2014-15 Departmental Performance Report

Organizational Context

Raison d'être and Responsibilities

Fisheries and Oceans Canada supports strong economic growth in our marine and fisheries sectors and contributes to a prosperous economy through global commerce by supporting exports and advancing safe maritime trade. The Department supports the innovation needed for a knowledge-based economy through research in expanding sectors such as aquaculture and biotechnology. The Department contributes to a clean and healthy environment and sustainable aquatic ecosystems for Canadians through habitat protection, oceans management, and ecosystems research. A safe and secure Canada relies on the maritime security, safe navigation, presence on our waters, and effective search and rescue services that the Canadian Coast Guard provides.

Our Mission

Through sound science, forward-looking policy, and operational and service excellence, Fisheries and Oceans Canada employees work collaboratively toward the following strategic outcomes:

Our Vision

To advance sustainable aquatic ecosystems and support safe and secure Canadian waters while fostering economic prosperity across maritime sectors and fisheries.

The Department's core work is guided by five key pieces of legislation:

  • The Fisheries Act provides, among other things, broad powers to the Minister for the proper management and control of commercial, Aboriginal, and recreational fisheries, and aquaculture operations, which are also fisheries. Further to various long-standing arrangements, the provinces have assumed administrative responsibility for the management of most inland fisheries.
  • The Oceans Act, among other things, provides authority to the Minister to lead the development and implementation of plans for the integrated management of activities affecting estuaries, coastal and marine waters, and the coordination of oceans issues. The Act also establishes the Minister's responsibility for Coast Guard services, as well as responsibility for marine science services such as the Canadian Hydrographic Services' nautical charts and publications.
  • While the Minister of Environment has primary responsibility for the administration of the Species at Risk Act, the Minister of Fisheries and Oceans is the competent minister for aquatic species.
  • The Coastal Fisheries Protection Act regulates access by foreign fishing vessels to Canadian ports and Canadian fisheries waters. Among other things, the Act gives the Minister the power to issue licences authorizing foreign fishing vessels to enter Canadian fisheries waters to engage in specified fisheries-related activities.
  • The Canada Shipping Act, 2001 (Transport Canada-led) sets out, among other things, as a part of the Minister's mandate for the Coast Guard, the responsibility for search and rescue and lighthouses (including lights, signal buoys, and beacons).

The Canadian Coast Guard, a Special Operating Agency within Fisheries and Oceans Canada, is responsible for services and programs that contribute to all three of the Department's strategic outcomes while also contributing significantly to the safety, security, and accessibility of Canada's waterways. The Canadian Coast Guard also supports other government organizations by providing a civilian fleet and a broadly distributed shore-based infrastructure.


Strategic Outcomes and Program Alignment Architecture

Organizational Priorities

For 2014-15, the Department established four organizational priorities. Information on how the priorities were delivered is found below under the summary of progress.

