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WD Success Stories 2009-2010

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To advance its mandate to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of the West in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) pursues four project activities:

Entrepreneurship and Innovation

Business Development and Entrepreneurship

NorQuest College Centre for Excellence in Print Media – Edmonton, AB

Building on a previous investment, Western Economic Diversification Canada has provided $896,750 over three years to NorQuest College towards the purchase of new equipment, software and subject matter expertise for the Centre for Excellence in Print Media. It is expected that the new equipment will enhance the print industry’s productivity through access to new technology and processes that will help to reduce time, wastage and errors while providing real-time data to users. The centre provides services to three target markets: print business owners, print industry employees and new entrants to the print industry. Using this new technology, independent print shops will be able to test new equipment and software, train staff and develop strategies to integrate new technologies.

The centre is well-positioned to continue to lead and influence the print industry in Canada. It is expected that this project will result in the integration of new technology in at least 25 companies, productivity increases in six case studies and 48 new print industry sector employees. One hundred print industry employees will also increase their skill levels. The centre has already held engagement meetings with nine companies located in BC, Manitoba and Saskatchewan and has additional meetings scheduled.

Prince Rupert Shore Power – Prince Rupert, BC

Launched in 2006, the Asia-Pacific Gateway Corridor Initiative (APGCI) was designed to better position Canada in the emerging global economy by addressing infrastructure, policy, governance and operation issues through one integrated strategy. Significant results were achieved under APGCI in a number of areas, including the Prince Rupert Shore Power project.

Prince Rupert Shore Power Project
The Prince Rupert Shore Power project will ensure shore power electrical infrastructure can deliver electricity to the existing single berth Fairview container terminal.

On March 23, 2010 Western Economic Diversification Canada allocated over $700,000 towards the Prince Rupert Shore Power project which will ensure shore power electrical infrastructure can deliver electricity to the existing single berth Fairview container terminal. This infrastructure will allow container vessels to shut down their engines and auxiliary generators and transfer ship electrical loads to a clean electrical energy supply from shore.

This project represents an opportunity to capture capital investment and provide employment and economic opportunities associated with the current growth in the trans-Pacific container business. Notable economic benefits will include an increase in the number of container ships using the port, significant cost savings in the operating costs of berthing container ships and a reduction in local air pollutants and greenhouse gases in the Prince Rupert Harbour.

Alberta Women Entrepreneurs – Alberta

Western Economic Diversification Canada has provided $544,000 over three years to implement the pan-west Access to Supply Chains program to assist women entrepreneurs in Western Canada to gain better access to domestic and international supply chains. The program is led by Alberta Women Entrepreneurs, a non-profit organization that provides tools to help Alberta women succeed in business, and is delivered across the West by the Women’s Enterprise Initiatives offices in each of the four provinces.

Through the Access to Supply Chains program, women entrepreneurs in Western Canada will gain access to diversity certification and in-depth business development services targeted towards accessing global supply chains. They will also be able to access a database of companies that are looking to employ diverse suppliers which can greatly increase an entrepreneur’s chances of becoming a supplier. This project helps build the capacity of women entrepreneurs with business development services targeted towards accessing international and/or domestic supply chains that were previously inaccessible to most small, regionally-based women entrepreneurs in western Canada.

2010 Partnership Investment Program – Vancouver, BC

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) provided over $800,000 to Metro Vancouver Commerce (MVC), an economic development partnership involving British Columbia Lower Mainland municipalities, to develop and implement the 2010 Partnership Investment Program to attract and engage foreign investment decision-makers during the 2010 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This program took advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presented by the Olympics to bring together local business and government stakeholders in an unprecedented regional approach.

Over the course of two weeks, five waves of senior representatives from more than 70 global companies came to Vancouver and met with the local community to form partnerships in sectors such as green enterprise, digital media, film and information, and communication technologies. Within two months of implementing this program, MVC reported $60 million in business deals, well above its initial 18-month investment target. Deals concluded to date include:

  • A Vancouver energy management company partnered with a UK firm to licence its technology in the UK;
  • An international management consultant firm from Spain will open their North American headquarters in Vancouver;
  • A process management consulting firm from the Netherlands will open an office in Vancouver;
  • A project management company from Germany that specializes in energy and clean technology established an office in Vancouver;
  • An American web start-up chose to establish their head office in Vancouver over a competing location in the US.;
  • A planned $15 million plant in the district of North Vancouver that focuses on hydrogen energy;
  • A $27 million investment to keep 250 aerospace jobs in Abbotsford, BC.

