Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat
Symbol of the Government of Canada

ARCHIVED - Industry Canada

Warning This page has been archived.

Archived Content

Information identified as archived on the Web is for reference, research or recordkeeping purposes. It has not been altered or updated after the date of archiving. Web pages that are archived on the Web are not subject to the Government of Canada Web Standards. As per the Communications Policy of the Government of Canada, you can request alternate formats on the "Contact Us" page.

5.1.7 Horizontal Initiatives

Industry Canada is involved in a number of horizontal initiatives, working in partnership with other federal departments, other levels of government, non-governmental organizations and private sector organizations. Industry Canada's involvement in these initiatives contributes to the Department's achievement of its strategic outcomes.

Industry Canada is the lead for the following significant horizontal initiatives. Supplementary information on horizontal initiatives can be found on the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat Horizontal Results Database website.

  • Canadian Biotechnology Strategy
  • Canada Business Network

DPR Horizontal Initiative
Name of Horizontal Initiative: Name of Lead Department(s):
Canadian Biotechnology Strategy (CBS) Industry Canada, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Canadian Food Inspection Agency, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada, Environment Canada, Health Canada, Natural Resources Canada, National Research Council Canada
Start Date of the Horizontal Initiative: 1998 End Date of the Horizontal Initiative: Total Federal Funding Allocation (start to end date):
CBS Fund: June 30, 2007 CBS Fund: $65.1 million (from April 1999 to June 2007)
Canadian Regulatory System for Biotechnology (CRSB): This is an ongoing initiative CRSB: $228.4 million (from 1999 to 2007)
Genomics R&D Initiative: Will be seeking program renewal from April 2008 to March 2011 Genomics R&D: $174.4 million (from April 1999 to March 2008)
Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement):
The vision of the Canadian Biotechnology Strategy (CBS) was to "enhance the quality of life of Canadians in terms of health, safety, the environment, and social and economic development by positioning Canada as a responsible world leader in biotechnology."

Acting within the CBS pillars of stewardship, citizen engagement and innovation, this document reports on three strategic initiatives: the CBS Fund, the Canadian Regulatory System for Biotechnology (CRSB) and the Genomics Research and Development (Genomics R&D Initiative) program. Each of these initiatives focuses on a different aspect of Canada's biotechnology-related priorities, involving separate program management and resource allocation, as well as the profiling of initiatives that are linked through the CBS governance structure.

Note: The policy authority for the CBS ended on June 15, 2007. Further to a commitment under Mobilizing Science and Technology to Canada's Advantage, the roles and responsibilities of the Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee will be consolidated into the new Science, Technology and Innovation Council.
Shared Outcome(s):
Biotechnology applications are influencing the way our society and economy are evolving. The pace of science is presenting great opportunities for new markets and new solutions to the challenges faced by humankind. However, these advances also present choices and challenges that demand an effective and forward-looking regulatory system.

The shared outcome of the CBS was to ensure that biotechnology continues to enhance Canadians' quality of life in terms of health, safety, the environment, and social and economic development. The desired outcome from the strategy was to position Canada as a world leader in biotechnology while supporting Government of Canada priorities to protect the health and safety of Canadians and the environment.
Governance Structure(s):
The CBS was designed to integrate social, ethical, health, economic, environmental and regulatory issues, and to position Canada as a responsible world leader in biotechnology. The CBS was built on a framework supported by three pillars: stewardship, innovation and citizen engagement.

Under the leadership of the Minister of Industry, priorities for the CBS were set by the Biotechnology Ministerial Coordinating Committee (BMCC), which was created by the Prime Minister in 1998.

The Biotechnology Deputy Minister Coordinating Committee, chaired by Industry Canada, met as required to provide strategic policy guidance on the government's priorities and to prepare advice for BMCC.