Priority Type Footnote 1 Strategic Outcomes
Improving fisheries management, domestically and internationally, through incremental fisheries management reforms and enabling access to export markets for Canadian fish and seafood. Ongoing
Summary of Progress
  • Implemented and expanded the National Online Licensing System to allow fish harvesters to renew, pay and receive their commercial fishing licences online, this includes an enhanced and secure client service interface and expanded functionality for fish harvesters. (1.1 Integrated Fisheries Management)
  • Continued to work with fish harvesters, fish harvester associations, industry and Aboriginal organizations to foster stability, transparency and predictability in the fishing sector and help enable industry to adjust to changing economic and ecosystem conditions. Continued the application of a framework to guide the allocation of fish for financing purposes. (1.1 Integrated Fisheries Management)
  • Continued to support international efforts to improve global fisheries management, through ongoing efforts within regional fisheries management organizations and in broader multilateral policy activities (e.g., United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization). This is a multi-year initiative. (1.7 International Engagement)
  • Provided science information and advice, through the International Governance Strategy program, to improve management within regional fisheries management organizations, to inform policy development, and for bilateral arrangements including the implementation of the ecosystem approach. (1.1 Integrated Fisheries Management)
  • Continued to secure and maintain Canadian access to export markets for fish and seafood in various bilateral and multilateral agreements including advancing fisheries-related issues through the implementation of the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement with the European Union and engagement on broader government efforts on the Trans-Pacific Partnership. (1.7 International Engagement)
  • Continued to advance and support global efforts against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing, collaborating with international partners to advance the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated policy framework (e.g., through the Food and Agriculture Organization) and working collaboratively with our partners and stakeholders in detecting and combatting organized crime, fraud and collusion in the fishery (domestic and international) and other forms of non-compliance. (2.1 Compliance and Enforcement)
  • Continued to elaborate and implement the suite of policies under the Sustainable Fisheries Framework, including continuing the multi-year initiative to develop a risk-based national catch monitoring policy. (1.1 Integrated Fisheries Management)
  • Continued in its transformation to a national intelligence-led enforcement model for compliance and enforcement while building bridges and partnerships within the global intelligence community and among Canada's maritime and national security enforcement partners and agencies. (2.1 Compliance and Enforcement)
Priority Type Strategic Outcomes
Renewing Canadian Coast Guard assets and service delivery. Ongoing
Summary of Progress
  • Renewed assets by continuing to implement the Fleet Renewal Plan 2017 to procure helicopters and new large and small vessels, and extend the life of existing vessels. Much of this approximate $7 Billion multi-year initiative falls within the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy. (3.4 Fleet Operational Readiness)
  • Advanced the Northern Marine Transportation Corridors initiative with Transport Canada in the context of the Government's Northern Strategy. (1.8 Marine Navigation)
  • Implemented Version 2 of the e-Navigation portal based on feedback from users. E-Navigation will allow for accurate and reliable navigational information to be made available and used by vessels and shore authorities to support effective decision-making, minimize human error and enhance communications. It is anticipated that the portal will be live in 2015-16. (1.8 Marine Navigation)
  • National Implementation of a risk-based analysis of Maritime Search and Rescue delivery has been delayed. (3.1 Search and Rescue Services)
  • Continued to advance the Marine Services Fees renewal initiative by developing costing methodologies and commencing consultations with some service users. Also contributed to the Departmental commitment to review and rebuild the costing methodology in accordance with the guidance provided by the User Fees Act, with a view to amending the fees. (1.8 Marine Navigation)
Priority Type Strategic Outcomes
Advancing policy and program changes, aligned with a strong legislative and regulatory framework as well as enhancing Canadian Coast Guard's environmental preparedness and response capacity to ensure the long-term sustainability of Canada's aquatic ecosystems. New
Summary of Progress
  • Continued to implement the Fisheries Protection provisions of the Fisheries Act, which came into force in the fall of 2013, by engaging with external stakeholders, including Aboriginal organizations, and furthered the development of necessary science-based policy and program guidance for proponents and staff. (2.2 Fisheries Protection)
  • Funded projects through the Recreational Fisheries Conservation Partnerships Program with local groups and others to improve the conservation of fisheries habitat and support fisheries protection. This is a multi-year initiative. (2.2 Fisheries Protection)