Over the coming months, MVC partners will continue to build on the momentum created by this program to maximize the economic benefit of WD’s investment and will report to WD in December 2011.

Place de la Francophonie exhibit at the 2010 Olympics – Granville Island, BC

The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, poses in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle
The Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, poses in the Hydrogen Fuel Cell vehicle, outside of Place de la Francophonie.

In June 2008, the Government of Canada released the 2008–2013 Strategy for Official Languages: A Roadmap for Linguistic Duality in Canada with a budget of $1.1 billion divided among 13 federal departments and agencies. The Roadmap assigns responsibility for the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) to Industry Canada and the Regional Development Agencies, including Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), as delivery partners. The initiative aims to help individuals, businesses, youth and immigrants to flourish in their communities using the language of their choice. WD will invest $3.2 million through the EDI over five years toward projects that support business and economic development and that encourage sustainable growth in Western Canada’s Francophone communities. One of the projects under the EDI was the Place de la Francophonie.

In November 2009, WD established a Memorandum of Understanding with the Department of Canadian Heritage to support the Place de la Francophonie on Granville Island during the 2010 Olympic Games. The Place de la Francophonie promoted western Canadian francophone tourism and agri-food industries, encouraged cultural tourism and strengthened economic development. A total of one million individuals visited Granville Island during the Games, and the Place de la Francophonie received an equal number of francophone and anglophone visitors. WD’s contribution funded the very first French tourist guide of British Columbia, as well as a tourist chart of Vancouver/Whistler which facilitated French-speaking visitors during their stay. The “Organisation International de la Francophonie” considers this event as a best practice for future Games. Moreover, the Vancouver Sun newspaper highlighted this exhibit as a “gold event” as part of the 2010 Olympic Games.

Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba – Manitoba

Agence nationale et internationale du Manitoba (ANIM) is a bilingual trade agency that supports and develops Manitoba’s economy by promoting trade with francophone markets in Canada and abroad. Under the Western Economic Partnership Agreement, Western Economic Diversification Canada provided ANIM with $320,000 to create business relationships between Manitoba and international entrepreneurs, attract new foreign investment and recruit business immigrants.

Over the course of 2009-10, ANIM facilitated the signing of 17 agreements between Manitoba and out-of-province/foreign firms, with an estimated short-term economic impact of $3 million and long-term economic impact of $7.5 million on the Manitoba economy. Additionally, ANIM facilitated 136 business and/or commercial immigration cases for individuals wanting to pursue opportunities in Manitoba, which has conservatively generated $4.3 million towards Manitoba’s economy.

Saskatchewan Research Council Centre for Advanced Microanalysis – Saskatoon, SK

For this Western Economic Partnership Agreement project, Western Economic Diversification Canada provided $650,000 out of total project costs of $2,325,575. Enterprise Saskatchewan also provided $650,000, and the Saskatchewan Research Council provided $1,025,575.

The Microanalysis Centre will be the only International Organization for Standardization (ISO) certified electron probe facility in Canada and will provide much needed equipment that will support current research and development projects in chemical and materials engineering and mineral exploration programs.

It will also provide small- and medium-sized businesses access to analytical facilities and expert data interpretation that would otherwise be financially out of reach, therefore increasing the productivity and competitiveness of Saskatchewan-based small businesses and junior companies in the global market.


Canadian Environmental Test and Icing Certification Facility – Thompson, MB

Western Economic Diversification Canada invested $8.4 million in 2009 to the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Centre (EnviroTREC) to support the establishment of the Canadian Environmental Test and Icing Certification Facility – 20% of project funding. To capitalize on Western Canada’s aerospace expertise, WD worked with aerospace industry partners and the Province of Manitoba to establish the world’s most advanced large engine, cold weather testing research and technology development centre. The centre will support research and development related to a collaborative technology framework for future research of new more efficient and advanced aerospace designs. Support for this $42.1 million initiative has also been provided by the National Research Council ($5 million), Rolls-Royce Canada Limited and Pratt and Whitney ($28.7 million in total from industry).

