Archived - Supplementary Document to the Department's 2009-10 Report on Plans and Priorities (RPP) Regarding Implementation of the 2007-09 SDS

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Goal 1:
Fiscal Sustainability and a High Standard of Living for Future Generations
Objective Target (2007-09) Activities anticipated
within the coming year (09-10)
1a: Promote fiscal sustainability by reducing Canada's debt burden 1a.1: Continue to pursue the Government's Debt Repayment Plan to ensure the federal debt-to-GDP (gross domestic product) ratio remains on a permanent downward track. The global economic downturn has significantly changed Canada's economic and fiscal outlook. To stimulate economic growth, Canada has joined international efforts to provide sizable fiscal stimulus.

The Government has designed its Economic Action Plan to concentrate new spending in 2009-10 and 2011-12, when the economy is expected to be weakest. In order to ensure that the government's fiscal position remains structurally sound, stimulus spending is temporary. It is projected that the overwhelming majority of new spending ends in 2011-12.

As a result, while the economic slowdown and the Action Plan to mitigate it will result in a modest rise in the debt ratio over the next three years, the Government's Plan also ensures that the debt-to-GDP ratio will return to a declining trend by 2011-12.


1b: Keep abreast of long-run economic and fiscal issues and prospects 1b.1: Conduct research and analysis concerning the economic and fiscal implications of population aging and other long-term economic challenges. Research on the economic and fiscal implications of population aging is ongoing.

The research agenda on productivity and its drivers will continue, as productivity will become the main source of living standards improvements in years to come. Research output will be shared with other government stakeholders working on population aging and is likely to be presented in academic forums.


1b.2: Conduct analysis of the sustainability of Canada's fiscal position, including that of the provinces and territories.


Analysis of Canada's long-run fiscal sustainability is ongoing. The Department will continue to develop the methodologies underlying its long-run projection models in order to assess the long-run economic and fiscal challenges in Canada.


1c: Develop and support policies and measures that promote the long-run sustainability of Canada's economy. 1c.1: Provide analysis and advice to the Minister on possible changes to Canada's tax system to ensure it supports a competitive and productive economy. The Department of Finance will continue to evaluate possible options for Budgets as well as other changes to tax legislation consistent with Advantage Canada commitments. This would include options to reduce personal income taxes and make work pay for low- and modest-income individuals, make Canada a better place for highly skilled workers to live and work, make it more rewarding for Canadians to invest in skills and knowledge, and help Canadians save for their futures. The Department will also continue to evaluate possible options to further foster a competitive business tax system to encourage new investment and support productivity growth and job creation in Canada. These options will include:
  • Continuing to reduce personal income taxes to make the tax system fairer and to attract and retain highly skilled workers, who are key to Canada's future economic competitiveness.
  • Further improving Canada's business tax competitiveness by:
    • Encouraging the harmonization of the remaining provincial retail sales taxes with the GST.
    • Seeking the collaboration of provinces to reach a 25 per cent combined federal-provincial statutory corporate income tax rate.

The Department will also continue to publish its annual Tax Expenditures and Evaluation Report in which tax measures are benchmarked and evaluated.


Goal 2:
Strong Social Foundations
Objective Target (2007-09) Activities anticipated within the coming year (09-10)
2a: Ensure stable and predictable funding for health and social programs 2a.1: Implement a new legislative funding framework for the Canada Social Transfer (CST). This target was met in 2007-08.

Budget 2007 put the Canada Social Transfer on a long-term, predictable, growing path ensuring stable funding for social programs:

  • funding framework legislated through 2013-14;
  • cash levels increased for 2007-08 and 2008-09;
  • automatic 3 percent escalator applies as of 2009-10;
  • cash allocated on an equal per capita basis;
  • notional allocations provided for social programs, post-secondary education and programs for children to increase transparency of federal support.

In 2007-08, the Department prepared and implemented required legislative and regulatory changes, reflecting Budget 2007 commitments. The Department worked with provinces and territories to ensure smooth implementation of the changes.

Budget 2009 proposes changes to the Canada Health Transfer (CHT) to ensure fairness for all provinces. Pending passage of the Budget Implementation Act, 2009 officials will work with the provinces and territories to ensure smooth implementation of these changes.

In 2009-10, the Department will focus on providing timely, accurate payments to provinces and territories. Communications activities will continue in 2009-10 to improve awareness and understanding of the program.


2b: Reduce fiscal disparities through Equalization and Territorial Formula Financing programs 2b.1: New formulas for Equalization and TFF will be developed in consultation with provincial and territorial governments. This target was met in 2007-08.

Budget 2007 implemented a strengthened Equalization program to reduce fiscal disparities that reflects the following:

  • a formula-based, simplified program;
  • a higher, 10-province standard;
  • legislated through 2013-14.

Budget 2007 also returned TFF to a formula-based approach that recognizes the different circumstances in each of the three territories, and provides improved incentives to encourage territorial economic development. The TFF program is also legislated through 2013-14.

In 2007-08, the Department prepared and implemented required legislative and regulatory changes, reflecting Budget 2007 commitments and the recommendations of the Expert Panel on Equalization and TFF. Further, the Department worked with provinces and territories to ensure smooth implementation of the changes.

