Record of Discussion
November 2011 NHAAC Meeting (Draft)
Meeting of November 22–24, 2011
Government Conference Centre Rideau Room Ottawa, Ontario
Theme – Creating the Future Together
Table of Contents
- Opening Remarks, Review of the Agenda and Summary of Discussion From NHAAC April 2011
- SCH National Update
- Session with the Deputy Minister and the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
- Pre-NHAAC Debrief
- Regional Harbour Authority Advisory Committee (RHAAC) Updates
- Canadian Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
- Harbour Authority Mergers
- Update on Climate Change and Sediment Management Studies
- Harbour Authority Corporation (HAC) Update
- Next NHAAC / Outstanding Issues / Closing Remarks
- Workshop on Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
Opening Remarks, Review of the Agenda and Summary of Discussion From NHAAC April 2011
Micheline Leduc, Director General, SCH, provided opening remarks, welcoming everyone to Ottawa. No changes were made to the agenda.
New NHAAC members were introduced – Ivan Grimolfson from Central and Arctic and Dave Johnson and Tony Ryan from Newfoundland and Labrador Region.
Approval of the Record of Discussion from the April 2011 NHAAC meeting in Vancouver was moved by Tony Ryan and seconded by Dave Johnson.
David Balfour, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Ecosystems and Fisheries Management also provided some opening remarks.He recognized the critical role and the profound sense of commitment that Harbour Authorities display and welcomed the opportunity to join the group during the first day of their meeting.
SCH National Update
Harbour Authority Recognition Program: Prix d'Excellence Awards
- In lieu of a single national event, typically held in Ottawa in November, to present these awards, separate regional events will be scheduled to coincide with already scheduled annual regional events planned during the year, such as Harbour Authority Seminars, Regional Harbour Authority Avisory Committee (RHAAC) meetings, etc.
- The Minister, or his representative, depending on availability, will present the awards.
- Combining the award ceremony with these events will increase the number of participants at awards presentations and provide the opportunity for the award recipients to be recognized in front of their peers.
- Also, to increase the recognition and visibility of the award recipients, local media, newspapers, community members such as the mayor, local councillors, family, friends and peers of the recipient(s), and local regional departmental employees could also be invited.
- The SCH National Management Committee will be selecting the 2011-12 recipients of the Harbour Authority Prix d'Excellence during their November, 2011 meeting.
National Harbour Authority Advisory Committee meetings
- The number of NHAAC meetings will be reduced to one per year – in November, rotated between Ottawa and regions.
- The frequency of the RHAAC meetings is not affected. In fact, efforts will be made to better coordinate the timing of RHAAC and NHAAC meetings in order to increase the cohesion of the overall consultative process.
- As required, NHAAC meetings will be complemented with working groups initiatives on specific files.
Highlights of SCH 2010-11 accomplishments
Harbour Authority Support Initiatives
- Harbour Authority Manual:
- Regular consultation with NHAAC working group and National Client Services Committee has taken place.
- Governance and Environment sections are completed in both official languages and will be posted in the Harbour Authority Toolbox, on the Internet site .
- Finance section has been drafted and is currently with the National Client Services Committee for consultation. The document was originally sent out to the NHAAC working group in July 2011 and comments received have been incorporated. The revised version will be sent again to the NHAAC working group for a second "round" of comments. Once all consultations are complete, the section will be put in design format and final version will be posted in the Harbour Authority Toolbox, on the Internet site.
- Presently working on the Operations section. Will go through the same process as above.
- The Finance and Operations sections should be posted in the Harbour Authority Toolbox on the Internet site by early 2012.
- Distribution to Harbour Authorities – Communicate via Harbour Authority Bulletin once all sections are completed and posted. Provide each Harbour Authority with an electronic (USB/CD/DVD) copy. Hard copies will be made available upon request.
- Compendium of Funding Sources for Harbour Authorities:
- In response to SCOFO recommendations # 10 & 17, a Compendium of Funding Sources for Harbour Authorities is being developed.