The Biotechnology Assistant Deputy Minister Coordinating Committee (BACC) was the "management committee" of the CBS. BACC had a permanent representative from each department receiving CBS funding with significant biotechnology expertise and experience (Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Environment Canada, International Trade Canada, Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Health Canada, Industry Canada, Natural Resources Canada and Department of Justice) as well as one member from the National Research Council (NRC), one from Canadian Food Inspection Agency, and one representing the tri-councils – the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) and the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC). BACC was responsible for setting priorities and providing horizontal coordination of the three CBS initiatives.

A number of interdepartmental working groups have been struck to address ongoing and emerging biotechnology issues. Examples of such working groups include Regulatory, Reporting and Accountability, Ecosystem Effects of Novel Living Organisms, International and Communications.

The Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat (CBSec) was mandated to ensure effective horizontal work, policy development and coordination across CBS departments and agencies. CBSec also reported on CBS Fund financial performance and created the necessary mechanisms to report on results to the CBS community and Canadians. The secretariat also supported the operation of Canadian Biotechnology Advisory Committee (CBAC) in general, including the completion of committee projects.

CBAC was an external advisory body established to advise the Government of Canada on the broad policy issues associated with the ethical, social, regulatory, economic, scientific, environmental and health aspects of biotechnology.

Canadian Biotechnology Strategy Fund

The CBS Fund supported biotechnology departments and agencies to explore new and crosscutting opportunities and challenges, conducted policy research and development, and ensured that federal decisions were based on expert advice and knowledge. A total of $2.67 million* was allocated by BACC to the following four main priorities:
  1. Innovation to Address National Challenges

    $525,000 was utilized to realize the benefits of biotechnology in promising R&D areas such as genomics, bio-based economy, biotechnology and health and natural resources. Projects undertaken reflected areas where work is critical to realize added value from federal investments in R&D, align biotechnology investments with national priorities (S&T agenda, bio-economy, national security), build an innovative 21st-century economy, and increase policy responsiveness to scientific development.

  2. Smart Regulation

    $1.3 million was invested across five departments to undertake initiatives as a response to the challenges raised by new biotechnology products and echo some of the External Advisory Committee on Smart Regulation, CBAC and Royal Society of Canada findings and recommendations on the need for a new regulatory framework.

  3. Citizen Engagement:

    $325,000 was allocated to enable work in three main areas: public and media research analysis, engaging decision makers, and ensuring a CBS web presence through the BioPortal to better inform and engage Canadians.

  4. Supporting the CBS Horizontal Management and Program Functions

    $425,500 was used to support Statistics Canada's leading-edge biotechnology surveys and an innovative knowledge management system, the BioNetwork.

* Treasury Board Ministers approved release of only 50 percent of frozen allotments for the CBS Fund for 2006-07 (TB decision 832790). Of this, $2.67 million was allocated for horizontal activities while the remainder was used for administration of CBSec and CBAC.

Genomics R&D Program

Initiated in 1999, the Genomics R&D Program is a targeted investment of $19.9 million per year used to increase genomics research capacity in the federal government. An interdepartmental Genomics R&D ADM Coordinating Committee has been established to oversee collective management and coordination of the federal Genomics R&D Initiative. The committee ensures that effective priority-setting mechanisms are established within departments and that government objectives and priorities are addressed.

The committee also ensures that common management principles associated with genomics R&D management are implemented and that horizontal collaborations between organizations are pursued wherever relevant and possible. The committee includes members from each of the organizations that receive funding as well as a representative from Industry Canada.

An interdepartmental working group supports the work of the committee. The mandate of the working group is to provide recommendations and advice to the ADM Coordinating Committee regarding strategic priority setting and overall management of the Genomics R&D Initiative. The working group also supports evaluation and reporting requirements related to the initiative.

The National Research Council has been the lead agency in developing the Results-Based Management and Accountability Framework (RMAF) and TBS submissions, and chairs the Coordinating Committee and the interdepartmental working group.

To ensure that the maximum possible benefit is derived from government investments in genomics R&D, each department uses an internal competitive program proposal and approval process, as well as scientific peer review to evaluate the quality and relevance of research programs. All departments have leveraged the government's investment in genomics R&D by providing additional (or matching) funds by allocating A-base to supplement genomics R&D funding. Resources in each department are directed toward fulfilling specific mandate requirements. Successful collaborations are established where relevant and appropriate.