Pending passage of the Budget Implementation Act 2009, in 2009-10, additional changes will be made to the Equalization program to ensure sustainability and fairness. Specifically, Budget 2009 proposes to:

  • legislate the program to grow in line with the economy;
  • set a new fiscal capacity cap to ensure that receiving provinces will continue to get a fair net fiscal benefit from their resources;
  • establish a floor level consistent with the growth in the program to protect provinces against reductions in overall Equalization; and
  • provide transition payments for 2009-10 to ensure that the payments to provinces qualifying for Equalization in 2009-10 are no lower than the amounts they received in the previous year.

The Department will prepare the required regulatory changes and once the Budget Implementation Act, 2009 receives Royal Assent, official will work with the provinces to ensure smooth implementation of these changes.

In 2009-10 the Department will also focus on providing timely, accurate payments to provinces and territories. Communications activities will continue in 2009-10 to improve awareness and understanding of the programs. 


2c: Ensure the sustainability of the retirement income system 2c.1: Complete the next Canada Pension Plan triennial review. FPT Ministers had preliminary discussions about the state of the Canada Pension Plan at their December 17, 2008 meeting with a view to completing their statutory review of the Plan in 2009.

The Department of Finance will support FPT Ministers in concluding their statutory review in 2009 and in implementing in a timely manner any decisions that may come out of the review by:

  • undertaking analysis of contribution rates, benefits and plan finances with the provinces, Human Resources and Social Development Canada, and the Chief Actuary of the CPP; and
  • providing advice to Ministers on potential changes.


Goal 3:
Integrating Sustainable Development Considerations into Policy Making
Objective Target (2007-09) Activities anticipated within the coming year (09-10)
3a: Evaluate the potential for the use of economic instruments as a policy tool for addressing environmental issues


3a.1: Examine potential changes to the tax system to assist the Government in meeting its environmental objectives, including proposals received from responsible policy departments and external stakeholders.


The Department will continue to evaluate proposals concerning potential environment-related tax measures in consultation with other government departments and stakeholders, including taxpayers, industry associations and environmental organizations. The Framework for Evaluation of Environmental Tax Proposals, published in the 2005 federal budget, sets out general policy considerations that may be taken into account in the assessment of potential tax measures aimed at furthering environmental goals.

The Department will work to enact the modifications announced in Budget 2007 and Budget 2008 to broaden the eligibility criteria of the accelerated capital cost allowance for clean energy generation equipment (Class 43.1/43.2). In addition, the Department will continue to review potential tax measures that could encourage investment in environmentally-friendly investment. As noted in Budget 2009, the Department will consult with stakeholders to identify specific assets used in carbon capture and storage with a view to providing accelerated capital cost allowance (CCA) in respect of such investments.


3a.2: Update the Catalogue of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Taxes on Energy Consumption and Transportation in Canada. The Department originally prepared the Catalogue of Federal, Provincial and Territorial Taxes on Energy Consumption and Transportation in Canadain 2001. As part of the 2007-09 SDS, the Department has undertaken to review all current federal/provincial/territorial measures contained in the Catalogue, to bring the information up-to-date as of June 2008. The Department will be consulting provinces/territories with the goal of publishing the Catalogue in 2009.


3b: Increased knowledge and awareness of environmental and broader sustainable development issues within the department 3b.1: Organize at least one speaker annually on an issue related to sustainable development.


To increase knowledge and awareness of sustainable development issues, the Department will organize at least one session with an external speaker in 2009-10 on a sustainable development topic.


3b.2: Develop "tip sheet" for employees on sustainable development.


To improve understanding of sustainable development, the Department developed a "tip sheet" on sustainable development. It was made available to all employees on Infosite in December 2007.


3b.3: Conduct research and analysis on environmental and natural resource issues.


To increase awareness and understanding of current environmental and natural resource issues within the Department, research and analysis on these issues will continue to be conducted on an ongoing basis.


3c: Effective implementation of the Cabinet Directive on the Environmental Assessment of Policy, Plan and Program Proposals 3c.1: Review the departmental process for implementing the Cabinet directive.


The Department conducted an internal review on the Department's procedures for conducting Strategic Environmental Assessments (SEAs) in the Spring and Summer of 2007. The findings and recommendations from the review were approved by the Departmental Coordinating Committee in October 2007. The main recommendation, to reorganize and streamline the Department's SEA questionnaire and related guidance, was implemented by November 2007.


3c.2: Develop web page for Department of Finance public statements on SEA.


A web page has been developed for public statements on SEAs. It has been accessible from the public Finance website since May 2008.


Goal 4:
Integrating Sustainable Development Considerations Into the Economy
Objective Target (2007-09) Activities anticipated within the coming year (09-10)
4a: Encourage high quality reporting on corporate social responsibility in the Public Accountability Statements. 4a.1: Maintain and broaden the dialogue with stakeholders The Department will monitor federally-regulated financial reporting in their annual Public Accountability Statements issued by, particularly with regards to corporate social responsibility issues. The Department will continue to dialogue with federally-regulated financial institutions and stakeholders, as initiated in recent years, to encourage continuous improvements in CSR reporting.


