Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16

Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16

About the Publication

The Report on Plans and Priorities is an expenditure plan that provides a detailed overview of the Commission’s main priorities over a three-year period. These priorities are divided by strategic outcome, program activities, and planned and expected results. The Report on Plans and Priorities also provides details on human resource requirements, major capital projects, grants and contributions, and net program costs.

* This publication is only available in electronic format. If you require a paper version, please contact the Commission directly. Please allow 5-8 business days for processing.

The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., M.P.
Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada

ISSN:2292-5562

 


Table of Contents

 

Chief Commissioner's Message

It is my pleasure to submit the Canadian Human Rights Commission (Commission) Report on Plans and Priorities for 2015–16.

Following last year’s Commission-wide exercise in reflection and renewal, we have amended our Program Alignment Architecture and Performance Measurement Framework in order to better plan and report to Parliamentarians and Canadians.

As a result of this extensive exercise, the Commission now operates as one program with two main thrusts: protecting human rights and promoting human rights. These two streams are consistent with the UN’s Paris Principles, the framework that guides the work of national human rights institutions around the world.

The protection stream includes all aspects of our discrimination complaint process — from receiving complaints, to investigating complaints, to litigating cases before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and the courts. The protection stream also includes our work in ensuring compliance with the Employment Equity Act through periodic audits of federally regulated employers.

The promotion stream includes our work in fostering greater understanding of the Canadian Human Rights Act whether through research, policy development, education, training, stakeholder engagement, or public outreach.

In 2015–16, the Commission will continue to focus its efforts on three main priorities.

First, to advance human rights justice in Canada for people who are most vulnerable, especially Aboriginal peoples. Under this priority, we will continue to help advance reconciliation with Aboriginal peoples and ensure that our activities align with this objective.

The second priority is to strengthen key networks and partnerships with organizations that share the responsibility of promoting and protecting human rights in Canada, such as provincial and territorial commissions, governments, and other organizations that defend the rights of Canadians.

The third priority is to ensure sustainability and service excellence. We will continue to ensure that our programs, business processes and use of technology are aligned to deliver on our mandate and serve Canadians in the most effective and efficient way. This will include supporting the principles and efforts of the Government’s ongoing Blueprint 2020 initiative.

I am confident that with the skill, professionalism, and compassion that our employees bring to work each day, we will achieve the objectives described in this report and, in doing so, promote a Canada that includes everyone.

David Langtry
Acting Chief Commissioner

 

Section I : Organizational Expenditure Overview

Organizational Profile

Minister: The Honourable Peter MacKay, P.C., Q.C., M.P.

A/Deputy head: David Langtry

Ministerial portfolio: Justice

Main legislative authorities: Canadian Human Rights Act and Employment Equity Act

Year established: 1977

 

Organizational Context

Raison d’être

The Canadian Human Rights Commission was established in 1977 under Schedule I.1 of the Financial Administration Act in accordance with the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA).

The Commission leads the administration of the CHRA and ensures compliance with the Employment Equity Act (EEA). The CHRA prohibits discrimination and the EEA promotes equality in the workplace. Both laws apply the principles of equal opportunity and non-discrimination to federal government departments and agencies, Crown corporations, and federally regulated private sector organizations.

Responsibilities

The Commission promotes the core principle of equal opportunity and works to prevent discrimination. It works closely with federally regulated employers and service providers, individuals, unions, and provincial, territorial and international human rights bodies to foster understanding of human rights and promote the development of human rights cultures.

The Commission’s mandate includes protecting human rights through effective case and complaint management. This role involves representing the public interest to advance human rights for all Canadians.

The Commission is responsible for ensuring compliance with the EEA. This involves auditing federally regulated employers to ensure that they are providing equal opportunities to the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities and members of visible minorities.

Strategic Outcome and Program Alignment Architecture

  1. Strategic Outcome: Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights

1.1 Program: Human Rights Program

Internal Services

 

Organizational Priorities

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Advance human rights justice in Canada for people who are most vulnerable Previously committed to Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights
Description

Why is this a priority?

It is not easy to speak out when one is faced with discrimination. It is particularly difficult for historically disadvantaged groups, the most vulnerable people in Canada. They are more likely to live in poverty, have lower levels of education, higher rates of disability, and lack financial and social supports. Some live in isolated communities. These are all barriers to accessing human rights justice.

