities is to encourage sustainable economic activity within communities. ECBC continues to maintain a presence in many communities around the Island through its rural visits and its satellite office in Port Hawkesbury. Community Capacity Building

The Corporation works closely with a number of community economic development organizations to achieve the specific economic development goals identified and spearheaded by the communities. Community capacity building affects all aspects of community life. It places emphasis on the existing strengths and abilities inherent in each community.

Activities range from developing and implementing overall strategies for economic development to supporting new business ventures, skill development activities, as well as new and improved community infrastructure. ECBC will work collectively with community groups to identify specific community infrastructure projects that assist the community in creating an environment supportive of commercial activity. This activity will assist the community project to become more sustainable, thus decreasing its reliance on government for support. Festival and Events Initiative

The Corporation recognizes the importance of the tourism industry as an economic driver for the Cape Breton economy. In an effort to increase tourism revenues in the peak and shoulder seasons, the Corporation supports a number of initiatives that target the tourism sector. One such initiative is the Festival and Events Initiative, which is designed to build capacity and provide a quality tourism product enhancing both the tourism and arts and culture sectors on the Island. The Corporation launched the Festival and Events Initiative in fiscal year 2002-2003. Since that time, ECBC has provided approximately $1 million in funding assistance to 290 festival and events throughout Cape Breton and Mulgrave area. The Corporation will target 80 festivals and events during 2007-2008. Convention and Sporting Events Initiative

Areas that provide potential for growth during the “off-season” include the meetings and conventions travel market, as well as sporting events. To capitalize on the growth opportunities in these areas, the Corporation will continue to provide support to sporting and convention events that demonstrate potential to generate significant economic benefits for the area, particularly in the off-season. Preference will be given to activities that attract registrants from national and international markets. Cape Breton Business Partnership

In the 2004-2005 to 2008-2009, it was stated that the Corporation would support the establishment of a business partnership modeled on the Greater Halifax Partnership, a partnership between business and government that shares the responsibility for the economic development of the region.

During 2004-2005, the formation of this business partnership came to fruition with the support of ECBC and ACOA. The Cape Breton Business Partnership is a private-sector-led initiative that focuses on issues related to image and tourism marketing, youth entrepreneurship, community development and investment promotion for the benefit of strengthening the economy of Cape Breton. A board of directors, drawn from the private sector and educators, governs the partnership. The board facilitates and encourages ongoing dialogue with government.

Over the next year, the Corporation will continue to support the efforts of the Cape Breton Business Partnership. The Partnership will provide a focused and unified approach to economic growth by helping to create new opportunities and sustainable economic development for Cape Breton. Aboriginal Community Development

Cape Breton has the largest population of First Nation peoples in Nova Scotia. ECBC works in partnership with a number of First Nation communities on Cape Breton toward the achievement of economic development initiatives. The Corporation, through its programs, makes investments in Aboriginal businesses and communities. All investments are directed to the priority areas identified by Aboriginal business owners and community stakeholders, including areas such as entrepreneurship and business skills development, and infrastructure development, as well as improvements in productivity, expansion of markets, innovation and financing. 

Over the next five years, the Corporation will continue to work in partnership with First Nation communities on Cape Breton to help ensure the economic viability of these communities.

Expected Results – Support to Communities

Annual Targets

Five-year Targets
2007-2008 to 2011-2012

$500,000 in leveraged funds

$2.5 million in leveraged funds

Through the Festival and Events Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue

Through the Festival and Events Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue

Through the Convention and Sporting Events  Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue 

Through the Convention and Sporting Events  Initiative, increase the number of off-Island visitors and assist in increasing overall tourism revenue

5.4 Business Recruitment and Investment

The following has been established as the key objective for Investment:

To attract new business investment to Cape Breton Island.

5.4.1 Program Sub-activities

While local enterprises have an important role to play in the generation of wealth through exports, other complementary avenues, such as new business investment, can bring much needed economic benefits and skills to the area. Promotional Activities

Over the next five years, the Corporation will provide support to investment activities, primarily through targeted promotional campaigns and the production of investment-related promotional material. It is important that accurate, factual information about the business climate and lifestyle of Cape Breton Island be available to ensure that decision makers, investors and individuals are aware of investment opportunities.