  • Continued to implement the Economic Action Plan 2013 announcement which allocated all revenue from the issuance of the Pacific Recreational Salmon Conservation Stamp to the Pacific Salmon Foundation for the conservation and enhancement of Pacific salmon. (2.2 Fisheries Protection)
  • Made further progress to modernize the aquaculture regulatory framework under the Fisheries Act to ensure improved regulatory predictability and transparency for the aquaculture industry through a renewed Sustainable Aquaculture Program. (1.3 Sustainable Aquaculture Program)
  • Advanced Arctic priorities in support of the Government's Northern Strategy and continue to develop the Canadian High Arctic Station Science and Technology program in collaboration with Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada and other government departments. (2.5 Oceans Management)
  • Took initial steps to establish an internationally recognized Incident Command System, to improve the Canadian Coast Guard's ability to manage responses to marine pollution incidents in collaboration with key emergency response partners (2.4 Environmental Response Services; 3.3 Maritime Security). Phase 1 construction of the Incident Command System was commenced in March 2015. The Review of the Aids to Navigation System in Kitimat was sub-divided into three smaller reviews due to the sheer size and complexity of the area under review. The Aids to Navigation System Review faced delays in completing all 3 due to the complexity and volume of the channels around Kitimat BC. The remaining reviews will be carried out in 2015-16. (1.8 Marine Navigation)
  • Advanced charting work of the Canadian Hydrographic Service as well as operational oceanography to support prevention. (3.7 Hydrographic Products and Services)
  • Commenced implementation of a comprehensive science program in support of environmental preparedness and response including research on the fate and behaviour of non-conventional petroleum products, the efficacy of remediation strategies, ocean circulation model, resource inventories and research and advice on interaction and benthic ecosystems. (2.5 Oceans Management; 3.8 Ocean Forecasting)
  • Further increased marine and coastal conservation, by initiating marine protected area network development in five priority marine bioregions, and developing and implementing management and monitoring activities in marine protected areas. (2.5 Oceans Management)
  • Enhanced our understanding of the potential impacts of human activities on Canadian aquatic ecosystems through the Strategic Program for Ecosystem-Based Research and Advice, which provides funding for scientific research and advisory processes related to identifying threats, quantifying risk, and mitigating impacts of human activities on Canadian aquatic ecosystems. (2.5 Oceans Management)
Priority Type Strategic Outcomes
Advancing management and operational excellence to modernize and continually improve the design and delivery of programs and services, as a means of efficiently using resources while providing better results for Canadians. Ongoing
Summary of Progress
  • Continued to implement efficiency measures stemming from Budget 2012 and Budget 2013, by implementing adjustments to Departmental resources, in addition to any other associated changes to business operations and processes as required. (Internal Services)
  • Advanced the principles of Blueprint 2020 to achieve a vision for a revitalized, world-class public service and identified opportunities to implement BP2020 initiatives within the Department. (Internal Services)
  • The development of a 5-year science strategy has been replaced with a more focussed approach to deliver and sustain scientific excellence in the achievement of the Department's mandate. (Internal Services)
  • Implemented the Treasury Board Secretariat's Directive on Performance Management to strengthen people management in support of a culture of high performance. The Directive on Performance Management was successfully implemented in 2014-15. Focus will now be placed on talent management and workforce planning. (Internal Services)
  • Continued the modernization of information technology in support of the Department and Government of Canada's transformation agendas and in collaboration with Shared Services Canada. This included the facilitation of innovation and collaboration through:
    • Facilitation of transition to Workplace 2.0;
    • Supporting collaborative technologies; and
    • The development of a departmental Application Portfolio Management Strategy. (Internal Services)
  • Improved information management through:
    • Continued implementation of the Directive on Recordkeeping initiative; and
    • Implementation of Shared Services Canada's Email Transformation Initiative in support of the Government of Canada's move towards one email system. (Internal Services)
  • Continued to effectively manage the Department's digital presence to ensure an integrated approach to delivering services and information to Canadians and stakeholders that are client-focussed, cost effective and will ensure a successful migration to a single Government of Canada site. (Internal Services)
  • Continued implementation of the multi-year Fisheries and Oceans Canada National Real Property Portfolio Strategy to realize opportunities to reduce the footprint resulting from alignment of Real Property and Program needs. This includes continuing the review of requirements and divestiture of assets, including surplus lighthouses and non-core small craft harbours, to reduce the cost of operations, as well as updating management processes, which was undertaken with Fisheries and Oceans Canada/Canadian Coast Guard programs to meet Departmental objectives. (Internal Services)