- This tool for Harbour Authorities will provide guidance as to the various funding assistance opportunities that might exist and will assist in explaining how these organizations might be able to complement the funding provided by the Small Craft Harbours Program.
- The Compendium will include a national chapter and separate provincial/territorial regional specific chapters of funding organizations
- The Compendium will also have a chapter entitled "How to look beyond traditional funding sources" as there may be several local not-for-profit or community-based organizations that can offer financing.
- Another chapter will be a "How to" Guide on how to create a funding application.
- The Compendium will be made available to all Harbour Authorities through the Tool Box for Harbour Authorities on the Internet.
- SCH will communicate the availability of this new tool via a Harbour Authority Bulletin which will be distributed to all Harbour Authorities.
- Inspection & Maintenance Manual
- The Inspection & Maintenance Manual was discussed during the National Engineering Committee (NEC) meeting in St.John's (September).
- Rollout of the Manual to Harbour Authorities is occurring at a slower pace than anticipated due to issues related to the implementation of the Economic Action Plan and storm damage initiative. The NEC will revisit status in the New Year to take stock and determine next steps.
Status of follow-up to Government Response to SCOFO
- A verbal update and report on the status of the December 2009 Ninth SCOFO Report – "Small Craft Harbours: An Essential Infrastructure Managed By and For Fishing Communities" were provided.
SCH Financial Situation
Economic Action Plan
- The Economic Action Plan's funding expired at the end of fiscal year 2010-11. As part of this government-wide stimulus initiative, SCH received $200 million over two years to accelerate the repair and maintenance of core commercial fishing harbours, including associated dredging. Funding in the amount of $17 million for the construction of a harbour in Pangnirtung, Nunavut was also provided (in addition to $10.24 million received as part of Budget 2008).
- The $200 million funding allowed for 272 projects to be undertaken at over 220 sites across the country – projects that would have taken many years to complete if the stimulus funding had not been made available.
- As of March 31st, 2011 status was as follows:
- 221 projects with construction completed;
- 8 projects with engineering only completed
- 51 construction projects remaining to be completed (41 of which are included in the program of work for 2011-12).
- As of September 2011, 22 of the 41 projects planned for 2011-12 were completed and 19 others are expected to be completed by end March 2012.
- Pangnirtung harbour construction is well underway.
- Phase 1 substantially completed with only some corrective work remaining (dredging and marshalling area).
- Phase 2 work started in the summer of 2011 and is progressing well.
- Harbour expected to be fully operational by summer 2013.
2010 Storm Damage
- In the fall and winter of 2010, Hurricane Igor in Newfoundland, the Manitoba "Weather Bomb," and the December storms in Atlantic Canada and Quebec, caused unprecedented damage to small craft harbours in more than 250 communities. Nationally, the Government of Canada is investing $71.6 million to clean up and repair harbours. Approximately ¾ of the remedial work will be completed by the end of March 2012. The supplementary contracting authorities obtained by the Department for the Economic Action Plan projects were extended for use for these projects.
- Budget 2008 provided $45 million over four years to accelerate the divestiture of our non-core fishing harbours and recreational harbours: $5 million in 2008-09, $5 million in 2009-10, $15 million in 2010-11, and $20 million in 2011-12.
- The initiative sunsets this year. We expect that by the end of the four year period, 103 harbours (47 recreational and 56 are non-core fishing) 42 mooring buoys (in the Pacific region).
- Approximately 275 harbours will be remaining to be divested post 2011-12.
Funding/Contracting Mechanisms Review
In the fall of 2009, the Treasury Board Secretariat requested that DFO review its use of Vote 5 contributions and ACAN (Advance Contract Award Notification) to Harbour Authorities, specifically within the context of Government Contracting Regulations.
DFO Finance and Administration and SCH have conducted this review and have shared their report with the Treasury Board Secretariat. Discussions with the Treasury Board Secretariat are ongoing.
It is anticipated that within the next few months a final determination will be made as to what mechanism can be used to undertake projects via Harbour Authorities.