Expected Results – Business Recruitment and Investment

Annual Targets

Five-year Targets
2007-2008 to 2011-2012

$2 million in new investment on Cape Breton Island  

$10 million in new investment on Cape Breton Island  

5.5 Policy and Research

The following has been established as the key objective for Policy and Research:

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

5.5.1 Program Sub-activities

ECBC’s activities, under the Policy and Research strategic activity, will be formulated based on input from economic development stakeholders and on findings and knowledge from an accumulation of completed research and consultations.

ECBC maintains a forward-looking research plan that encourages the participation of outside interests on working groups. This approach will 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.

Activities related to Policy and Research will include research that is internally driven, research that is carried out with external partners, and attendance at various seminars relating to economic development policy. In the coming year, it is expected that research will be carried out in a number of areas including economic analysis, sector and issue analysis, and planning and performance management. Specific initiatives include:

• an update of customized data the Policy unit purchases from Statistics Canada, including Labour Force Data, Small Area and Administrative Data, Business Register Data, Population Projections and other data, as required; and
• initiation of research identified throughout the year and being necessary to support the Corporation’s mandate.  

Expected Results – Policy and Research

Annual Targets

Five-year Targets
2007-2008 to 2011-2012

4-6 research studies (dependent upon individual study costs) that help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs

20-30 research studies (dependent upon individual study costs) that help provide a sound basis for the Corporation’s policy priorities and programs

5.6 Corporate Administration

The following has been established as the key objective for Corporate Administration:

To ensure that resources are used effectively and efficiently and to ensure that administrative systems and services are in place, to enhance management decision-making, managerial accountability and operational controls.

5.6.1 Program Sub-activities

Corporate administration includes a wide array of administrative activities that support ECBC programs and management. Program sub-activities included under Corporate Administration include:
• Operations
• Communications
• Finance
• Information Management
• Human Resources
• Internal Audit
• Policy and Planning Subsidiaries/Operations

To consolidate real property management, ECBC reactivated DARR in 2003 as a real estate holding company, in order to 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 all ECBC board meetings.

In March 2003, ECBC purchased the Silicon Island Art and Innovation Centre (for the purchase price of $1.00) and MacDonald House (for the purchase price of $208,000). In May 2005, ECBC relocated its offices to Silicon Island. Over the next five years, the Corporation will continue to undertake regular maintenance and upgrades to Silicon Island, as needed, to ensure that the building is kept up to building code standards.

ECBC also operates, through DARR, the Point Edward Resource Centre and the Port Hawkesbury Business Facility.

Point Edward Resource Centre: The facility was purchased by ECBC’s predecessor, the Industrial Development Division of the Cape Breton Development Corporation (DEVCO), in fiscal 1978-1979. During 2004-2005, the Corporation listed a portion of the Point Edward facility for sale. Although there has been interest expressed in the property, it has not been sold. Over the coming year, the Corporation will continue its efforts to find a buyer for the property.

The Port Hawkesbury Facility: Constructed in 1988, the Port Hawkesbury facility is a standard industrial park-style structure. This building offers office, storage and warehouse space.

Over the coming year, DARR will complete a mass transfer of properties from DEVCO. In 2002-2003, ECBC entered into an MOU with DEVCO to transfer properties with economic development potential from DEVCO to ECBC. Communications

ECBC’s Communications unit is a service provider within the administrative structure of the Corporation. Its purpose is to support and advance the Corporation’s objective, that is, to provide employment and to broaden the base of the economy.

The unit’s objective is three fold:

• to increase the public’s understanding of the Corporation’s role, its activities and why its work is necessary;
• to effectively communicate, both internally and externally, the progress being made in the effort to “broaden the economic base” of Cape Breton Island; and
• to work in collaboration with the other units of the Corporation to address (plan and co-ordinate) their communications needs. Finance

The primary work of the Finance unit is to provide financial oversight and advice to ensure that the Corporation makes the best possible use of its assets.

The Finance unit is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of the Corporation’s accounting systems and procedures. It provides all accounting, reporting and financial internal control services for the Corporation. The unit is the primary contact with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada. Information Management and Technology Services

In 2004-2005, ECBC entered into a MOU with ACOA for the provision of Managed Information Management and Technology Services (IMTS). Under this agreement, ACOA assumes the responsibility for the management of IMT infrastructure services for ECBC. The cost of this service, on an annual basis, is $72,500. 