During a series of roundtable discussions held by the Commission, Aboriginal women spoke about the serious barriers they face to human rights justice. Through these discussions, the Commission gained more insight into how the experiences of Aboriginal peoples in Canada can impact their interactions with the Commission’s complaint system. The Commission found that challenges relating to access to justice are much broader than simply accessing the complaint process, the court system, or legal aid. Improved access to human rights justice would enable Aboriginal peoples and other Canadians to get the information and assistance they need to help prevent discrimination from arising, and to help them resolve such issues efficiently, affordably, and fairly, through informal resolution mechanisms where possible, or a more formal justice system when necessary.

To meet this priority, the Commission will:

  • assess the barriers to its own complaint process for vulnerable groups;  
  • enhance its outreach tools to increase understanding of Commission processes, and of human rights and equality of opportunity concepts;
  • organize and facilitate follow-up dialogue meetings with key stakeholders to share the findings of the roundtable discussions and to identify opportunities for collaboration and action in removing the barriers that were identified; and
  • develop a youth engagement strategy, and implement activities with Indigenous youth focusing on human rights awareness.

 

 

Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Strengthen key networks and partnerships to promote and protect human rights Previously committed to Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights
Description

Why is this a priority?

Understanding and addressing inequality and discrimination in both employment and service delivery is a shared responsibility. In this context, strengthening the Commission’s engagement and outreach is critical to meeting the Commission’s mandate to promote and protect human rights in Canada.  

To meet this priority, the Commission will:

  • work with the Canadian Association of Statutory Human Rights Agencies (CASHRA) to encourage the inclusion of the history of the residential schools as a mandatory part of school curricula throughout Canada;
  • work with CASHRA to encourage redress for Métis, Inuit and First Nations students who were excluded from the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement;
  • identify organizations that provide human rights support to the most vulnerable across Canada and look at ways in which the Commission can collaborate with them, in areas such as human rights training or support in the development of community based dispute resolution mechanisms;
  • work with key actors to develop a youth engagement strategy and enhance community-based human rights expertise;
  • strengthen partnerships with the Labour Program of the department of Employment and Social Development Canada to make it easier for employers to foster equality of opportunity; and
  • work with other human rights institutions to share best practices.
Priority Type Strategic Outcome
Ensure sustainability and service excellence Previously committed to Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights
Description

Why is this a priority?

The Commission strives to serve Canadians in the most effective and efficient manner possible and is committed to having a stable workforce that is dedicated to service excellence in delivering the Commission’s vision and mandate. The Commission will align its program, services and business processes to continue to support a well-managed and high-performing organization.

To meet this priority, the Commission will:

  • implement the Government of Canada’s Policy on Service by developing an inventory of services and by enhancing the Commission’s service complaint mechanism and current service standard approach;
  • implement a Business Intelligence Strategy to apply a more consistent and systematic method of collecting, managing and reporting accurate and reliable information, as well as strengthening annual reporting and internal accountability functions;
  • implement Workplace 2.0 to create a modern workplace that will attract and retain Commission staff and encourage smarter, greener and healthier work practices to better serve Canadians;
  • implement the Government of Canada change agenda to transform results-based management, HR and Finance operations, as well as IM/IT security; and
  • assess and implement the requirements of Open Government 2014–16 while respecting the Commission’s mandate and independence.

Risk Analysis

Risk Risk Response Strategy Link to Program Alignment Architecture
The Commission’s current processes may not be accessible to historically disadvantaged groups, especially Aboriginal peoples.
  • Explore partnerships with organizations that can provide support and guidance.
  • Assess barriers to the Commission’s complaint process.
Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights
In the current context of government transformation, the Commission and its partners may not have the capacity to engage and implement horizontal activities as planned.
  • Engage stakeholders early in the development and implementation of horizontal activities.
  • Determine which type of engagement is the best option for all parties.
  • Assess whether existing networks can be leveraged, as opposed to developing formal partnerships.
The Commission may not be perceived as an independent organization when implementing some Government of Canada transformation initiatives.
  • Each time a new transformation initiative is proposed, ensure that this risk is assessed and factored in.

The Commission held a series of roundtable meetings with Aboriginal women to listen to their experiences of barriers to human rights justice. Participants cited the complexity of the human rights complaint process, language barriers, lack of awareness, lack of support and fear of retaliation as barriers to accessing human rights justice.

To address the risk that the Commission’s current processes may not be accessible to historically disadvantaged groups, the Commission will explore partnerships with organizations that can represent and guide complainants through human rights processes. The Commission will also assess barriers to its own dispute resolution process.

