Western Canadians will benefit from new middle class jobs and business opportunities that will diversify and grow the region’s economy as a result of increased funding worth $25 million over five years.
This funding was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), an agency established to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada. The announcement was made at Loop Energy Inc., a company developing zero-emissions solutions for the transport industry.
WD will continue to support communities, businesses, and First Nations by identifying opportunities to invest in innovative and emerging industries. This will diversify the western economy, improve the quality of life of Western Canadians, and create the well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow.
As part of a new approach to economic development through innovation, regional development agencies across the country, including WD, will be focused on strengthening innovation capacity by:
- supporting small and medium-sized businesses that want to adopt new technologies and boost their innovation capacity;
- nominating 50 firms across the country to participate in a federal program that will help them grow nationally and internationally;
- investing $100 million annually across the country in clean technology; and
- supporting a total of 250 Indigenous projects as they develop and diversify their economies.
“There is no one-size-fits-all approach to diversifying the economy as each region has their own unique advantages. By providing departments like Western Economic Diversification Canada with the tools and funding to do their job, we are working towards building a stronger, more innovative and inclusive economy.”
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
- In 2015, Western Canada contributed for 38 per cent of Canada’s real economic output.
- WD has a strong track record of supporting the economy and creating jobs in the West. Since November 2015, WD funded projects have resulted in over 8,200 jobs, of which nearly 3,400 are located in British Columbia. For 30 years, the Department has been working to build a strong, competitive West by focusing on business development, innovation and community development.