  4a.2: Participate in domestic and international conferences/seminars related to CSR. The Department will continue to attend conferences and events that increase knowledge of international environmental practices as they relate to the financial sector with a view to use this increased knowledge in the discussions with the industry.


Goal 5:
Demonstrating the Department's Commitment to Sustainable Development in Operations
Objective Target (2007-09) Activities anticipated within the coming year (09-10)
5a: Reduced energy use. 5a.1: Energy conservation program – Decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 5 percent in L'Esplanade Laurier (LEL) based on fiscal year 2005-06 baseline through the development and implementation of an energy conservation plan and awareness campaign to explore and facilitate energy efficiency opportunities for LEL and other occupied buildings.


A lighting retrofit at L'Esplanade Laurier (LEL), including the installation of motion sensors, is expected to be completed by PWGSC before March 31, 2009. User procedures will be developed concurrently and will be communicated to all employees. Additional conservation initiatives (such as rationalizing plug load and reducing the number of space heaters) will also be pursued in the coming year to help us meet our 5% GHG reduction target at LEL based on 2005-2006 utility figures.
5b: Improved solid waste management. 5b.1: Update recycling program at L'Esplanade Laurier – Divert 75 percent of waste through the redesign and implementation of an updated recycling program, including improvement to take-back and hazardous materials programs.


Continue to recycle glass, plastics, paper as well as CDs/DVDs/floppies/ZIP/JAZZ, batteries, various plastics, toner cartridges and inkjet cartridges as well as wood pallets.


5b.2: Composting program – Develop and implement a composting program. Opportunities could include hand paper towels and food waste.


Continue to compost hand paper towels.

Continue to divert pulverized paper into horse litter which eventually is composted.

5c: Improved environmental performance of departmental vehicles. 5c.1: Reduce GHG emissions – Will reduce GHG emissions per vehicle kilometre from the departmental fleet by 15 per cent based on 2005-06 fleet composition baseline. Given that all of our vehicles are in accordance with the TBS Executive Feet Management policy, we will ensure that all new vehicles purchased are also in accordance with the TBS Executive Fleet Management Policy.


5c.2: Maximize use of ethanol – 90 per cent of gasoline purchased for federal road vehicles will be ethanol-blended. Fin/TBS/CPSA drivers will be provided with direction and resources in order to ensure that ethanol-based fuels are purchased whenever possible in order to meet our 90% ethanol blended gasoline target.
5c.3: Green and defensive driver training – All drivers will be provided green and defensive driver training.


As all drivers have completed the training, we will now ensure that any driver personnel changes will get the requisite training.


5d: Green procurement 5d.1: Green procurement tracking – will adjust procurement tracking and reporting to include green procurement (collaboratively with a number of departments and agencies).


To meet our objective to facilitate tracking a reporting on green procurement, training for procurement, materiel, and buyer personnel on the use of the green procurement field in the Integrated Financial and Materiel System (IFMS) should be developed by April 2009.


  5d.2: Multi-function document manager pilot program – Develop a pilot for equipment that would reduce the need for a separate networked photocopier, printer, colour printer and scanner (and possibly fax machine).


In support of our multi-function document manager commitment, we expect to quantify the results of the one year multi-function document manager pilot (TBS – Pensions and Benefits) and evaluate the costs and benefits of utilizing this technology more broadly.


  5d.3: Green furniture purchases – Corporate Services Branch will increase purchases of green office furniture from 2005-06 levels by 50 percent where and whenever new fit-up opportunities exist, and where current design configuration permits.


To meet our target of increasing green office furniture purchasing by 50% we will continue to ensure that facilities management and procurement personnel use the mandatory Standing Offer Agreements (SOA) for furniture established by PWGSC (the SOAs have environmental considerations built into them).


  5d.4: Develop and deliver green procurement training to 100 per cent of materiel managers and procurement staff by 2008, as well as 60 percent of acquisition cardholders by 2009.


As all material and procurement personnel have taken green procurement training, we now will seek to ensure that new personnel also get the requisite training.

Ensure that at least sixty percent (60%) of Acquisition Card Holders will have received green procurement training by May 2009.


5e: Green Citizenship 5e.1: Green Citizenship Network (GCN) – Corporate Services Branch will establish ongoing support for the GCN, increase the GCN membership by 25 percent and improve opportunities for employee participation in grassroots environmental activities.


Continue to increase GCN membership, maintain a high number of opportunities for employee participation in green initiatives, and pursue collaboration with other civic-engagement endeavours.
5f: Improved environmental management 5f.1: Environmental Management System (EMS) – Corporate Services Branch will develop and implement an EMS for the Department of Finance, the Treasury Board Secretariat and the Public Service Human Resources Management Agency of Canada, in collaboration with the Public Service Commission of Canada.


The Environmental Management System (EMS) committee is expected to continue to integrate greening objectives into the delivery of Corporate Services' work. The EMS committee is expected to continue to meet bi-monthly.