Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Economic Development Initiative

What is the Economic Development Initiative?

In March 2013, the Government of Canada released the 2013-2018 Strategy for Official Languages: Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities with a budget of $1.1 billion allocated among 15 federal departments and agencies. This Roadmap builds on the achievements of the Roadmap for Canada’s Linguistic Duality 2008-2013, which ended on March 31, 2013.

This renewed Roadmap aims to support Canadians and their communities to develop and grow and to participate in Canadian society, using the official language of their choice. The Roadmap will focus on three pillars that will ensure the vitality of English and French in Canada through education, immigration, and communities (OLMCs).

As partners under this Roadmap, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) along with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the other Regional Development Agencies, are responsible for delivering the Economic Development Initiative (EDI). This initiative will promote the development of new expertise through innovation, diversification of economic activities, partnerships, and increased support of small- and medium-sized businesses. The initiative can assist individuals, businesses, youth and immigrants to flourish in their Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

WD will invest $3.2 million through the EDI over five years for projects that contribute to the development of capacities, new expertise, and partnerships and that can lead to the economic development of businesses and communities, and the sustainable growth of Western Canada’s francophone communities.

How can I apply for the EDI?

WDP Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria will apply to the EDI. In addition,

  • Applicant(s) must represent and/or support francophone community economic development in Western Canada,
  • The proposed project must:
    • respond to the economic development needs of western OLMCs, and
    • target one or more identified needs or priorities that are substantiated by consultations with OLMC stakeholders.
  • The proposed project should foster:
    • the economic vitality of western Official Language Minority Communities and enterprises;
    • innovation, diversification, partnerships that support community economic development; and
    • concrete, direct, and measurable impacts for OLMCs.

WD has moved to a Call for Proposals (CFP) process and EDI applications will be accepted through the Western Diversification Program CFP. For further information, please go to Western Diversification Program - Summary.

What are some examples of approved EDI projects?

EDI projects that have been funded in Western Canada previously include:

Le Conseil de développement économique de l’AlbertaWD contribution $448,929
Project description: Establish physical and virtual business incubators to support pan-western francophone entrepreneurs.

L’Université de Saint-Boniface  – WD contribution $301,200
Project description: Develop and deliver post-graduate courses on Inclusive Education on-line.

La Troupe du Jour Inc. – WD contribution $122,570
Project description: Develop and market a Francophone cultural production centre.

The Trails of 1885 Association Inc.WD contribution $142,000
Project description: Promote and develop 1885 historical sites in advance of 150th Anniversary of Confederation.

Eco-Ouest (Le Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba)WD contribution $960,000
Project description: A green economic initiative to promote sustainable growth and strengthen the competitiveness of rural communities and OLMCs in the West.

Who can I contact for more information?

If you have further questions concerning the EDI, contact us directly at any of our offices, by email, telephone, fax, or mail.