Departmental Performance Report 2012-13

Canadian Polar Commission

Strategic Outcome: Increased Canadian Polar Knowledge

Program: Research Facilitation and Communication


This strategic outcome creates the conditions for Canada to acquire the wide range of information needed for effective policy and research program development in the polar regions and to maintain Canada's position as a leading polar nation. The Canadian Polar Commission is Canada's national institution for furthering polar knowledge and awareness. It maintains and builds active knowledge networks, synthesizes polar knowledge to identify opportunities, issues and trends, and communicates polar knowledge.

2012–2013 Financial Resources ($ millions) 2012–2013 Human Resources (FTEs)
Total Expenditures (Main Estimates) Planned Spending Total Authorities (available for use) Actual Spending (authorities used) Difference (Planned vs. Actual Spending) Planned Actual Difference
1.0 1.0 1.1 1.0 0.0 4 7 (3)
Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Actual Results
*This report will summarize major knowledge gains from 2007 to the present, highlight key knowledge gaps, and identify research opportunities.
The Commission assists Canada to fully embrace its place as a polar nation Engage and coordinate with partners to maintain, enhance, and further build polar knowledge network Create a national network for sharing of knowledge by working with partners and their networks The Canadian Polar Commission substantially expanded its national network by opening a northern office in Yellowknife and represented Canada at two international committees
Identify the top knowledge-based polar priorities of national interest With partners, commence a synthesis of the national perspective on polar information and knowledge The Commission began developing a report on the state of northern knowledge in Canada*
Integrate with partners to develop processes of national significance to disseminate polar knowledge to Canadians Disseminate polar knowledge information to Canadians and other interested persons The Commission launched International Polar Year Canadian Science Report: Highlights; the document was launched at the IPY 2012 “From Knowledge to Action” Conference, and wide distribution followed
Performance Analysis and Lessons Learned

The Commission opened an office in Yellowknife to anchor its presence north of 60° and expand its national network, giving it ready and regular access to northern governments, research institutes, researchers, organizations, communities, and citizens. As for maintaining and strengthening international networks, the Commission represented Canada on the International Arctic Science Committee and the Scientific Committee on Antarctic Research. The Commission also recognized the need to reach out more effectively via electronic media rather than through paper-based publications. It has therefore begun publishing exclusively in electronic format, although paper copies are available upon request.

The Commission reached its goals in terms of synthesizing and disseminating polar knowledge through the IPY Highlights report, a summary for the general reader of the key findings extracted from the Canadian International Polar Year 2007–2008 projects. It also used the Canadian Polar Knowledge Information Network and its other publications to begin work on enhanced methods of communication that ensure the report is made available to the broadest audience possible. In collaboration with the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, copies of the IPY Highlights report were provided to high schools across the country. The Commission also successfully launched its new website which is compliant with the new government standards for accessibility and usability.

The groundwork that has been put in place for the seamless transfer from AANDC to the Canadian Polar Commission of the Northern Science Award and the Northern Scientific Training Program will bear fruit in 2013–2014, when the Commission takes over responsibility for these well-established programs.

The Commission supported the Sustaining Arctic Observing Networks Canada throughout the year and more specifically by developing a website for the group, whose goal is to enhance Arctic-wide observation activities by facilitating partnerships and synergies among existing observing and data networks, and promoting sharing of data and information. The Commission also continued to provide secretariat services for the Canadian Northern Network of Research Operators. Those services included organizing its annual meeting, developing its website and other logistical tasks.

Program: Internal Services


Internal Services are activities, services and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations: management and oversight services; communications services; legal services; human resources management services; financial management services; information management services; information technology services; real property services; material services; acquisition services; travel; and other administrative services. Internal Services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization and not to those provided specifically to a program.

2012–2013 Financial Resources ($ millions) 2012–2013 Human Resources (FTEs)
Total Expenditures (Main Estimates) Planned Spending Total Authorities (available for use) Actual Spending (authorities used) Difference (Planned vs. Actual Spending) Planned Actual Difference
0.2 0.2 0.2 0.3 (0.1) 1 2 (1)