Global Affairs Canada Departmental Plan

Plans at a Glance

GAC Departmental Plan

Global Affairs Canada will deliver results in support of the Government of Canada’s commitment to preserve and support Canadian prosperity and security in an increasingly uncertain and volatile world. Through a principled and pragmatic approach that promotes Canada?s interests, the department will ensure that advancing gender equality, fostering democracy, promoting and protecting human rights, encouraging respect for international law, and supporting environmental protection are at the centre of our feminist foreign policy. As it represents Canada in the world, the department will contribute to the safety and security of Canadians through timely and appropriate consular services. 

Global Affairs Canada will remain a strong voice for an inclusive and effective rules-based international order and the multilateral system that underpins it, collaborating with a diverse range of new and traditional partners in this regard. The department will support actions to reduce poverty, gender inequality and fragility in developing countries, and respond in a timely manner to humanitarian crises. Moreover, it will advance Canadian prosperity, including by working together with our trading partners abroad, and at home with Provinces, Territories and Indigenous communities to leverage Canadian expertise, and, keep our economy strong and growing.  In all its efforts, the department will aim to reinforce progress on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable DevelopmentFootnote i.

We will achieve results for Canadians in a manner that is open, inclusive and transparent, exemplifying the best qualities of the public service. Our staff will innovate in finding solutions to pressing global challenges, and will engage with Canadians, civil society and other stakeholders, including businesses of all sizes, organized labour, research institutions and not-for-profits. We will work diligently to help positively shape the evolving global system to Canada’s advantage.

To support this work in 2020-21, the department will focus on four priorities:

1. Contributing to a Rules-Based International System that advances Canadian interests

Fostering a rules-based international system that is effective and that supports Canadian interests is an overarching objective of Canadian foreign policy. As such, Global Affairs Canada will build new and innovative partnerships, continue to engage constructively with existing partners, and work multilaterally to protect, renew and adapt existing rules, norms, institutions and alliances to make the world safer, more just, prosperous, and sustainable. These efforts will include promoting our interests and sovereignty in the Canadian Arctic, and working in concert with our partners to uphold international law.

2. Pursuing diversified trade and supporting Canadian exporters

Global Affairs Canada will continue to promote rules-based trade internationally, negotiate modern free trade agreements, and pursue opportunities in global markets that diversify our trade, increase inward investment and benefit all Canadians. The department remains committed to an inclusive trade agenda that supports all segments of society in taking advantage of the economic opportunities flowing from enhanced trade and investment. The department will support Canadian businesses to access export opportunities abroad through the Trade Commissioner Service, including through the use of new tools and partnerships such as Canadian Technology Accelerators, e-commerce platforms and digital service delivery. The department will also create a new Canada Commercial Consular Service by drawing on existing resources to better support small- and medium-sized Canadian companies facing commercial or trade disputes.


3. Strengthening Canada?s bilateral relations

The Government of Canada is committed to further strengthening key bilateral relationships, and engaging new partners to address emerging challenges. Global Affairs Canada will advance these relations based on core Canadian interests, including sovereignty, national security, economic prosperity, and the safety and security of Canadian citizens, and key values such as human rights and democracy. When engaging bilaterally, the department will continue to integrate and calibrate foreign, defence, development and trade policy priorities. Bilateral relations will also benefit from the continued revitalization of Canada?s public diplomacy, notably through Global Affairs Canada?s coordination of a new strategy on cultural diplomacy.


4. Eradicating Poverty

Global Affairs Canada will implement the Feminist International Assistance Policy, promoting gender equality and empowering women and girls; investing in health, education, and climate change adaptation; and focusing humanitarian, development, and peace and security efforts on the poorest and most vulnerable. In this context, Global Affairs Canada will deliver Canada?s international assistance in ways that support innovation and improve effectiveness, transparency, and accountability, and that reinforce Canada?s commitment to realizing the United Nations? Sustainable Development Goals. In support of this, the department will adopt innovative financing approaches, such as those employed in the International Assistance Innovation Program, the Sovereign Loans Program and the Equality Fund.

Core responsibilities: planned results and resources

This section contains detailed information on the department’s planned results and resources for each of its core responsibilities.

International advocacy and diplomacy ($896,219,038)

Global Affairs Canada promotes Canada’s interests and values through policy development, diplomacy, advocacy, and effective engagement.