Canadian Regulatory System for Biotechnology:

The Canadian Regulatory System for Biotechnology (CRSB) was established in 2000 to enhance Canada's regulatory capacity and to ensure that Canadians have an efficient, credible and well-respected biotechnology regulatory system that safeguards health and the environment as a priority and, thereby, permits safe and effective products to enter the market.

The strategic objectives of the CRSB are to meet technical capacity and human resources needs; improve public awareness of, and confidence in, the regulatory system; increase efficiency, effectiveness and timeliness of the regulatory system; and generate knowledge to support the regulatory system.
Federal Partner(s) Names of Programs for the Federal Partner(s) Total Allocation from Start to End Date ($000) Planned Spending for
2006-07 ($000)
Actual Spending in 2006-07 ($000)
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (a) CBS Fund $3,311.00 $150.00 $150.00
(b) Genomics R&D $53,000.00 $6,000.00 $6,000.00
Canadian Biotechnology Secretariat (CBSec) (a) CBS Fund $6,636.50 $405.50 $405.50
(b) CBSec, CBAC, Emerging Issues Fund and departmental allowance for reporting $14,570.00 $1,996.00 $1,996.00
Canadian Food Inspection Agency (a) CBS Fund $7,018.50 $372.50 $372.50
(b) CRSB $76,600.00 $11,284.00 $11,284.00
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (a) CBS Fund $2,429.10 $50.00 $50.00
Fisheries and Oceans Canada (a) CBS Fund $2,669.90 $250.00 $250.00
(b) CRSB $9,415.00 $1,495.00 $1,495.00
(c) Genomics R&D $7,900.00 $900.00 $900.00
Environment Canada (a) CBS Fund $5,789.10 $375.00 $375.00
(b) CRSB $11,421.00 $1,603.00 $1,603.00
(c) Genomics R&D $9,000.00 $1,000.00 $1,000.00
Health Canada (a) CBS Fund $5,717.70 $300.00 $300.00
(b) CRSB $121,724.00 $18,948.00 $18,948.00
(c) Genomics R&D $34,000.00 $4,000.00 $4,000.00
Industry Canada (a) CBS Fund $3,720.00 $275.00 $275.00
(b) CRSB $1,100.00 $150.00 $150.00
Natural Resources Canada (a) CBS Fund $2,516.20 $100.00 $100.00
(b) CRSB $8,140.00 $1,120.00 $1,120.00
(c) Genomics R&D $17,000.00 $2,000.00 $2,000.00
Department of Justice Canada (a) CBS Fund $1,698.30 $0.00 $0.00
National Research Council Canada (a) CBS Fund $3,696.30 $0.00 $0.00
(b) Genomics R&D $53,000.00 $6,000.00 $6,000.00
Defence Research and Development Canada (a) CBS Fund $50.00 $50.00 $50.00
Statistics Canada (a) CBS Fund $3,263.20 $346.00 $346.00
Canadian Institutes of Health Research (a) CBS Fund $150.00 $0.00 $0.00
(b) Genomics R&D $500.00 $0.00 $0.00
Veterans Affairs Canada (a) CBS Fund $85.00 $0.00 $0.00
Human Resources and Social Development Canada (a) CBS Fund $75.00 $0.00 $0.00
Total CBS Fund $48,825.80 $2,674.00 $2,674.00
Genomics R&D $174,400.00 $19,900.00 $19,900.00
CRSB $228,400.00 $34,600.00 $34,600.00
Initiative Planned Results Achieved Results
CBS Fund 1. Contribute to policy development to stimulate sustainable Canadian opportunities in the growing bioeconomy 1.1 Participated in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) 2030 bioeconomy initiative and developed a Canadian position on the scope of the project.

1.2 Launched a non-timber forest products network comprising representatives from universities, provincial governments and NGOs. This network will enter into a national consultation to create a profile for bioproducts within the scientific community.

