Law:Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act

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R.s.c., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.)


(Enacted as Part I to R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), in force September 15, 1988, see Si/88-152.)

Contents

Short Title

Short title

2. This Part may be cited as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Act.


Interpretation

Definitions

3. In this Part,

“Agency”

« Agence »

“Agency” means the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency established by section 10;

“Atlantic Canada”

« Canada atlantique »

“Atlantic Canada” means the Provinces of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland;

“Board”

« conseil »

“Board” means the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Board established by section 18;

“designated area”

« zone désignée »

“designated area” means an area of Atlantic Canada designated by order of the Minister pursuant to section 7;

“Minister”

« ministre »

“Minister” means such member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada as is appointed by Commission under the Great Seal to be the Minister for the purposes of this Part;

“President”

« président »

“President” means the President of the Agency appointed pursuant to subsection 11(1).


Purpose

Purpose

4. The purpose of this Part is to increase opportunity for economic development in Atlantic Canada and, more particularly, to enhance the growth of earned incomes and employment opportunities in that region.


Powers, Duties And Functions Of The Minister

Powers, duties and functions of the Minister

5. (1) In furtherance of the purpose of this Part, the Minister may exercise powers and perform duties and functions that affect economic opportunity and development in Atlantic Canada over which Parliament has jurisdiction and that are not by or pursuant to law assigned to any other member of the Queen’s Privy Council for Canada or to any department, board or agency of the Government of Canada.

Coordination

(2) The Minister shall coordinate the policies and programs of the Government of Canada in relation to opportunity for economic development in Atlantic Canada.

Advisory boards

(3) The Minister may establish advisory boards and provide for their membership, duties, functions and operation.

Expenses

(4) Subject to the approval of the Governor in Council, the Minister may provide for the payment of reasonable travel and living expenses incurred in the performance of their duties and functions by members of advisory boards established under subsection (3).

Responsible for Agency

6. (1) The Minister is responsible for the Agency.

Agreements with provinces

(2) The Minister may enter into agreements with the government of any province or provinces in Atlantic Canada respecting the carrying out of any program or project of the Agency.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 6; 2002, c. 17, s. 2.

Establishment of areas

7. The Minister may, by order, establish as a designated area, for the period set out in the order, any area in Atlantic Canada where, in the opinion of the Minister, exceptional circumstances provide opportunities for locally based improvements in productive employment.

Shares and related instruments

8. Subject to any regulations, the Minister may acquire, exercise, assign or sell a stock option, share warrant, share or other similar financial instrument obtained as a condition of a loan or contribution made, a guarantee given or loan insurance or credit insurance provided under section 13 or in the course of the collection or enforcement of a debtor’s obligation to the Agency.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 8; 2001, c. 34, s. 5.

Support for programs and projects under other Acts

9. (1) Where the Minister is satisfied that the implementation of a program or project authorized by any other Act would further the purpose of this Part, the Minister may, conditionally or unconditionally, undertake to transfer funds appropriated for the purposes of this Part to supplement funds that the minister responsible for the program or project has undertaken to expend in connection therewith.

Effect of undertaking

(2) Subject to compliance with any conditions attached to an undertaking given by the Minister pursuant to subsection (1) and to the approval of Parliament, funds undertaken to be transferred may be expended by the minister responsible for the implementation of the program or project on the same terms and conditions as funds that that minister has undertaken to expend in connection therewith.

Information in annual report

(3) Each annual report under subsection 21(3) shall include full and complete information relating to funds undertaken to be transferred under this section in the fiscal year to which the report relates.


Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Establishment of Agency

10. There is hereby established an agency of the Government of Canada to be known as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency.

President

11. (1) The Governor in Council shall appoint an officer to be the deputy of the Minister, who shall be called the President of the Agency and who shall hold office during pleasure.

Chief executive officer

(2) The President is the chief executive officer of the Agency and, under the direction of the Minister, has control and supervision over the work, officers and employees of the Agency.

Acting President

(3) In the event of the absence or incapacity of the President or a vacancy in that office, the Minister shall appoint another person to act as the President, but no person may act as President for a period exceeding ninety days without the approval of the Governor in Council.

Remuneration

(4) The President shall be paid such remuneration as may be fixed by the Governor in Council.