Hotchkiss Brain Institute at the University of Calgary – Calgary, AB

In December 2009, the department provided $1.2 million (out of a total cost of $2.3 million) to the Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) to purchase and install the necessary equipment to enhance its product development capacity in validating and pre-clinically testing nerve regeneration applications. The inability to validate and pre-clinically test candidate drugs and medical devices has hindered HBI’s capacity to transform knowledge into commercial applications. As this project matures, several industrial partnerships will be formed, including one with Integra, a US based medical device company and a world leader in regenerative medicine. Funding for this project will also result in two prototypes being developed for future industry commercialization and will enable the Institute to train 10 highly qualified people, vital to Alberta’s capacity to innovate.

Case Study - Composites Innovations Centre – Winnipeg, MB

Established in 2003, the Composites Innovation Centre (CIC) is a 5000-sq.ft not-for-profit corporation that plays a pivotal role in enabling transfer of composites technologies to Manitoba companies and in developing natural fibres for composites application through innovative industry driven pre-commercial research and development. The CIC is jointly supported by private industry and government and is located in SmartPark at the University of Manitoba. It provides project management, engineering consulting, process development and testing services to support the industry in developing and commercializing composite materials, products and processes. The centre also functions as a catalyst for attracting new industry and encouraging start-up companies.

The CIC focuses on aerospace, bio-materials, ground transportation and civil infrastructure sectors and it has made important contributions to the growth of composites manufacturing in Manitoba. The seed funding provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was a catalyst for the subsequent growth of the CIC and the companies it works with.

Economic Results and Outcomes:

  • The CIC has grown to a permanent staff of 12, supplemented with co-op students and industry-loaned engineers for a total staff complement of 19. Company membership in the CIC has increased from 13 to 22. The CIC has worked with over 60 companies through its various projects.
  • Manitoba now has the largest concentration of composites research, development and fabrication firms in Canada and the continued development of expertise at the CIC has been critical to this growth. Further, one of CIC’s partners, Boeing Winnipeg, is now the largest aerospace composite manufacturer in Canada. It is a Tier I partner to the 787 Dreamliner program responsible for the Wing-to-Body Fairing, Main Landing Gear Doors and the Vertical Fin Fairing for the lifecycle of the program.
  • As of 2008, the number of projects that have been completed or in progress at the CIC is 107, with 28 having a rural Manitoba focus. The CIC also assisted the start up of three new companies in rural Manitoba (two biomaterials, one ground transportation), creating 40 direct jobs.
  • The CIC has facilitated seven new technology transfers to Manitoba companies including Magellan, Boeing, Carlson, Frank Fair, Trans Peace, Emerson Hemp and Advantec. One new composite technology, a decortification technique developed at Emerson Hemp, is currently in commercial use.
  • The CIC has attracted two new companies to Manitoba, a bio-fibre company from China and Trans Peace, a major supplier to Boeing.
  • In 2007, the CIC hosted the Canadian National Composites conference in Winnipeg. There were over 200 attendees from across the globe. The CIC’s involvement in various trade missions has lead to the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the CIC and the National Composites Centre in Ohio, the UK Composites Centre, the Composites Centre in Australia, and the University of Hong Kong.

Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2) – Regina, SK

Enabling the development of clean energy solutions to mitigate the amount of greenhouse gases entering the atmosphere as a result of electricity generation, oil and gas processing and industrial processes is an important area of focus for Western Canada. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) supports research and development in this field through its support for the International Performance Assessment Centre for Geologic Storage of Carbon Dioxide (IPAC-CO2). IPAC-CO2 was established at the University of Regina in 2009 with $14 million in funding from Royal Dutch Shell, the Government of Saskatchewan, and the Government of Canada. IPAC-CO2 is designed to meet a public and regulatory need in the global carbon capture and storage (CCS) chain by providing an independent performance assessment of projects that utilize technologies for the geological storage of carbon dioxide.