1.3 Assessed various sector-based opportunities for developing an integrated Environment Canada perspective on bioeconomy policy development.

1.4 Contributed to federal analysis of Canada's capacity to meet the demand for biofuels.

1.5 Provided a profile of genetically engineered (GE) food purchasers. This profile will help to understand the consumer purchasing patterns of GE modified food and will provide an analysis of their cross-purchasing behaviour with, for example, organic products.

1.6 Convened a citizens' panel on plant molecular farming (PMF) to explore the general and specific conditions under which PMF may or may not be acceptable to Canadians. This is the government's first non-technical consultation on PMF and has provided insight on acceptability issues to support informed policy development.
2. Ensure regulatory policy coherence, strengthen regulatory program delivery, and improve and coordinate risk management and biotechnology stewardship 2.1 Conducted workshops geared toward addressing several long-standing regulatory challenges in an effort to improve biotechnology horizontal regulatory governance.

2.2 Finalized, as part of the biotechnology regulatory communications strategy, a common biotechnology messaging system that can be used consistently by those communicating about regulatory biotechnology in each of the regulatory departments and agencies.

2.3 Developed draft regulatory directives for PMF and produced reports and papers on PMF, including its economic impact on adjacent industries and other countries' experience.

2.4 Developed a draft stewardship/decision-making framework for biotechnology and tested the framework by conducting a case study on biotechnology functional foods.

2.5 Pursued bilateral relationships with key foreign governments and discussed risk assessment and risk management frameworks for issues related to agricultural biotechnology (e.g., adventitious presence).
3. Enhance the capacity of the BioPortal and improve trends in public attitudes 3.1 Completed Wave 14 of public opinion research on emerging technologies. The data reveal that trends in public opinion show growing support, with opposition toward biotechnology declining by 4 percent from last year.

3.2 Launched BioGov, a fully searchable section of the BioPortal on global biotechnology strategies, policies and regulations from governments and governing bodies around the globe.
4. Enhance the diffusion of new products, improve commercialization and financing mechanisms through broad initiatives, and survey biotechnology use and development to assess industry trends 4.1 Provided up-to-date data on the state of bio-pharmaceutical development in Canada as well as the competitive position of Canadian biotechnology firms (as measured by patents, financing, scientific papers, etc.).

4.2 Participated in the Centre for Healthcare Innovation and Improvement and the OECD project on research models for the delivery of health innovation. Benchmarked Canada's capacity in the development and use of innovative biotechnology-derived human health products.

4.3 Completed Biotechnology Use and Development Survey 2005, which indicated that growth continued in the sector but at a slower pace than reported in earlier years.
5. Ensure a strong foundation of information and appropriate knowledge-management mechanisms to support decision making 5.1 Launched BioNetwork, an online knowledge management tool. BioNetwork is a GTEC (Government Technology Exhibition and Conference) award recipient.

5.2 Supported transparent accountability of federal government investments in the CBS Fund (annual reports, horizontal departmental performance reports and horizontal report on plans and priorities).
CBAC 6. Stakeholder consultations held and reports released 6.1 Organized series of expert round tables and extended citizen focus groups, and released a report on the renewal of the Canadian Biotechnology Strategy.
7. Research commissioned and reports released 7.1 Released a major report entitled BioPromise? Biotechnology, Sustainable Development and Canada's Future Economy.