Understanding and addressing inequality and discrimination in both employment and service delivery is a shared responsibility. In this context, strengthening the Commission’s engagement and outreach is critical to meeting the Commission’s mandate and priorities. However, in today’s context, the Commission and its partners may not have the capacity to engage and implement horizontal activities as planned. In the past, the Commission had engaged other government organizations to work on joint initiatives. But changes in direction or other priorities prevented those partnering organizations from carrying through with the planned initiatives. To mitigate this risk, the Commission will assess whether existing networks can be leveraged, as opposed to developing formal partnerships. The Commission will also continue to engage stakeholders early in the development and implementation of horizontal activities and joint initiatives.

At this time, the Government of Canada is implementing several government-wide transformation initiatives. Implementing some of these initiatives may result in the Commission not being perceived as an independent organization. To mitigate this risk, the Commission will assess each proposed transformation initiative to ensure that the autonomy and neutrality of the Commission are considered and remain intact.

 

Planned Expenditures

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015–16 Main Estimates 2015–16 Planned Spending 2016–17 Planned Spending 2017–18 Planned Spending
22,162,418 22,162,418 22,140,338 21,979,798

Human Resources (Full-Time Equivalents - FTEs)

2015–16 2016–17 2017-18
195* 195* 195*

* It includes 14 FTEs for Internal Support Services that the Commission provides to some other small government departments.

Budgetary Planning Summary for Strategic Outcome and Programs (dollars)

Strategic Outcome, Programs and Internal Services 2012–13 Expenditures 2013–14 Expenditures 2014–15 Forecast Spending 2015–16 Main Estimates 2015–16 Planned Spending 2016–17 Planned Spending 2017–18 Planned Spending
Strategic Outcome: Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights
Human Rights Knowledge Development and Dissemination 4,123,976 4,263,215 3,363,133 - - - -
Discrimination Prevention 4,224,128 3,400,798 3,373,782 - - - -
Human Rights Dispute Resolution 9,241,670 9,561,614 9,687,735 - - - -
Human Rights Program * * * 14,645,923 14,645,923 14,631,331 14,525,239
Strategic Outcome Subtotal 17,589,774 17,225,627 16,424,650 14,645,923 14,645,923 14,631,331 14,525,239
Internal Services Subtotal 6,793,402 6,448,023 6,933,954 7,516,495 7,516,495 7,509,007 7,454,559
Total 24,383,176 23,673,650 23,358,604 22,162,418 22,162,418 22,140,338 21,979,798

* The Commission introduced significant changes to its Program Alignment Architecture for 2015–16. Expenditures for 2012–13 and 2013–14, as well as forecasted spending for 2014–15 have been provided according to the former PAA.

Alignment of Spending with the Whole-of-Government Framework

Alignment of 2015–16 Planned Spending with the Whole-of-Government Spending Area (dollars)

Strategic Outcome Program Spending Area Government of Canada Outcome 2015–16 Planned Spending
Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights Human Rights Program Social Affairs A diverse society that promotes linguistic duality and social inclusion 14,645,923

 

Total Planned Spending by Spending Area (dollars)

Spending Area Total Planned Spending
Economic Affairs  
Social Affairs 14,645,923
International Affairs  
Government Affairs  

Departmental Spending Trend

This subsection examines the fluctuations in overall financial resources and expenditures over time and the reasons for such shifts. The following figure illustrates the Commission’s spending trend from 2012–13 to 2017–18.

Departmental Spending Trend

[Text version]

The gradual decrease in spending depicted in the graph is mainly due to the sunset of funding related to the implementation of the repeal of Section 67 of the CHRA that ended in March 2014; to the one-time transition payment for implementing salary payment in arrears by the Government of Canada in 2014–15; and to the severance pay cash-out balance following the signing of new collective agreements since June 2011 because of the decision of the government to end the severance pay program for public service employees.

Estimates by Vote

For information on the Commission’s organizational appropriations, please see the 2015–16 Main Estimates on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat website. 

Section II : Analysis of Programs by Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome

Strategic Outcome: Equality of opportunity and respect for human rights

Human Rights Program

This program helps people and federally regulated organizations understand and comply with the Canadian Human Rights Act and the Employment Equity Act. It respects the Paris Principles, a set of international standards which frame and guide the work of national human rights institutions. The program promotes and protects human rights by developing and sharing knowledge, conducting audits, and managing complaints. It works collaboratively with people and organizations to conduct research, develop tools and policies, and raise awareness. It audits federally regulated employers to ensure that they are providing equal opportunities to the four designated groups: women, Aboriginal peoples, persons with disabilities, and members of visible minorities. It screens, investigates and resolves human rights complaints, and decides whether they should go to a full legal hearing. It represents the public interest in legal cases to advance human rights in Canada.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015–16 Main Estimates 2015–16 Planned Spending 2016–17 Planned Spending 2017–18 Planned Spending
14,645,923 14,645,923 14,631,331 14,525,239