Object, Powers And Duties

Object

12. The object of the Agency is to support and promote opportunity for economic development of Atlantic Canada, with particular emphasis on small and medium-sized enterprises, through policy, program and project development and implementation and through advocacy of the interests of Atlantic Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation.

Powers

13. In carrying out its object, the Agency may

(a) in concert with other concerned departments and agencies of the Government of Canada, formulate plans and integrated federal approaches to support opportunity for economic development of Atlantic Canada;

(b) plan, direct, manage and implement programs and projects intended to contribute directly or indirectly to

(i) the establishment, development, support and promotion of enterprises, and more particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in Atlantic Canada,

(ii) the development of entrepreneurial talent in that region, and

(iii) the economic prosperity of that region;

(c) plan, direct, manage and implement programs and projects to improve the business environment in Atlantic Canada, including programs and projects

(i) of support to business associations, conferences, studies, consultations, trade shows, demonstration projects and market research,

(ii) related to the development of business opportunity data banks and networks,

(iii) to improve business communication and cooperation, and

(iv) to promote scholarship related to business and investment;

(d) assist investors to locate enterprises, and more particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in Atlantic Canada, consistent with Atlantic Canada and federal investment requirements;

(e) make loans to any person with respect to the establishment and development of enterprises, and more particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in Atlantic Canada;

(f) guarantee the repayment of, or provide loan insurance or credit insurance in respect of, any financial obligation undertaken by any person in respect of the establishment and development of enterprises, and more particularly small and medium-sized enterprises, in Atlantic Canada;

(g) in accordance with terms and conditions approved by Treasury Board, make grants and contributions in support of programs and projects undertaken by the Agency or the Minister;

(h) enter into contracts, memoranda of understanding or other arrangements in the name of Her Majesty in right of Canada or in the name of the Agency;

(h.1) enter into an arrangement with the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation that allows that corporation, within the limits of its objects and powers as set out in sections 33 and 34 of the Enterprise Cape Breton Corporation Act, to exercise the powers or perform the duties or functions of the Agency under this section, including the power to enter into agreements that commit moneys appropriated by Parliament for the purposes of the Agency; and

(i) do all such other things as are necessary or incidental to the attainment of the object of the Agency.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 13; 2002, c. 17, s. 3.

Duties

14. The Agency shall assist the Minister

(a) generally, in the exercise of powers and the performance of duties and functions under this Part and any other Act in relation to which powers, duties and functions are assigned to the Minister in relation to opportunity for economic development of Atlantic Canada;

(b) in the coordination of policies and programs of the Government of Canada in relation to opportunity for economic development of Atlantic Canada;

(c) by administering any agreements entered into by the Minister with a province or provinces;

(d) in the exercise of powers conferred on the Minister by section 8; and

(e) by compiling detailed information on all programs and projects undertaken by the Agency or the Minister for the purpose of measuring trends, development and progress in the economic development of Atlantic Canada.


General

Officers and employees

15. (1) Such officers and employees as are necessary for the proper conduct of the work of the Agency shall be appointed in accordance with the Public Service Employment Act.

Government services and facilities

(2) In exercising its powers and performing its duties and functions under this Part, the Agency shall, where appropriate, make use of the services and facilities of departments, boards and agencies of the Government of Canada.

Offices

16. The principal office of the Agency shall be in Moncton, New Brunswick, but the Agency shall maintain at least one office in each other province in Atlantic Canada.

Contracts binding on Her Majesty

17. (1) Every contract, memorandum of understanding and arrangement entered into by the Agency in its own name is binding on Her Majesty in right of Canada to the same extent as it is binding on the Agency.

Legal proceedings

(2) Actions, suits or other legal proceedings in respect of any right or obligation acquired or incurred by the Agency, whether in its own name or in the name of Her Majesty, may be brought or taken by or against the Agency in the name of the Agency in any court that would have jurisdiction if the Agency were a corporation that is not an agent of Her Majesty.


Atlantic Canada Opportunities Board

Establishment of Board

18. (1) There is hereby established a board to be known as the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Board, consisting of the President and not more than seven other members appointed by the Governor in Council on the recommendation of the Minister to hold office during pleasure for a term not exceeding three years.

Object

(2) The object of the Board is to assist the Agency in the exercise of its powers and the performance of its duties and functions.

Membership

(3) The Board shall include persons from each province in Atlantic Canada.

Chairperson

(4) The President is the Chairperson of the Board, but in the event of the absence of the President, another member of the Board designated by the President shall act as chairperson of the Board.