Delegated Contracting Authorities
At the onset of the Economic Action Plan, Treasury Board approved temporary changes to the SCH contracting delegations as follows:
- An increase in the competitive construction contract approval authority from $400,000 award and $200,000 amendment to $1,500,000 award with a contract amendment of $500,000 for fiscal years 2009-10 and 2010-11;
- An added competitive architectural and engineering contract approval authority of $250,000 award with a contract amendment of $100,000.
The changes to these contracting delegations were extended as part of the Storm Damage initiative to include fiscal years 2011-12 and 2012-13.
SCH is in the process of documenting the use of these amended authorities and intends to have discussions with Treasury Board regarding the possibility of making these delegations permanent.
As part of the discussions, SCH will also seek Treasury Board support to increase the $40K sole source contracting authority with Harbour Authorities to $100K, the maximum allowed under Treasury Board Contracting policies due to trade agreements with provinces.
Session with the Deputy Minister and the Senior Assistant Deputy Minister
The group was joined by Claire Dansereau, Deputy Minister (DM), Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The DM noted The benefits on integrating SCH into one enhanced "operations" sector, the Ecosystems and Fisheries Management sector, thus fostering greater teamwork, synergy and collaboration across other operations sector programs. This has also made for greater cohesion within the Department.
The DM also mentioned that SCH Program was not impacted as a result of Strategic Review, and noted that this was a good thing.
There were questions/comments about:
- The need for increase contracting authorities that would allow more involvement of Harbour Authorities in the delivery of projects. (see SCH Update – Annex A)
- The Strategic Operating Review and its effects on the SCH Program.
- The decision to no longer hold the annual Prix d'Excellence ceremonies in Ottawa and the reduced frequency of NHAAC meetings from two to only one per year.
- The Fishing and Recreational Harbours Act and the possible advantages of amending it in order to provide the Harbour Authorities with a legislative tool that could better serve their needs.
The DM addressed many of these comments during the meeting and indicated that the Department would continue to work on these ongoing issues.
The NHAAC Contact Group provided a debrief on the Pre-NHAAC meeting discussions. Some general comments:
- More time is required for Pre-NHAAC meetings.
- Pre-NHAAC meetings would be more beneficial if they would occur after the National Update normally presented during the first day of the NHAAC meetings
- Frustration and disappointment were expressed regarding changing the national event in Ottawa for the Prix d'Excellence to regional presentations. It was noted that this change could send the wrong message to volunteers.
- Other items discussed included the departmental cut-backs and potential impact these may have on SCH, status of the SCOFO recommendations, requirement for increased authority for contracting with Harbour Authorities and Derelict Vessels.
Micheline updated on many of these items during the SCH National Update.
Regional Harbour Authority Advisory Committee (RHAAC) Updates
Each RHAAC representative provided an update on the initiatives underway in their respective region focusing on seminars, training and communication initiatives.
Canadian Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
Coleen Kirby, Manager, Industry Canada made a presentation on the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act which came into effect on October 17, 2011. The presentation outlined the differences between the old and new Act and the requirements needed for transition. The presentation was extremely informative and generated many questions for both Industry Canada and SCH. A workshop took place the following day, facilitated by Shaun Harrington of Justice lawyer to further the discussion and address additional questions.
Harbour Authority Mergers
This session was designed to obtain NHAAC members advice on how SCH could assist Harbour Authorities who may be considering merging a group of Harbour Authorities into one or are considering forming an association of Harbour Authorities with the intent of sharing services. Both Marvin Buckle and Bonnie Morse talked about their experiences with Harbour Authority mergers. Marvin was involved with the merger of 9 Harbour Authorities to form the Eastern Lower North Shore Harbour Authority and Bonnie, through the Grand Manan Harbour Authority was involved in mentoring and providing guidance to facilitate the merger of 6 Harbour Authorities into the Harbour Authority of Cape Sable Island. They spoke about the opportunities and challenges related to these mergers and answered many questions posed by the group.
It was discussed that merging may benefit smaller harbours that have recruitment problems and do not have the same resources as the largest ones. Some tools that SCH could provide are:
- SCH support through guidance and advice using a zonal approach to possible HA amalgation.