WD’s $4 million investment in IPAC-CO2 builds upon the existing clean energy research being conducted at the University of Regina and supports the development of new clean energy projects that utilize CCS. In May 2010, IPAC-CO2 announced that it has established a global network linking organizations from eight countries that are conducting research in CCS. In June 2010, IPAC-CO2 announced a joint project with CSA Standards to develop a standard for the geologic storage of industrial emissions. When completed, the material will be submitted to the Standards Council of Canada for recognition, making it the world’s first formally recognized CCS standard in this area. The new standard will then be used as a basis for the promotion of international standards through the International Standards Organization.

Alberta Centre for Advanced Micro-Nanotechnology Products (ACAMP) – Edmonton, AB

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) provided $3.5 million to the Alberta Centre for Advanced Microsystems and Nanotechnology Products (ACAMP) toward the acquisition and installation of specialized equipment, training and ancillary technical equipment. ACAMP is a non-profit organization that provides specialized business services to micro-nanotechnology systems clients. This funding builds upon WD’s previous contribution of $3.5 million to ACAMP, which was announced in August 2008.

This funding enabled ACAMP to purchase specialized equipment to support companies in the micro and nano industry in providing customers with packaged and tested prototypes, and provided ACAMP with the first low temperature ceramic packaging equipment in the country that is able to support sensing and monitoring systems in a number of applications, such as oil and gas, bio-medical, environment, agriculture and forestry.

Overall, this investment has allowed ACAMP to promote technology commercialization in promising areas within micro-nanotechnology and has enabled companies to get their products to market. It will also help ACAMP to become involved with 35 additional industry-driven projects, which will build upon the services it currently provides to over 25 Alberta-based companies.

Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Development Centre – Edmonton, AB

Western Economic Diversification Canada, the Government of Alberta and other sources invested $8.75 million towards a new research and product development centre called the Hitachi Electron Microscopy Products Development Centre located at the National Institute for Nanotechnology (NINT) at the University of Alberta. The centre will house three new electron microscopes valued at $7 million, including the first-ever Hitachi environmental transmission electron microscope in operation outside of Japan.

One of the centre’s projects will be to evaluate and test the world’s sharpest electron emitter, developed by the Molecular Scale Devices group at NINT to be used in electron microscopes. The electron emitter is used to view objects in the finest detail possible; the finer the “tip” of the emitter, the greater the detail in the resolution. This technology can be used in many fields, such as in the oil sector to provide additional insight into oil bearing clay and the extraction process at a microscopic scale.

The centre is expected to speed up commercialization opportunities by utilizing Hitachi’s product development and technical sales expertise and improve access to global markets for electron microscope innovations at NINT. The new facilities also enhance the NINT’s position as a leading research centre – both in Canada and internationally – and will help the province attract and retain talented researchers and graduates.

Expansion of the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre – Kelowna, BC

Western Economic Diversification Canada provided funding to the Okanagan Research and Innovation Centre (ORIC) to expand its operations to Kelowna. ORIC is a full service business incubator located in the Okanagan. It assists small technology companies with applied research and development, access to business development and consulting services and commercializing technology and intellectual property so they can become established or expand. ORIC also provides a soft landing platform for overseas companies looking to invest in the Okanagan and has played a key role in the formation of an emerging technology cluster in the Okanagan. By providing an enabling environment, as well as a platform to support technological innovation and collaboration, ORIC has been a catalyst for the development of successful high tech companies.

This project has established ORIC as a key player in helping form an emerging technology cluster in the Okanagan. Recent projects results include five on-site incubator clients, four off-site clients, three prototypes developed, three technologies launched to market, 20 new technology jobs created as a result of incubator client growth and approximately $3.5 million in new investments facilitated.

Since these results were reported, one of the incubator clients (Vineyard Networks) signed a $2 million dollar deal with a European security company. Vineyard Networks designs ways for businesses to prioritize their web traffic, ensuring business and mission-critical Web use takes priority over things like employee Facebook time. Vineyard Networks is now likely ready to leave the incubator, having reached profitability. Moreover, this past January Network World Magazine named Vineyard Networks among its Top 10 Startups to Watch, making it the only Canadian company on the list.