This partnership in service delivery represents a rationalization of services between both organizations, resulting in cost savings for the Government of Canada. The MOU is in line with the Government of Canada’s objective to improve value-for-money for taxpayer investments.
Proactive Disclosure 

In December 2003, the Government of Canada released guidelines with respect to the posting of travel and hospitality expenses of senior executives of government departments and government agencies. In October 2005, guidelines were released for the disclosure of the awarding of Grants and Contributions.

As a Crown corporation, these directives do not apply to ECBC; however, in the interest of good governance and transparency, ECBC has voluntarily chosen to disclose, via its website, both travel and hospitality expenses for its relevant executives and project information, which include all of the assistance types, while respecting issues related to privacy and confidentiality.

Government On-Line

The Corporation is participating in the federal Government On-Line (GOL) initiative. ECBC, via its MOU with ACOA for the provision of IMTS, has been able to take advantage of the secure channel infrastructure and services provided by the Government of Canada. In addition to providing a more secure infrastructure for ECBC’s internal network, the service also provides a secure transactional environment, which ECBC has been able to utilize to deliver its on-line services.

The first of these services, which allows ECBC’s clients to perform project inquiries and submit claims on-line in a secure environment, was launched in fiscal 2005-2006. In the future, enhancements to this service may include secure on-line application submission. Human Resources

Internally, ECBC is divided into a number of administrative units that report to the Chief Executive Officer. These include:

• Commercial Programs
• Development
• Internal Audit
• Access to Information
• Corporate Services
• Operations
• Communications

In accordance with the Corporation’s commitment to lifelong learning, employees are asked to prepare individualized training plans on a yearly basis. Training is offered in a number of areas including French language skills, annual professional development for the Corporation’s Certified Accountants, university-level courses, leadership, corporate governance, life planning and retirement, and workplace health and safety.

ECBC’s human resource development initiatives address both current and long-term needs of the organization. The board of directors regularly reviews human resource policies. It has adopted a management succession plan and – through a combination of recruitment, workplace training and special assignments – it provides an orderly transition of vital responsibilities within the organization should current staff move on or retire. Internal Audit/Audit Committee

ECBC’s Internal Audit unit works in conjunction with the Office of the Auditor General of Canada, which is the official auditor for the Corporation. As part of its commitment to improvements to the internal functioning of the Corporation, ECBC continues to incorporate an internal audit function, the principal objectives of which are to:

• assist management in achieving and maintaining efficiency and effectiveness in its operations with due regard to economy;
• report the degree of compliance with established policies, plans and procedures, applicable laws and regulations; and
• review control over assets and expenditures.

The board’s Audit Committee oversees the Internal Audit unit. The Audit Committee comprises four outside directors, one of whom acts as Chair. An annual operational plan, which outlines the major internal audit work to be completed in each year, is presented to the committee for approval. Regular updates on the status of the plan are made to the committee throughout the year. Policy and Planning

The Corporate Services unit is responsible for ensuring that policies and procedures of the Corporation are adhered to. It also provides recommendations with regard to new policies as needed. The unit is the primary contact with the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat. It directly liaises with the Treasury Board Secretariat during the corporate planning process and is responsible for preparing budgets and other financial information required in the preparation of the plan.


ECBC will undertake a variety of activities in its sectors of interest. These activities are described in detail in the next section. Over the past five years, the CBGF commissioned sector strategies for the oil and gas, tourism and knowledge-based sectors. While the strategies provided a focus for the CBGF in terms of the interventions required to assist in the development of the sector, they also serve as a guide for ECBC in terms of its involvement. ECBC has also carried out its own research in a number of sectors that will direct the Corporation’s efforts.

6.1 Tourism

Thirty years ago, the tourism industry on Cape Breton Island was underdeveloped, with few attractions and little choice of accommodation. In recent years, the industry has matured significantly and recognized as one of the more viable and growing sectors of the Cape Breton economy.

A number of studies guide ECBC’s direction in the tourism sector. In 2003-2004, a tourism "road map" was completed for Cape Breton. The road map is an aggressive strategy to develop and grow the tourism industry. The road map serves as a guide for ECBC in terms of its involvement in the tourism sector. 
In 2003-2004, ECBC initiated an accommodations needs assessment, which provided a number of recommendations for future investments in this area.