Planning highlights

At a time of unpredictability in the world, Canada will work to address fundamental global challenges and remain a strong voice championing the rules-based international system and the multilateral institutions that underpin it. Global Affairs Canada will pursue a principled international agenda that prioritizes innovative partnerships and multilateral efforts, and that puts the following at the centre of its actions: democracy; human rights; gender equality; peace and security; international law; and environmental protection. The department will stand up for the priorities and interests that are core to Canada’s security and prosperity and will harness innovative and agile advocacy and diplomacy efforts to further advance its feminist fore

ign policy. This includes a special focus on cultural diplomacy. At the heart of the department’s engagement and action is the commitment to work with our partners to make progress on common global goals, including the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nation’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Women, Peace and Security Agenda.

  • Canada builds and maintains constructive relationships that advance Canada’s interests
  • Canada’s leadership on global issues contributes to a just and inclusive world
  • Canada helps build strong international institutions and respect for international law
  • Canada’s global influence is expanded and strengthened

Trade and Investment ($381,672,612)

Global Affairs Canada supports increased and more diverse trade and investment to raise the standard of living for all Canadians and to enable Canadian businesses to grow internationally and to create economic opportunities.

Planning highlights

Global Affairs Canada will seek out opportunities for Canadian commerce, ingenuity, and enterprise by deepening and diversifying trade relationships, advocating for a rules-based international trade and investment system focused on economic opportunities for all, particularly for small businesses, and seeking increased and diversified foreign direct investment. Diversification opportunities will focus on key regions such as Asia and Europe and key sectors such as innovation and technology. The department pursues modern and inclusive approaches with trading partners in important areas such as transparency, labour rights, the environment, small and medium-sized enterprises, gender, and Indigenous peoples.

  • Canada helps to build and safeguard an open and inclusive rules-based global trading system
  • Canadian exporters and innovators are successful in their international business development efforts
  • Foreign direct investment is facilitated, expanded or retained

Development, Peace and Security Programming ($4,798,828,024)

Global Affairs Canada programming contributes to reducing poverty, increasing opportunity for people around the world, alleviating suffering in humanitarian crises, and fostering peace and security, and in so doing, advances the Sustainable Development Goals.

Planning highlights

Canada?s Feminist International Assistance PolicyFootnote viii is the hallmark of Canada?s international assistance efforts and its implementation remains a top priority for Global Affairs Canada. Through the continued implementation of the Policy, Canada is helping to improve the lives of the people and communities that need it most and supporting developing country partners in their efforts to tackle serious and pressing issues like climate change, poverty, gender inequality and human rights.

Global Affairs Canada will continue to do its part in advancing a whole-of-government, whole-of-society approach to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals at home and abroad, including by increasing Canada?s international development assistance every year toward 2030. The department will direct at least 95% of Canada?s bilateral international development assistance toward programming that either targets or integrates gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls, at least 15% of which will specifically target gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls by 2021-22. The department will also direct 50% of Canada?s bilateral international development assistance to sub-Saharan countries by 2021-22 and improve the way it manages and delivers international development assistance to ensure greater effectiveness, transparency and accountability.

Help for Canadians Abroad ($52,504,108)

Global Affairs Canada provides timely and appropriate consular services for Canadians abroad, contributing to their safety and security.

Planning highlights

Global Affairs Canada is committed to providing consular support in both official languages for Canadians requiring assistance abroad. Canada will ensure that through consular diplomacy, advocacy and strategic engagement, we will continue to adapt to current local contexts around the world and best practices in consular affairs to better serve Canadians. The department is committed to ensuring that Canadians receive efficient and effective consular and emergency management services through achieving excellence in service delivery.

  • Canadians have timely access to information and services that keeps them safer abroad
  • Canadians abroad receive timely and appropriate government services
  • Improved physical, social and economic well-being for the poorest and most vulnerable, particularly for women and girls, in countries where Canada engages
  • Enhanced empowerment and rights for women and girls in countries where Canada engages
  • Reduced suffering and increased human dignity in communities experiencing humanitarian crises
  • Improved peace and security in countries and regions where Canada engages
  • Canada’s international assistance is made more effective by leveraging diverse partnerships, innovation, and experimentation

Support for Canada's Presence Abroad ($1,092,864,562)

Global Affairs Canada manages and delivers resources, infrastructure and services enabling Canada’s presence abroad, including at embassies, high commissions, and consulates.

Planning highlights

Global Affairs Canada supports Canada’s presence abroad, as well as diplomatic relations through its global network of missions, embassies, high commissions and consulates. Global Affairs Canada promotes Canadian interests and values internationally, supports Canadian businesses to reach global markets and helps improve the lives of the poorest and most vulnerable. To meet its departmental results targets, Global Affairs Canada will deliver on more cost-effective services and infrastructure, as well as provide more robust security measures and support at missions.

  • Sound management and delivery of resources, infrastructure and services enables Canada’s presence abroad
  • Personnel are safe, missions are more secure and government and partner assets and information are protected

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