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Community Economic Development

Community Economic Planning, Development, and Adjustment

MLTC Resource Development – Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan

MLTC Resource Development Inc. evaluated its forestry operations with the intention of introducing more efficient processes and broadening its line with new, environmentally friendly products. Western Economic Diversification Canada provided assistance to renovate their test facility and assist with the testing of new technology, processes and equipment. The project allows one of Meadow Lake's primary businesses to undertake applied R&D, value-added processing in the forestry industry and the translation of new technologies and products into commercial opportunities.

MLTC has completed all identified project objectives and activities under this project and has fully expended the budget. The budget was met and a number of milestones and accomplishments have resulted from this project.

A test site for wood pellet processing has been fully developed and a wood pellet processing business has subsequently been created. The test site will increase MLTC’s ability to expand its product line by enabling it to investigate and test new products which can then be moved toward commercialization.

Rural Economic Diversification Initiative – Alberta and British Columbia

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) committed $4.5 million over four years to the Rural Diversification Initiative (RDI) beginning in 2008. The project will allow the Community Futures (CF) Network of Alberta to create long-term economic growth by supporting major rural diversification projects across Alberta.

The RDI focuses on projects that add value to traditional industries, enhance productivity, promote cluster development and offer support to small businesses and new entrepreneurs. As of March 15, 2010, the CF Network of Alberta committed to providing funding of $1.3 million to eight projects, which have resulted in eight activities providing planning, leadership and expertise; eight instances of facilitating community involvement and the development or maintenance of 12 partnerships. More information on RDI projects is available at: www.ruraldiversification.com.

WD committed $3.9 million over three-and-a-half years to the Rural Economic Diversification Initiative (REDI) of BC beginning in 2008. The project will allow the CF network of BC to fund rural economic development projects identified by rural communities. Projects submitted will only be considered for approval if they address one or more of the following four strategic priorities: Technology Commercialization, Trade and Investment, Business Productivity and Competitiveness and Rural Diversification. As of March 31, 2010, CF of BC had committed to providing funding of $1.445 million to 11 projects which will create 560 jobs.


See Canada’s Economic Action Plan, Recreational Infrastructure Canada program for infrastructure-related projects.

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Policy, Advocacy & Coordination

Collaboration & Coordination

Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies (SIIT) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering training facility – Saskatoon, SK

Western Economic Diversification Canada collaborated, in conjunction with the Province of Saskatchewan, with several multinational companies to consider Industrial Regional Benefits opportunities in Saskatchewan. A culmination of over five years of advocacy efforts has brought to fruition an investment into the Saskatchewan Indian Institute of Technologies(SIIT) Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (AME) training facility.

On June 25, 2008, leading global aerospace and defence companies Lockheed Martin, The Boeing Company and Rockwell Collins announced they had pooled their resources for the first time to support the development of aviation trades training, under Canada’s Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) Policy. Under the IRB, the private companies have committed $2.75 million in funding and donated aircraft.

The AME represents investment by the Governments of Saskatchewan and Canada, SIIT, the Saskatoon Airport Authority and the private sector.

Roundtable on Productivity and Competitiveness – Vancouver, British Columbia

On June 23, 2009 Western Economic Diversification Canada partnered with the Government of British Columbia to organize a roundtable focused on productivity and competitiveness in BC. Thirty participants from the Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia, academia, industry associations, think tanks and non-government organizations attended this session. The Conference Board of Canada delivered a presentation on “Western Canada: Productivity and Competitiveness”, with a focus on BC’s economic potential, possible opportunities and challenges. The roundtable discussion then focused on issues and needs, including developing a strategic plan, focusing on aboriginal human capital, developing value-added products rather than focusing on selling resources, lessening reliance on the United States market and instead focusing on new markets such as Asia and managing new products and services in BC in relation to innovation and commercialization. Comparable roundtables were held the same week in Edmonton (June 22), Winnipeg (June 25) and Saskatoon (June 26).

West Coast Chinook Salmon – Vancouver Island, BC

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) worked with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans (DFO) to identify community adjustment measures in response to the implementation of new provisions under the Canada-US Pacific Salmon Treaty.

WD partnered with DFO to lead a series of consultation events held in key parts of Vancouver Island which were expected to be impacted by job losses associated with closures in the Chinook salmon industry on Vancouver Island. WD used these consultations as an opportunity to solicit applications to the West Coast Community Adjustment Program (WESTCCAP), which provides funding targeted towards coastal communities for the purpose of diversifying their economies beyond their traditional ocean industries. As a result, a number of projects under the Community Adjustment Fund, Recreational Infrastructure Canada and WESTCCAP were funded in the impacted communities.