6.2 Knowledge-based Industry

The knowledge-based industry sector, in particular, information technology and multimedia, is relatively new to Cape Breton. Over the past decade, it has shown promising prospects.

ECBC has been involved with the sector from the beginning, supporting the start up and expansion of firms, as well as investing in infrastructure to foster the development of the sector.

The CBGF commissioned the report, Knowledge-Based Economy Situational Analysis and Cape Breton Growth Fund Strategy. This report recommended three key action plans to address these challenges: “Invest in Infrastructure” that addresses the lack of a presence of the industry and the remote location of the region; “Enable Sector Growth” that sets forth some guidelines designed to foster growth in the sector; and, “Build a Culture of Innovation” that involves embedding the ‘new economy’ into Cape Breton. The study serves to guide ECBC with regard to investments in the sector.

Knowledge-based industries worldwide have experienced an economic downturn. The recovery of the industry has been slow, particularly for Cape Breton. The biggest challenges for this sector are access to capital and infrastructure support. Over the next five years, the Corporation will use its resources to provide access to capital to knowledge-based businesses on Cape Breton.  Assistance will be targeted at new start-ups, new entrepreneurs and establishments, expansions and modernizations that have an export focus. 

The Corporation will also work in partnership with Cape Breton University, as well as the Marconi and Strait Area campuses of the Nova Scotia Community College, to ensure that the critical skills and infrastructure are available to support industry growth and to foster a culture of innovation. Environmental remediation presents a relatively new area of opportunity for Cape Breton companies. Years of heavy industrial activity have left an environmental legacy in Cape Breton that requires serious attention. Three major projects, the Muggah Creek Watershed Clean-up Project, the DEVCO decommissioning and the SYSCO decommissioning, account for the vast majority of environmental remediation work. Over the next five years, by way of an advocacy role, the Corporation will promote opportunities for ECBC in the environmental cleanup of these sites.

Also over the next five years, the Corporation will concentrate on the following activities with respect to the knowledge-based sector.

Support to Business

• Facilitate continuous improvements in infrastructure that enable and strengthen product development and commercialization (e.g. incubation facilities).
• Leverage and support private sector investment for start-ups and expansions.
• Leverage and support private sector investment in e-Commerce and wireless initiatives.
• Leverage and support private sector investment in software development, animation, data storage, the service industry and broadband.
• Provide support to educational and best management practice initiatives.
• Assist companies in hiring senior management personnel such as chief financial officers, senior marketing personnel, senior technical and other professionals.
• Support opportunities in the area of life sciences.
• Assist knowledge-based businesses in e-business initiatives.


• Support industry networks to bring together individuals and companies, educational institutions, government and other partners with similar interests.
• Promote opportunities for ECBC in the environmental cleanup of the Tar Ponds and Coke Ovens Sites.

6.3 Manufacturing and Processing

The manufacturing and processing sector continues to play a key role in Cape Breton Island’s economy. Many businesses are currently employing new technologies to help adapt to change and create new capacity.  That being said, the sector is still in its infancy and needs to be strengthened.  There remains opportunity for growth in this sector, particularly through value-added initiatives and the commercialization of new products.

Over the next five years, the Corporation will focus its attention on the following activities with respect to the manufacturing sector.

Support to Business

• Support opportunities for cluster development in automotive manufacturing.
• Support manufacturing in the area of pharmaceuticals, metal, composites and mineral products.
• Assist businesses in e-business initiatives.
• Assist companies in hiring senior management personnel such as chief financial officers, senior marketing personnel, senior technical and other professionals.
• Target higher end jobs (i.e. $35,000 and higher).

6.4 Natural Resources

Established resource industries such as agriculture and aquaculture continue to play a major role in Cape Breton Island’s economy. 

In addition to the more traditional resource-based industries, a relatively new area of resource development for Cape Breton is oil and gas. Nova Scotia’s offshore holds potential as demonstrated by the Sable Offshore Energy Project. As the industry grows, there will be opportunities for Cape Breton companies to participate in this sector through conventional contracting and supply, support functions such as engineering and project management, offshore supply-base activities and the possible development of a petrochemical industry.