Acting member

(5) In the event of the absence or incapacity of a member of the Board other than the President, the Minister may designate a person to act as a member, but no person may act as a member for a period exceeding ninety days without the approval of the Governor in Council.

Re-appointment

(6) A member of the Board other than the President, on the expiration of a first term of office, is eligible to be re-appointed for one further term only.

Remuneration and expenses

(7) Each member of the Board, other than the President, is entitled to be paid, for each day on which the member attends a meeting of the Board and for services provided to the Agency other than at a meeting of the Board, such remuneration as may be fixed by the Governor in Council and shall be paid reasonable travel and living expenses incurred by the member in the performance of duties and functions as such.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 18; 1995, c. 29, s. 2.

Meetings

19. (1) The Board shall meet at such times, but at least once in each year, and at such places as the President may select.

Quorum

(2) At a meeting of the Board, four members of the Board, including the President or the member designated pursuant to subsection 18(4) to act as chairperson at that meeting, constitute a quorum.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 19; 1995, c. 29, s. 3; 2002, c. 17, s. 4.


Regulations

Regulations

20. (1) The Minister may make regulations

(a) specifying programs and projects in addition to those referred to in paragraph 13(c) to improve the business environment in Atlantic Canada;

(b) defining, for the purposes of this Part, the expressions “small and medium-sized enterprises”, “project” and “demonstration projects” and the class or classes of small and medium-sized enterprises and of operations and activities eligible for support by the Agency under this Part; and

(c) generally for carrying out the purposes and provisions of this Part.

Idem

(2) The Minister may, with the approval of the Minister of Finance, make regulations

(a) relating to loans that may be made, guarantees that may be given and loan insurance and credit insurance that may be provided under this Part; and

(b) specifying the circumstances in which and the manner in which the Minister may acquire, exercise, assign or sell a stock option obtained as a condition under which a contribution or loan was made, a guarantee given or loan insurance or credit insurance provided under this Part.

Designated area regulations

(3) In order to exploit the opportunities for locally based improvements in productive employment identified in a designated area, regulations specially applicable to that area may be made under the authority of this section that vary from regulations of general application to Atlantic Canada.


Reports

Annual report of Agency

21. (1) The President shall, within four months after the end of each fiscal year, submit a report on the operations of the Agency in that year to the Minister.

Comprehensive report

(2) The President shall, on or before September 15, 1993 and every five years thereafter, submit to the Minister a comprehensive report, in addition to the annual report of the Agency, providing an evaluation of all activities in which the Agency was involved and the impact those activities have had on regional disparity.

Tabling

(2.1) The Minister shall cause a copy of the comprehensive report to be laid before each House of Parliament on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after the Minister receives it.

Annual report by Minister

(3) The Minister shall cause to be laid before each House of Parliament, on any of the first fifteen days on which that House is sitting after September 30 next following the end of each fiscal year, a report, including a copy of the annual report submitted to the Minister under subsection (1), on the administration of this Part for that fiscal year.

R.S., 1985, c. 41 (4th Supp.), s. 21; 1992, c. 1, s. 10.


Transitional

Appropriations based on Estimates

22. The provisions made by any appropriation Act for the fiscal year in which this section comes into force, based on the Estimates for that year to defray the charges and expenses of the public service of Canada within the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion in relation to any matter in Atlantic Canada to which the powers, duties or functions of the Minister or the Agency extend by law, shall be applied to such classifications of the public service within the Agency as the Governor in Council may determine.

Transfer of powers, duties and functions

23. Wherever under any Act, order, rule or regulation, or any contract, lease, licence or other document, any power, duty or function is vested in or exercisable by the Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion, the Deputy Minister of Regional Industrial Expansion or any other officer of the Department of Regional Industrial Expansion in relation to any matter in Atlantic Canada to which the powers, duties or functions of the Minister or of the Agency extend by law, the power, duty or function is vested in and shall be exercised by the Minister, the President or the appropriate officer of the Agency, as the case may be, unless the Governor in Council by order designates another Minister, deputy minister or officer of a department or a portion of the public service of Canada to exercise that power, duty or function.

Deemed appointment

24. Every indeterminate employee in the public service of Canada who is transferred to a position in the Agency from the public service of Canada within ninety days after the day on which this section comes into force is deemed to have been appointed to the Agency in accordance with subsection 15(1).


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