7.2 Released CBAC's fifth annual report in 2005.
8. Advice provided to the Government of Canada 8.1 Prepared an advisory memorandum on biotechnology, sustainable development and Canada's future economy and published Biotech Watch, CBAC's newsletter, which examines a range of biotechnology policy issues.
Genomics R&D 1. Achieve commercially relevant advances in areas of genomics R&D related to human health (e.g., genetic testing, diagnostics, microbial genomic applications, treating and preventing human diseases such as cancer and cardiovascular disease, and pathogen detection) 1.1 Cancer research is targeted at discovering gene/protein changes that either cause or provide signatures of cancer, and to use them as targets for therapeutic molecules and for imaging techniques that detect disease and track the efficacy of therapy. Work with glioblastoma cell models and clinical samples have resulted not only in the identification of biomarkers for the vasculature of brain tumours, but also in the identification of a family of markers with anti-angiogenic activities (i.e., ability to reduce the growth of new blood vessels): the Insulin-Like Growth Factor Binding Protein (IGFBP) family. A provisional patent has been filed that encompasses the utilization of these molecules and related peptides as anti-angiogenic molecules with potential applications in the treatment of cancer.
2. Realize crop value improvements in cereals, soybean and canola through quality improvements in areas related to plant adaptation to biotic and abiotic stresses (e.g., resistance to disease, tolerance to drought and cold), as well as seed development and metabolism 2.1 A functional analysis of Brassica (e.g., canola) seed development and metabolic processes is being undertaken with the goal of improving Brassica seed quality traits. The cell biological bases for thinner and lighter seed coat in yellow-seeded canola have been determined, providing a structural handle/target for further manipulation. Researchers have now shown that the development of seed coat is temporally and intimately related to embryo development in canola. The functionality of a promoter to a specific layer of the seed coat is now established, offering a tool for manipulating this part of the seed coat. This manipulation technique could lead to the development of more durable and productive canola crops – a matter of growing importance in the global search for cost-effective and efficient renewable fuels.

2.2 In order to develop new wheat-breeding strategies for complex traits of economic importance and to uncover the genetic basis of these traits, progress has been made in relating the function of specific genes to the trait itself. This has been accomplished by creating a genetic map of gene expression during seed development and correlating it to a similar map for traits. This approach has identified several wheat chromosomal locations, which are important regulators for economically important traits and also control the expression of many genes.

2.3 Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) is a major wheat disease with food safety implications. In wheat, the locations of three genes, which provide resistance to FHB, have been precisely mapped. This has led to the development of robust diagnostic markers for these important genes. The markers and genetic map information are now implemented in the wheat breeding process in western Canada. This information has been passed onto European and U.S. colleagues who have a similar interest in FHB resistance genes.

2.4 Over 80 of the genes responsible for the seed gluten proteins have been sequenced. These proteins are the primary determinants of wheat bread-making quality. Wheat collections were screened to determine the evolutionary mechanism that led to the development of this important seed quality trait. The genes responsible for another important seed quality trait, hardness, have also been identified and sequenced. Further investigation of these sequences will provide some insight into the evolution of this major seed trait.

2.5 Wheat Leaf Rust, caused by the fungus Puccinia triticina, is a disease that is genetically well characterized and forms a useful disease model for cereals. Using proteomics, genomics R&D has been able to find out which proteins play a role in disease development and this study is now being extended to characterize post-translational phosphorylation events, which are responsible for regulating biochemical processes, such as disease development and resistance.
3. Implement the sustainable management of aquatic resources through the use of genomics tools to manage fishery openings; generate increased understanding of population genetics and structure; and further understanding of behavioural, physiological and immunological responses to the environment; and through the management of aquatic animal diseases (e.g., vaccine development for farmed fish) 3.1 Research to develop efficient new tools and technologies for vaccine development and vaccine delivery in farmed fish (e.g., Atlantic salmon) is targeted at reducing costs while increasing the value of the Canadian industry. The genome of a major pathogen that affects Atlantic salmon (Aeromonas salmonicida) has been annotated and submitted to GenBank. The program's first live attenuated vaccine candidates were tested in Atlantic salmon, and three promising vaccine candidates were identified and proved to show significant protection during trails.

3.2 Research is being undertaken to efficiently and effectively identify genetic differences between two morphologically similar mussel species, Mytilus edulis and M. trossulus, and determine the relative distribution of these species within Nova Scotia, with support from industry and the province of Nova Scotia. Genetic markers have been developed and optimized for higher throughput analysis and for use in future selective breeding activities. Results indicate that there are very different species compositions at locations adjacent to each other and have identified sites suitable for mussel seed collection for use in aquaculture in Nova Scotia. This has helped overcome the impacts from the restriction of movement of species from areas with aquatic invasive species.