The Corporation will focus its attention on the following activities with respect to the resource sector that includes agriculture, aquaculture, and oil and gas.

Support to Business

• Leverage and support private sector investment related to potato and other product grading, cold storage and irrigation systems, shellfish and finfish initiatives, as well as infrastructure development in the oil and gas sector.
• Support companies in the oil and gas industry to obtain ISO 9000 certification so they can be eligible for contracts.
• Assist businesses in e-business initiatives.
• Assist companies in hiring senior management personnel such as chief financial officers, senior marketing personnel, senior technical and other professionals.
• Support opportunities for value-added food, wood and other products.


• Promote Cape Breton Island in an effort to attract oil and gas industry proponents including producers, suppliers and fabricators.
• Foster co-operation/collaboration between government, research institutions, educational institutions and the private sector.
• Work with private sector and labour to help them become more active participants in the emerging oil and gas sector.
• Provide information about Cape Breton Island to firms interested in the development of Nova Scotia’s offshore oil and gas reserves and the utilization of natural gas.


7.1 Project Monitoring

The Corporation monitors projects on a regular basis. Project monitoring is intended to objectively assess and record a client's progress toward achieving expected results. It enables the Corporation to assess the overall progress of a project to ensure that the Government of Canada is receiving value for its money.

Monitoring for commercial (individual, sole proprietorship, partnership, co-operative and a body corporate) and non-commercial projects (a non-for-profit organization or association) also involves assessing a client’s operational performance on an ongoing basis. Increased awareness of the project status enables the Corporation to introduce whatever means or interventions are necessary in order to ensure that the project achieves its greatest success.

Over the past year, the Corporation has monitored an estimated 276 commercial projects, as well as 437 non-commercial projects.

7.2 Performance Management

A performance management framework was developed by ECBC, in consultation with the Treasury Board Secretariat, in fiscal year 2000-2001.

Through this corporate planning process, the Corporation brings forward a clearly defined link between the Corporation’s mandate, mission and program activities. This link has been accomplished by establishing objectives for each of the program activities along with specifying key results to be accomplished throughout the year. Through the performance management framework, the mechanisms (data collection) for reporting against the objectives have been established and are being implemented. This corporate plan sets out the roles and responsibilities and the resource allocation for program delivery.

ECBC has in place, a results-based, performance-evaluation framework. Establishing plans and priorities and expected results for the Corporation’s program activities through the planning process is the necessary first step to a results-based evaluation. The performance monitoring and evaluation exercise serves to:

• verify that the Corporation is achieving what it set out to achieve;
• provide feedback on corporate goals and outcomes for management planning; and
• provide a basis for public reporting and accountability.

7.2.1 Reporting

ECBC uses two methods to report performance outcomes.

• A quarterly report to the Board of Directors provides an account of how the organization is achieving its performance objectives to date.
• An annual report that measures the Corporation’s performance against its objectives. The ECBC annual report won the Auditor General’s 2005 Award for Excellence in Annual Reporting by Crown Corporations in the smaller corporation’s category. The Corporation had been runner-up for the award for two years consecutively before winning.

The performance management framework established for ECBC requires that the Corporation report on:
• achievements against expected results;
• where and how investments are being made; and
• program activities and sub-activities.

Reporting achievements against expected results simply means that the performance management exercise is expected to verify that the Corporation is achieving what it set out to achieve.

Another purpose established by the performance management framework for reporting on results is to provide feedback on the Corporation’s goals and outcomes for management planning. Certainly one aspect of this is an examination of achievements against expected results, but the Corporation should also understand where and how its investments are being made. Information, with respect to where program support is being directed, is tracked and reported against the following:

• number of projects funded and the average project size;
• number of jobs created and the average amount of assistance per job created;
• amount of other monies leveraged as a result of program support;
• ratio of commercial to non-commercial projects;
• ratio of repayable contributions to non-repayable contributions;
• number of projects with an export focus;
• number of new start-ups;
• number of new entrepreneurs; and
• value of total commitments by industry sector.

In its quarterly reporting, ECBC includes a section that describes the non-quantifiable activities undertaken by the Corporation as they relate to each of the strategic activities.

In addition to reports regarding ECBC programming, information is contained concerning all ACOA programs.

Canada Search Help Home French