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
125 125 125

Performance Measurement

Expected Results Performance Indicators Targets Date to be achieved
Equality of opportunity and protection from discrimination in Canada # of Canadians who have been protected by and/or informed about the CHRA and the EEA 1.2 million March 31, 2016
Equality of opportunity in the workplace % of employers with more successful results, improving or in compliance when notified of an EE assessment 80% March 31, 2018
The system for human rights justice is accessible to Canadians % of complaints concluded by the Commission 90% March 31, 2016

Planning Highlights

In addition to supporting organizational priorities and continuing the on-going activities required to deliver on its expected results, the Commission will focus on the following initiatives to help promote and protect human rights and equality of opportunity in Canada:

  • Develop educational videos and other communication products in support of the program.
  • Examine opportunities to streamline the complaint process, in part through the implementation of E-Filing — a new interface for Canadians to file complaints, and a secured portal for the exchange of information.
  • Identify stakeholders and partners with whom the Commission can promote electronic disclosure — enabling the Commission to send and receive documents electronically to complainants and respondents throughout the complaint process.
  • Review how the Commission represents the public interest before the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal and prioritize representation of the public interest in cases involving people who are the most vulnerable.
  • Ensure the Commission’s policies and initiatives better reflect its mandate regarding employment equity.
  • Deliver webinars to disseminate human rights knowledge.
  • Make enhancements to the Accommodation Works application and explore new networks to socialize it.
  • Partner with Aboriginal organizations and communities to disseminate educational videos and other communications products.
  • Implement the 2015–18 Strategic Policy, Research and International Plan with a focus on sexual harassment, alcohol and drug-related issues in the workplace, mental health and discrimination, and age discrimination.
  • Make targeted interventions to UN bodies and other mechanisms where their work intersects with the expertise and priorities of the Commission.

 

Internal Services

Internal Services are groups of related activities and resources that are administered to support the needs of programs and other corporate obligations of an organization. Internal services include only those activities and resources that apply across an organization, and not those provided to a specific program. The groups of activities are Management and Oversight Services; Communications Services; Legal Services; Human Resources Management Services; Financial Management Services; Information Management Services; Information Technology Services; Real Property Services; Materiel Services; and Acquisition Services.

Budgetary Financial Resources (dollars)

2015–16 Main Estimates 2015–16 Planned Spending 2016–17 Planned Spending 2017–18 Planned Spending
7,516,495 7,516,495 7,509,007 7,454,559

Human Resources (FTEs)

2015–16 2016–17 2017–18
70* 70* 70*

*It includes 14 FTEs for Internal Support Services that the Commission provides to some other small government departments.

Planning Highlights

While supporting its organizational priorities, and continuing to deliver internal services that support its operations and the operations of some other small agencies, the Commission will focus on the following internal initiatives in 2015–16: 

  • Implement a digital approach including WiFi capacity, e-office and an accessibility strategy.
  • Complete the first evaluation cycle as per the new performance management directive and implement tools on talent management and learning.
  • Enhance shared services governance by including the recommendations related to the Horizontal Audit of Shared Accountability for Interdepartmental Service Agreements.
  • Renew policies and directives, mainly related to accommodation of employee’s needs, security and evaluation, taking into account the TBS Policy Reset Initiative.
  • Continue to engage staff in the Blueprint 2020 initiative and participate in related horizontal initiatives.
  • Pilot the Commission’s activity-based costing approach.
  • Implement Phase 2 of the Commission’s Intranet Renewal.

 

Section III : Supplementary Information

Future-Oriented Statement of Operations

The future-oriented condensed statement of operations provides a general overview of the Commission’s operations. The forecast of financial information on expenses and revenues is prepared on an accrual accounting basis to strengthen accountability and to improve transparency and financial management.

Because the future-oriented condensed statement of operations is prepared on an accrual accounting basis, and the forecast and planned spending amounts presented in other sections of the Report on Plans and Priorities are prepared on an expenditure basis, amounts differ.

A more detailed future-oriented statement of operations and associated notes, including a reconciliation of the net cost of operations to the requested authorities, can be found on the Commission’s website. 

Future-Oriented Condensed Statement of Operations 
For the Year ended March 31 (dollars)

Financial Information Estimated Results
2014–15
Planned Results 2015-2016 Difference
Total expenses 27,638,578 26,944,543 (694,035)
Total revenues 1,119,400 1,200,000 80,600
Net cost of operations 26,519,178 25,744,543 (774,635)

The decrease between 2014–15 and 2015–16 is mainly the result of a reduction in severance pay cash-out because of the ending of the severance pay program for public service employees, as well as the decrease of the rate for contributions to employee benefits.