3.3 In order to better manage fishery openings and understand the changing behaviour of fish stocks due to climate change and pollution, genomics tools, including gene expression profiling, are being used to determine physiological changes along the migration route to natal streams associated with early entry, a behavioural shift in late-run Fraser River Sockeye salmon. Results to date indicate that osmoregulatory readiness was not used to cue the timing of river entry but may be important to successful migration within the river. Predictive biomarkers are being developed for monitoring relevant genes to enable pre-season prediction of migration behaviour and fish survival for fishery managers.

3.4 Infectious diseases present a significant economic burden to finfish aquaculture industries, and there is concern that diseases may also negatively impact wild fish populations. Genomic approaches are being used to better understand the diversity of the viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus (VHSV) and to relate this diversity to host responses to infection, disease development, and recovery or resistance to clinical disease. Multiple isolations of VHSV from marine waters off the coast of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and British Columbia have been genetically analyzed, and this information has been used to develop a database for use in rapid identification and analysis of isolates. Recently, VHSV has been detected in the Great Lakes region; this strain is most closely related to isolates from New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, suggesting introduction from an eastern reservoir. Research is continuing to better understand the genetic basis of virulence among strains identified in Canadian waters.
4. Position the Canadian regulatory system for health to enable innovation while minimizing the risks to Canadians through a focused genomics R&D program aimed at strengthening capacity in priority areas such as genetic information, biotechnology products, human genomics and microbial genomics, on human, animal and environmental health 4.1 Federal scientists, together with local, national and international collaborators, continued their focus on microbial genomics, particularly those related to common causes of foodborne and waterborne infections. New tools were developed for genomic analysis of pathogens associated with different levels of virulence for humans. These are likely to prove effective in rapid detection, surveillance and risk assessment of subtypes of organisms with the greatest public health risk.

4.2 Further research involved the development and application of "omics" tools to reduce exposure to foodborne pathogens; assess and mitigate risks associated with foodborne chemical contaminants; and assess the effects of nutrients or other food bioactives on health risks in Canadians and vulnerable groups with specific genotypes.

4.3 A project has been extended to build on an existing research initiative entitled Evaluation of Environmental Toxicogenomics for Use in Regulatory Toxicology and Risk. Toxicogenomics is the application of genetic methods to the study of toxicology. The results from the project have led to the development of processes that permit very low levels of toxicity to be measured. This approach is being studied to determine if this type of analysis can provide a more rational, objective reference methodology for toxicological risk assessment in organisms. Genomics has played a critical role in facilitating new understanding of the health risks related to radiofrequency radiation, e.g., cellular phones (Product Safety Programme), tobacco smoke (Tobacco Control Programme), cannabis smoke (Drug Strategy and Controlled Substances Programme), air pollution (Safe Environments Programme), endocrine disrupters, microbial biotechnology products and contaminated sites.

4.4 Research continues on pharmacogenomic and biotherapeutics data. These data hold the possibility to influence human drug approvals in Canada. Health Canada recognizes the increasingly significant role that such data will play in future drug submissions. Research projects have led to a better understanding of the methods and data analyses involved in the generation of genomic/proteomic data with respect to biotherapeutics. This increased understanding helps position Health Canada to meet the regulatory challenges of analyzing such data in order to issue sound, science-based decisions.
5. Increase knowledge of forest generation and protection methods, and address environmental impact considerations, through a focused genomics R&D effort on species and traits that are of economic importance to Canada 5.1 On the forest regeneration side, transgenic lines of white spruce and poplar over-expressing specific candidate genes involved in processes linked to wood formation and defence response were produced as an innovative approach to functional and ecological analysis. Some were transferred to partners for further investigations. Single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were analyzed for 144 candidate genes for wood traits in white spruce to compare gene frequencies in breeding and natural populations, and three new genetic linkage maps were developed for quantitative trait loci (QTL) analyses. Molecular phenotyping was performed under controlled environmental conditions to assess molecular and biochemical changes occurring during bud set in white spruce. A web database was developed and transferred to the Genome Canada Arborea II project, allowing integration of information. A genetic linkage map of a blister rust resistance gene was constructed in western white pine, providing a molecular tool for marker-assisted selection in provincial (British Columbia) breeding programs.