Supporting the development of an inland port– Winnipeg, Manitoba

Projects and activities supporting this:

  • CentrePort Canada Inc. (project 10536)
  • CentrePort Mission to Key North American Inland Ports (10NAPP-25)
  • Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government CentrePort “Single Window” Coordinating Committee

Starting in 2009/10, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will be investing $1.575 million over four years to support the development of CentrePort Canada Inc.

WD further supported the development of CentrePort Canada through a North American Platform Program (NAPP) mission to visit key inland ports in the US and Mexico, which received good media coverage in both the US and Manitoba. As a result of this mission, CentrePort was able to make over 100 new business contacts in various industries.

Finally, a Federal, Provincial and Municipal Government “Single Window” Coordinating Committee has been established to maximize the efforts of the three orders of government through cooperative and coordinated action to assist with the development of CentrePort Canada Inc. The committee will take a proactive, service-oriented approach to the delivery of existing programs and seek opportunities to improve their effectiveness both individually and collectively.

CentrePort Canada Inc – Winnipeg, MB

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) invested $1.575 million, under the Western Economic Partnership Agreement as part of a four-year $4 million project to support the start-up and operation of an inland port in Winnipeg.

Development of inland ports is a long-term endeavour (20 - 40 years or more). In the short term, it is expected that CentrePort will complete the majority of the site planning and development work required to enter into a number of industry partnerships and attract companies to locate at the site. As companies locate at the CentrePort site, the organization will generate revenue from leases and services which will contribute to financing its ongoing operations.

The development of the inland port infrastructure and operating and marketing expertise, including the ability of CentrePort Canada Inc. staff to attract the international business and investment community, will be a tangible result that will meet WD's Strategic Trade and Investment priority and WD's outcome to develop and diversify the Western economy.


Industrial and Regional Benefits – Supplier Development Missions

In the past fiscal year, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) developed and led two inbound supplier development missions to promote Western Canada as an Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) investment location of choice, related to the Tactical Armoured Patrol Vehicle and Close Combat Vehicle projects. If either of these multinational corporations is the successful bidder on these projects, some of the western Canadian companies that were a part of these WD supplier development missions can be expected to win contracts.

Western Aerospace Alliance

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) also supported the Western Aerospace Alliance to have an exhibit and produce communications materials for the International Paris Air Show. Twenty five companies from Western Canada attended the show and the Canadian Environmental Test Research and Education Centre (CanETREC) was highlighted in the Canadian Pavilion. (WD has invested $8.25 million in CanETREC.) The purpose of WD’s participation was to market western Canadian aerospace and defence companies and capabilities on the largest global stage and to build and strengthen the relationships with key prime contacts that have, or will have, significant Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) business in Canada.

WD also fulfilled its oversight and advocacy role through formal IRB processes, including seven Senior Project Advisory Committee meetings and seven IRB Bid Evaluations related to Major Crown Projects valued at approximately $7.4 billion.

Manitoba Aerospace Association – Manitoba

Numerous companies in Manitoba (including larger aerospace firms such as Bristol, Boeing and Standard Aero) were invited and participated at various events designed to provide relevant and timely information, including contacts, to facilitate small and medium enterprise members of the Manitoba Aerospace Association to penetrate new markets in the United States. At one event there were 42 participants resulting in large numbers of face-to-face meetings.

There has been an increased awareness of among Manitoba Aerospace Association firms about the requirements to meet Industrial and Regional Benefits contract commitments as well as the market opportunities emerging from the rapidly expanding South Carolina aerospace cluster. A suppliers’ capacity analysis was conducted to address gaps and impediments of Manitoba firms.

Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) contributed to the Government of Canada’s horizontal Federal Framework for Aboriginal Economic Development, which includes shaping and participating in policy and program initiatives that will provide added avenues for funding of Aboriginal economic development initiatives in Western Canada.

In 2009-10, a third element of the framework was developed. The three elements are:

  • Strengthening Aboriginal Entrepreneurship;
  • Enhancing the Value of Aboriginal Assets; and
  • Forging New and Effective Partnerships and Focusing the Role of the Federal Government.

