Strategic Policy Branch

The Strategic Policy Branch supports the Minister of Industry, Senior Management and the Industry Portfolio by providing policy advice on a range of key micro-economic policy issues in the international and domestic context. The branch is responsible for providing strategic policy leadership by managing and coordinating the departmental policy and planning process to ensure timely, informed and consistent decisions on department-wide policy priorities. The branch also provides Ministerial support for Cabinet as well as support to the two-way flow of information between regional and sectoral clients and to the coordination and integration of regional perspectives into the Department's briefing materials, and policy and program development processes.

Units and Key priorities

The Branch has five units, the key priorities of which are described below.

The Cabinet Business Unit provides advice and support on Cabinet business to the Minister of Industry and the Ministers of State (Small Business and Tourism; Science and Technology). It does this principally by helping coordinate the development of Departmental and Portfolio Cabinet items (e.g. Memorandums to Cabinet, decks), and by coordinating the preparation of briefing materials to support their participation at Cabinet committee meetings. It also serves as the archive for the Deputy Minister's Cabinet documents.

The Policy Co-ordination and Regulatory Affairs (PCRA) directorate has two distinct sets of responsibilities: policy co-ordination and regulatory affairs. Policy Co-ordination priorities include Part VII of the Official Languages Act (economic development programs for official language minority communities and promoting linguistic duality); lead on IC's Sustainable Development Strategy, Strategic Environmental Assessment, and Gender-Based Analysis commitments; develop IC's response to Cabinet proposals from other government departments (women's and Aboriginal economic development; green economy and environment; and skills and immigration). PCRA is responsible for developing the weekly Look Ahead and Cabinet Forward Agenda items for the Deputy Minister and the Minister's staff, and provides branch-wide support on Access to Information, Question Period and Opposition Day requests, as well as sector support on website development. On regulatory affairs, PCRA coordinates the regulatory cooperation file for IC, maintains the Regulatory Initiatives Tracking System (RITS), provides training, and information and advice regarding the regulatory process. PCRA is the departmental liaison for the Standards Council of Canada, a Crown corporation and member of the Industry Portfolio, and is also the lead for policy development on corporate social responsibility for the department.

The Policy Integration group provides analysis, advice and support to Industry Canada on departmental policy development and priority planning processes (e.g., SFT, Budgets, mandate letters and transitions), departmental policy priorities (e.g., high-growth firms, Arctic Council, infrastructure, etc) and supports Industry Canada's participation in international activities (e.g., OECD, G-8 and G-20 events, Canada-US engagement, etc).

The Trade Policy Directorate works alongside the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada (DFATD) to secure or maintain access to foreign export markets for Canadian goods and services, and to improve rules that govern international trade and investment. In this respect, it participates on Canadian delegations to international fora and in trade and investment negotiations, and advises senior officials and the Minister of Industry on related policy issues. The Directorate also negotiates with provincial and territorial counterparts to reduce, through the auspices of the Agreement on Internal Trade (AIT), barriers to the movement of goods, services, capital and labour within Canada. In this respect, it supports and advises the Minister of Industry as Canada's representative on the Committee on Internal Trade, a committee of federal-provincial-territorial ministers that oversees the AIT and its evolution.

The Co-operatives Policy Secretariat provides policy analysis and advice to promote co-operative business innovation and growth in Canada. As the focal point within the Government of Canada for non-financial co-operatives, it works with key partners to raise awareness and to develop and disseminate statistics, tools and information to support and align federal efforts on co-operatives. This includes coordinating a federal network on co-operatives, a federal-provincial-territorial committee of officials responsible for co-operatives and managing the Annual Survey of Canadian Co-operatives.