Supplementary Information Tables

The supplementary information tables listed in the 2015–16 Report on Plans and Priorities can be found on the Commission’s website.

Tax Expenditures and Evaluations Report

The tax system can be used to achieve public policy objectives through the application of special measures such as low tax rates, exemptions, deductions, deferrals and credits. The Department of Finance publishes cost estimates and projections for these measures annually in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication. The tax measures presented in the Tax Expenditures and Evaluations publication are the sole responsibility of the Minister of Finance. 

Section IV : Organizational Contact Information

Canadian Human Rights Commission
344 Slater Street, 8th Floor 
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 1E1
Telephone: 613- 995-1151
Toll Free: 1-888-214-1090
TTY: 1-888-643-3304
Fax: 613-996-9661
http://www.chrc-ccdp.gc.ca
Twitter: @CdnHumanRights
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CanadianHumanRightsCommission

 

Appendix: Definitions

appropriation: Any authority of Parliament to pay money out of the Consolidated Revenue Fund.

budgetary expenditures: Include operating and capital expenditures; transfer payments to other levels of government, organizations or individuals; and payments to Crown corporations.

Departmental Performance Report: Reports on an appropriated organization’s actual accomplishments against the plans, priorities and expected results set out in the corresponding Reports on Plans and Priorities. These reports are tabled in Parliament in the fall.

full-time equivalent: Is a measure of the extent to which an employee represents a full person year charge against a departmental budget. Full-time equivalents are calculated as a ratio of assigned hours of work to scheduled hours of work. Scheduled hours of work are set out in collective agreements.

Government of Canada outcomes: A set of 16 high-level objectives defined for the government as a whole, grouped in four spending areas: economic affairs, social affairs, international affairs and government affairs.

Management, Resources and Results Structure: A comprehensive framework that consists of an organization’s inventory of programs, resources, results, performance indicators and governance information. Programs and results are depicted in their hierarchical relationship to each other and to the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute. The Management, Resources and Results Structure is developed from the Program Alignment Architecture.

non-budgetary expenditures: Include net outlays and receipts related to loans, investments and advances, which change the composition of the financial assets of the Government of Canada.

performance: What an organization did with its resources to achieve its results, how well those results compare to what the organization intended to achieve and how well lessons learned have been identified.

performance indicator: A qualitative or quantitative means of measuring an output or outcome, with the intention of gauging the performance of an organization, program, policy or initiative respecting expected results.

performance reporting: The process of communicating evidence-based performance information. Performance reporting supports decision making, accountability and transparency.

planned spending: For Reports on Plans and Priorities (RPPs) and Departmental Performance Reports (DPRs), planned spending refers to those amounts that receive Treasury Board approval by February 1. Therefore, planned spending may include amounts incremental to planned expenditures presented in the Main Estimates. A department is expected to be aware of the authorities that it has sought and received. The determination of planned spending is a departmental responsibility, and departments must be able to defend the expenditure and accrual numbers presented in their RPPs and DPRs.

plans: The articulation of strategic choices, which provides information on how an organization intends to achieve its priorities and associated results. Generally a plan will explain the logic behind the strategies chosen and tend to focus on actions that lead up to the expected result.

priorities: Plans or projects that an organization has chosen to focus and report on during the planning period. Priorities represent the things that are most important or what must be done first to support the achievement of the desired Strategic Outcome(s).

program: A group of related resource inputs and activities that are managed to meet specific needs and to achieve intended results and that are treated as a budgetary unit.

Program Alignment Architecture: A structured inventory of an organization’s programs depicting the hierarchical relationship between programs and the Strategic Outcome(s) to which they contribute.

Report on Plans and Priorities: Provides information on the plans and expected performance of appropriated organizations over a three-year period. These reports are tabled in Parliament each spring.

results: An external consequence attributed, in part, to an organization, policy, program or initiative. Results are not within the control of a single organization, policy, program or initiative; instead they are within the area of the organization’s influence.

Strategic Outcome: A long-term and enduring benefit to Canadians that is linked to the organization’s mandate, vision and core functions.

sunset program: A time-limited program that does not have an ongoing funding and policy authority. When the program is set to expire, a decision must be made whether to continue the program. In the case of a renewal, the decision specifies the scope, funding level and duration.

target: A measurable performance or success level that an organization, program or initiative plans to achieve within a specified time period. Targets can be either quantitative or qualitative.

whole-of-government framework: Maps the financial contributions of federal organizations receiving appropriations by aligning their Programs to a set of 16 government-wide, high-level outcome areas, grouped under four spending areas.

 

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