5.2 On the forest protection side, Canadian Forest Service (CFS) scientists co-lead initiatives to completely sequence and annotate the genome of forest pathogens (poplar rust and the mountain pine beetle fungal associate) and to analyze the genome of the invasive fungus causing sudden oak death. Protocols for transcriptome studies of host-pathogen systems were developed. As a result, several candidate genes involved in pathogenicity and elicitation of defence response in plants were identified (poplar rust, Douglas-fir laminated root rot, white pine blister rust); markers to characterize populations were validated; viral infection processes were better characterized (in spruce budworm); and the first report of baculovirus gene expression profiling using oligoarrays was published. The genome of a virus that specifically infects the balsam fir sawfly was completely sequenced, and genomics-based evidence was used to asses its environmental safety and register it as a biological control product under the name Abietiv™. A spinoff company, Sylvar Technologies Inc., successfully commercialized Abietiv™ for large-scale application in balsam fir forests in Newfoundland and Labrador. Finally, the unicellular microsporidia, a group of little-known insect pathogens, are being considered for use as potential biological control agents, and their taxonomic classification was verified through DNA sequence analysis.
6. Develop genome-science applications to support regulatory and enforcement activities in key areas such as environmental risk assessment and management; enforcement and compliance; pollution detection monitoring and prevention; conservation biology and wildlife genetics; technology forecasting and assessment; and the responsible and sustainable development and use of bio-based products and industrial processes 6.1 Environmental genomics-based approaches were used to: (1) investigate molecular-level effects of environmental contaminants on wild species to improve environmental risk assessment / monitoring; (2) conduct molecular characterization of communities of microbes in contaminated soil to enhance bioremediation; (3) detect pathogenic micro-organisms in waste water to assess the effectiveness of sewage treatment; (4) improve decision making regarding management and conservation of several species of concern (e.g., polar bears, various bird populations); (5) develop and validate a lobster eco-toxicogenomic array (correlation of gene expression profiles with traditional toxicological end points for contaminant exposure, histological effects and behavioural changes); (6) determine the environmental impacts of transgenic crops and commercial bacterial consortia to aquatic invertebrates; (7) apply genomics to microbial source tracking (identification of genetic markers specific for animal fecal pollution in aquatic environments); and (8) validate genomics tools for the prediction of environmental effects (response of fish to contaminated sediments).

6.2 Investments continued in environmental genomics foresight, knowledge development and outreach (e.g., periodic comparative analysis of international environmental genomics activities via bilateral meetings on "omic" technologies with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) (organizing and co-chairing meetings and workshops at both Pellston and Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry [SETAC]), U.S. Department of Environment (DOE) and the United Kingdom; preparation for future integration of genomics-derived data from notification packages submitted under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act; potential applications of genomics to harness microbial systems for bioremediation, bio-energy and climate change mitigation). Environment Canada is also working closely with the OECD and the World Health Organization's (WHO's) International Programme on Chemical Safety (IPCS) in developing strategies and work plans on several fronts to lead and coordinate international efforts to see how toxicogenomic methods and approaches might be applied within in a regulatory context.

6.3 In accordance with DFO's mandate to protect fisheries habitats, genomics tools are being used to assess the health of aquatic ecosystems. As bacteria are responsible for the biodegradation and biotransformation of environmental contaminants and respond rapidly to their surrounding environment, research is being undertaken to assess the use of changes in aquatic microbial community structure and function as an indicator of environmental health and/or habitat recovery in contaminated sites.