Risk Analysis

Fisheries and Oceans Canada operates in a dynamic environment. Northern development and the expansion of navigable waters, environmental changes and severe weather events, changes in the Canadian workforce, technological advances, changing maritime safety and security demands, and globalization of fisheries markets are among the factors impacting the Department. The Department continues to assess how it conducts its business, provides services and delivers on its programs to meet client and stakeholder needs.

The Department has a process in place to identify, analyze and prioritize risks that can be either opportunities (positive) or threats (negative). As a result, the Department has identified three mission-critical corporate risks, reflected in the table below, which may affect the Department in the future. These risks affect significant aspects of the Department's operations and mandate. As such, the Department is responding by treating and monitoring each risk to ensure that Canadian waters remain safe and secure, that Canadians and stakeholders in maritime sectors and fisheries continue to receive the services they depend on, and that Canada continues to support a sustainable aquatic environment.

In 2014-15, progress has been made to address our specialized recruitment risk and those efforts have helped to decrease its severity. However, further increases in the complexity and volume of marine traffic have kept the hazards and crises risk at the forefront, despite the preventative actions taken. As well, due to changing oceanographic and freshwater conditions, responding to environmental impacts on fisheries continues to be key priority for the Department. In all of these cases, initiatives to treat these risks will continue in coming years and sound risk management practices will continue to help in adapting to this changing environment.

Each risk's strategies and action plans in the 2014-15 Report on Plans and Priorities was assigned a senior manager accountable for in-year reporting. This reporting provides a complete perspective of how the Department manages its corporate risks.

The table below provides a summary of the Department's 2014-15 mission critical risks and progress against action plans.

Risk Statement Risk Response Strategy Footnote 2 Link to Program Alignment Architecture
Environmental Impacts on Fisheries Risk
As a result of changing oceanographic and freshwater conditions, there is a risk that Canada's fish stocks may fluctuate in an unforeseen manner and affect the Department's and its provincial/territorial partners' management of the fisheries.

Potential Impact - Very High
Likelihood - Likely

Risk Response Strategy - Treat
  • Developed seven adaptation measures that will generate new knowledge on the impacts of climate change. Twenty-three applied adaptation tools are also being developed through the implementation of the Climate Change Adaptation's competitive funding program.
  • Continued implementation of Fisheries Protection Program's operational approach to identify emerging issues and risks, which are addressed through the development of plans and strategies in support of overall Program integrity and the minimization of environmental impacts.
  • Continued to monitor stock indicators by implementing monitoring updates that alert fisheries managers of any changes to stock trends.
Specialized Recruitment Risk
As a result of ongoing pressures in recruiting for the marine sector and other specialized professions, there is a risk that the Department may not be able to attract a sufficient and representative workforce for these areas.

Potential Impact - Medium
Likelihood - Moderate

Risk Response Strategy - Treat
  • Presented the Human Resources Management Control Framework and Human Resources Service Delivery Model respectively to the Departmental Audit Committee and the Deputy's Management Committee. The Human Resources Management Control Framework serves as the internal control framework for all activities related to people management and dictates how the Department approaches and plans for improvements in governance, policies and procedures, roles and responsibilities, information systems, risk management, reporting and monitoring, and learning and communications. The Human Resources Service Delivery Model has been deferred until the classification and the staffing Tiger Teams are completed (expected by April 2016). The classification Tiger Team will develop model work descriptions and improved tools and training related to classification within the context of the new Classification Policy and Directives, effective July 1, 2015.
  • Responded to the Treasury Board Secretariat officials call on recruitment and retention issues in their planning phase of the current round of bargaining. Specifically, the Department raised issues concerning the recruitment and retention of employees occupying positions in the Ships' Crews (SC) group. The Department will continue to raise recruitment and retention issues with them, as required.
  • Engaged in the One-Pass Planning process for 2014-15. Sufficient data is now available to develop an 18 month National Recruitment Strategy for September 2015 to March 2017.
Hazard and Crisis Risk
As a result of the increased complexity and volume of marine traffic, growing diversity in ocean usage, and climate change, there is a risk that the Department may experience challenges in responding to hazards and crises.

Potential Impact - Medium
Likelihood - Moderate

Risk Response Strategy - Treat
  • Took initial steps to establish an internationally recognized Incident Command System, to improve the Canadian Coast Guard's ability to manage responses to marine pollution incidents in collaboration with key emergency response partners.
  • Updated the Strategic Emergency Management Plan to reflect recommendations from Public Safety Canada and the Department's Internal Audit directorate. The plan will be communicated across the Department.
  • Initiated a comprehensive review of the Safety, Security and Emergency Management functions at Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The results and findings of the review will be a foundation piece to the future update of the Departmental Security Plan.
  • Finalized the update of the Business Continuity Plans. Testing of all the plans will be completed in 2015-16.
  • Continued to implement the Fleet Renewal Plan 2017 to procure helicopters and new large and small vessels, and extend the life of existing vessels. Of the new large vessels, small vessels, and helicopters that were planned for delivery, 100% were received.