- Mentoring and Information Sharing
- Consider Pilot Projects as a first step (for example, start with shared/combined services.).
Update on Climate Change and Sediment Management Studies
Donna Jean Kilpatrick, Director, Harbour Operations and Engineering, provided an update on the following two studies:
SCH Climate Change Study
A study was conducted in 2011 to determine possible effects of climate change on SCH infrastructure as identified in the literature. A series of maps of predicted climate change effects in Canada as well as a report which includes an overview of SCH vulnerability and potential adaptation strategies have been produced.
- The National Engineering Committee to review the maps that were prepared by the consultant which illustrate various climate changes predictions in Canada (i.e. water elevations, sediment and ice cover) and study the Report information to determine applicability/gaps and develop next steps.
SCH Sediment Management Study
In 2010 there was an analysis of SCH data specifically related to location/frequency of dredged harbours and dredging costs (per activity and per region). A one-day national Sediment Management workshop was held in 2011 to further study SCH dredging activities including challenges and cost-savings.
- Sediment Management Report to be prepared and presented to SCH National Management Committee.
- Continue work to find solutions to individual high-cost and/or high frequency dredging sites.
- Harbour Sediment Contamination Study (types and quantities of contaminations, regulatory restrictions and opportunities to manage).
- Review Climate Change Study information pertaining to sediment management.
Harbour Authority Corporation (HAC) Update
Ben Mabberley provided an update with respect to the provision of insurances to Harbour Authorities.
The Directors & Officers and Accidental Death & Dismemberment insurances have been renewed for another year. The HAC was able to obtain a slightly lower rate than last year. In 2010/2011, 81% of Harbour Authorities purchased these insurances.
Next NHAAC / Outstanding Issues / Closing Remarks
The next NHAAC meeting will take place November 2012 (dates and locations TBD).
Workshop on Canada Not-For-Profit Corporations Act
Shaun Harrington, lawyer from the Department of Justice, joined the group for a half day workshop on the new Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act. The format of the workshop was as follows:
- Discussion regarding the specific purpose of a Harbour Authority "corporation"
- Reviewing the Default rule of the new Act
- Reviewing the model by-laws and by-law builder
- Discusing the new provisions of the Act dealing with Directors
- General discussion – concerns and questions.
This session was extremely informative and generated a very good discussion.
- SCH will compile a list of questions and answers which will be made available to Harbour Authorities.
- Model By-laws will be designed in order to help Harbour Authorities transition to the new Act. (A NHAAC working group may be needed for this).
- SCH headquarters will continue to work with regional staff, NHAAC members, Department of Justice and Industry Canada to facilitate the transition to the new Act.
Micheline Leduc, Director General, Small Craft Harbours (SCH)
Pacific – Ben Mabberley, Bob Baziuk and Elizabeth McLeod
Central and Arctic - Jeff Vidler, Ivan Grimolfson and Perry David
Quebec – Marvin Buckle, Laurent Normand and Gilles Vigneault
Maritimes and Gulf – Bonnie Morse, Osborne Burke (left meeting at 12:00PM, November 22nd)
Newfoundland and Labrador – Reginald Best, Dave Johnson and Tony Ryan
Headquarters – Micheline Leduc (Chair), Kaye Love, Dianne Green, Donna Jean Kilpatrick, Claudette Raymond, Jennifer Baldwin and Brigitte Bastien
Pacific – Robin Richardson
Central and Arctic – Mark Sandeman
Quebec – Bernard Beaudoin
Maritimes and Gulf – Raymond Losier
Newfoundland and Labrador – Bill Goulding
Claire Dansereau, Deputy Minister, Fisheries and Oceans Canada David Balfour, Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Ecosystems and Fisheries Management
Coleen Kirby, Manager, Policy Section, Corporations Canada, Industry Canada Shaun Harrington, Legal Council, Fisheries and Oceans Canada
Please contact SCH Headquarters for additional information, or for a copy of any of these documents.