6.4 Initiated the Screening Assessment of the living organisms on the Domestic Substances List project; produced several guidance documents, fact sheets and website posting of the major milestones of this project; and set up a technical Expert Group.
Comments on Variance(s):
Results Achieved by Non-Federal Partners:
Not applicable
Contact Information:

CBS Fund:
Karen Corkery
A/Director, S&T Policy Advice Directorate

Genomics R&D Initiative:
Gary Fudge
Director, Life Sciences Horizontal Initiatives

Nigel Skipper
Director, Departmental Biotechnology Office, Health Canada

Bart Bilmer
Director, Programs Integration and Performance Management, CFIA


DPR Horizontal Initiative
Name of Horizontal Initiative: Name of Lead Department(s):
Canada Business Network
Amalgamation of Canada Business Service Centres (CBSC) and Business Gateway (BG)
  • Industry Canada
  • Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency
  • Western Economic Diversification Canada
  • Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions
Start Date of the Horizontal Initiative: End Date of the Horizontal Initiative: Total Federal Funding Allocation (start to end date):
Canada Business Service Centres (CBSC):
Funding originally started in 1995 (February 9, 1995, TB 822499). Most recent renewal for period 2006-07
(Policy and funding approval: Building a More Innovative Economy – Jobs and Growth)
March 2008 – aiming for renewal
$211 million (since 1995)
Business Gateway:
Funding originally started in 2000 to March 31, 2006
(Policy and funding approval: Government Online funding via TBS initially / PWGSC – Gateways and Clusters)
$6.79 million (since 2000)
  Total: $217.79 million
Description of the Horizontal Initiative (including funding agreement):
Canada Business was established to improve service to small business and start-up entrepreneurs by providing a comprehensive first stop for information on government services, programs and compliance requirements from federal and provincial/territorial levels of government.

On behalf of the Government of Canada and its partners, Canada Business delivers a host of information products and resources through a variety of channels across Canada (web, in-person, telephone). Through its collaboration with the provinces/territories, information products and resources are supplemented by jurisdictionally relevant content – providing a truly client-centred, integrated information service.
Shared Outcome(s):
  • Increased awareness and access to government business-related information, programs and services and facilitated compliance for business
  • Increased use of self-service channels
  • Reduced complexity in accessing programs and services and compliance requirements for SMEs
  • Improved SME business planning and market research
Governance Structure(s):
Canada Business Network is managed on behalf of the federal government by Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions, Industry Canada and Western Economic Diversification Canada.

The lead organizations are responsible for ensuring compliance with all federal policies affecting program delivery in a collaborative environment, particularly policies on topics such as official languages, accessibility, access to information and privacy, federal identity and alternative service delivery.
Federal Partner(s) Names of Programs for the Federal Partner(s) Total Allocation from Start to End Date ($000) Planned Spending for
2006-07 ($000)
Actual Spending in
2006-07 ($000)
Planned Results for
Results Achieved in
Industry Canada Canada Business Network $85,912 $6,504 $6,504 Increased awareness and access to government business-related information, programs and services and facilitated compliance for business 237,915 clients served using assisted channels (i.e., telephone calls, in-person visits, email, mail and fax), an increase of 1.1 percent over 2005-06
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency Canada Business Network $33,375 $2,641 $2,641 Increased use of self-service channels 5.5 million Internet visits to Canada Business Network websites (not including British Columbia)
Western Economic Diversification Canada Canada Business Network $45,987 $3,977 $3,977 Reduced complexity in accessing programs and services and compliance requirements for SMEs In 2006-07 client satisfaction survey of its 13 service centres conducted by Canada Business

83 percent satisfaction rate for overall quality of services
Canada Economic Development Canada Business Network $21,306 $1,878 $1,878 Improved SME business planning and market research

(Planned Results apply to each partner)
81 percent satisfaction rate for service delivery

91 percent response of no problems experienced with all aspects of the service
Total $186,580 $15,000 $15,000    
Comments on Variance(s):
Results Achieved by Non-Federal Partners:
Not applicable
Contact Information:
Marcie Girouard, Executive Director, Service Delivery and Partnerships
Industry Canada