Transparency? Just what is the federal government funding?

With all the discussion about the end of core funding for the national and provincial/territorial literacy coalitions and the lack of information from the Office of Literacy and Essential Skills (OLES) about successful applicants under the Pan-Canadian Network call for proposals, I got to thinking, “what exactly is OLES funding?”

To find out the answer to this question, I went to the Employment and Social Development Canada website. The OLES page has a database of funded projects – but it’s at least two fiscal years out-of-date and impossible to browse.

Then, I went back to the main ESDC page and at the bottom left hand side, found the term “Transparency.” I knew, as a former public servant, that all grants and contributions over $25,000 have to be posted. Most Canadians would be hard pressed to find this link and realize it eventually leads to a listing of grants and contributions.

Here’s what I found for the past two fiscal years – the name of the organization and the amount of the contribution funded under the Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program (ALLESP) administered by OLES. Unfortunately, project descriptions are not provided. The listing does not include projects funded under EI Part II.

It would be helpful to know what the projects were about and their outcomes, perhaps even have access to reports. This would give us all an idea of what matters to OLES.

Typically, I would look to COPIAN to see if there was any information about these projects, but alas, today, that’s not an option.

So, this is what happens when you click on “Transparency”…




April 1, 2012 – March 31, 2013
30/11/2012 ABC Life Literacy Canada $         608,365.00
26/02/2013 Canadian Apprenticeship Forum $         579,680.00
19/03/2013 Canadian Apprenticeship Forum $         619,438.00
30/10/2012 Community Adult Learning Service Branch $         381,570.00
18/03/2013 Dalhousie University $         373,109.00
30/04/2012 Douglas College $           89,995.00
01/03/2013 Trucking Human Resource Sector Council $         640,211.00
TOTAL $     3,292,368.00
April 1, 2013 – March 31, 2014
21/06/2013 Actions Interculturelles de développement et d’éducation (AIDE) $       1,380,948.00
20/11/2013 Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society $       2,270,186.00
14/09/2013 Association des collèges communautaires du Canada (ACCC) $       2,750,000.00
05/04/2013 CBDC Restigouche Inc. $       1,925,839.00
31/05/2013 Conestoga College Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning $       1,460,097.00
19/06/2013 Douglas College $       1,868,025.00
27/06/2013 Essential Skills Ontario $       1,028,474.00
30/04/2013 Essential Skills Ontario $       1,450,339.00
31/05/2013 Excellence in Manufacturing Consortium of Canada $         673,944.00
23/08/2013 Literacy Alberta Society $       2,018,500.00
04/07/2013 Réseau pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences (RESDAC) $         829,599.00
24/01/2014 The Social Research and Demonstration Corporation $       1,239,147.00
10/05/2013 Université du Québec à Montréal $         332,833.00
30/08/2013 Workplace Education Manitoba Steering Committee $       2,138,248.00
27/02/2014 YWCA Of Greater Toronto $       1,848,974.00
TOTAL $   23,215,153.00


About Brigid Hayes

Brigid Hayes has developed an expertise in learning that spans over 30 years as a senior government policy advisor and program manager and partnership developer; director of labour for a national business/labour skills centre and as an independent consultant. Her knowledge of and experience in workplace literacy and learning has contributed to her recognition as an expert in this field, and she has undertaken significant activities to both help promote and enhance literacy and lifelong learning. Brigid works as an independent consultant and expert advisor on learning, literacy, and work. She has successfully developed a strategic planning and policy development practice involving workplace literacy, essential skills, partnership development, research, and evaluation.
This entry was posted in Federal Government and Literacy, Literacy and Essential Skills. Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Transparency? Just what is the federal government funding?

  1. haviechenberg says:

    Wonder how much of this is for the two “social finance” pilots. SDRC, for example, is being funded to evaluate the two pilots (; Association of Community Colleges of Canada and Alberta Essential Skills Society are delivering those pilots ( I think that accounts for about one-quarter of the listed funding in the last fiscal year.

  2. haviechenberg says:

    A quarter of last year’s money went to the two “social finance’ pilots:
    SDRC for evaluation (
    Association of Canadian Community Colleges and Alberta Workforce Essential Skills Society’ for delivery of the pilots (

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  5. Great post. There seems to be a lot of money going to Alberta here. I wonder why that is? 🙂

    • Brigid Hayes says:

      Thanks for your comment.

      The two Alberta projects, as I understand, are large scale experiments in workplace essential skills. Scott Murray’s company, DataAngel, is conducting the research. I don’t know why he partnered specifically with Literacy Alberta and Alberta Workforces Essential Skills for these two projects.

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