WD has participated on the development of two specific sectors: agriculture and forestry through conference calls and supplying economic/ research information to help formulate sector papers. The sector papers aim to identify opportunities for horizontal collaboration between government departments to reduce administrative burdens and provide a whole of government approach.

Research & Analysis

2010 Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) Cleantech Growth and Go-To-Market Report

The SDTC report provides an overview of the Clean Tech sector’s performance in a number of areas including market penetration, commercialization and growth potential.

The national report was completed and launched in Vancouver on March 25, 2010 at the Globe conference.

Asia Pacific Gateway and Corridor Initiative

The initiative includes research, strategies and activities undertaken for the development of value-added industries and opportunities related to Canada’s role as an Asia Pacific Gateway such as video series on Canada’s relationship with Asia.

Through this initiative, 18 news articles were published, one conference was hosted, five reports were completed and an Asia Pacific video series was launched on current topics related to Canada’s relations with Asia. See project example, below:

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada – British Columbia

The Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada (APFC) conducted research to identify strategies and actions to support the development of value-added industries and opportunities related to Canada’s role as an Asia Pacific Gateway. The APFC drew on its network of experts, staff, leading consultants and stakeholders in Canada and Asia in order to undertake activities including: research to develop Canada’s competitive advantage in the Asia Pacific Gateway; informing business and stakeholders on issues, opportunities and trends in commercial relations and foreign investment opportunities; and disseminating strategic intelligence to key decision/policy makers.

Specific examples of activities undertaken by APFC in 2009/10 include:

  • Conference - “Selected Profiles of Canadians Abroad”;
  • Report - Canada’s Secret Province: 2.8 Million Canadians Abroad;
  • Report - Canadians Abroad, Policy Challenges for Canada;
  • Report - Immigrant Circulation and Citizenship: Hotel Canada;
  • Report - A Limited Engagement: Mainland Returnees from Canada;
  • Report - 2009 China Goes Global; and
  • Video series - Asia Pacific video series “Asialogue” featuring short clips of high-profile speakers on Canada-Asia issues.

This research deepens Western Economic Diversification Canada’s understanding of economic opportunities associated with the Asia-Pacific Gateway and Corridor and is publicly available at: http://www.pacificgateway.gc.ca/index2.html

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Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Community Adjustment Fund (CAF)

Job Opportunities Program, Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT) – British Columbia

Project results - In May 2009, the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) was launched as part of the federal government’s Economic Action Plan. Under this program, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)-BC Region was allocated $118 million to help BC communities create jobs and maintain employment in communities hardest hit by the economic downturn. WD-BC Region anticipated that the task of delivering CAF would be challenging, given that the funding provided under the CAF program was 118% higher than what was normally available under existing programs and little funding was available for supplementary resources to deliver the program.

WD-BC Region sought creative ways to deliver CAF, including looking to external partners to extend the region’s capacity. One method was to obtain an Order in Council to allow the Government of British Columbia’s Job Opportunities Program to deliver $30 million in CAF funding on behalf of the region. Another creative method involved negotiating a third party agreement with Northern Development Initiative Trust (NDIT), under which NDIT would assess CAF applications from northern BC.

By partnering with the Government of British Columbia and NDIT, WD-BC Region was able to provide timely review of the large volume of proposals received under the CAF intake process. This partnership has improved WD-BC Region’s service and efficiency by improving business processes. By adjusting business processes to consider alternate delivery methods, the region was able to respond to the large volume of requests received in a timely and efficient manner, ultimately putting more Canadians back to work quickly.

Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta – Alberta

Under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF), Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) provided $15 million in funding (total project cost $30 million) to the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta, a not for profit organization that promotes and initiates projects that enhance Alberta's forest resources, for the delivery of fire hazard reduction and forest health initiatives throughout the province of Alberta.

The investment provides immediate economic stimulus for Alberta communities, including First Nations, reduces the risk of wildfire and supports forestry management. Approved activities create local employment and benefit communities that have experienced significant job losses in the forest sector or are threatened by the potential of wildfire. As of March 31, 2010, 733 months of employment had been generated, 89 businesses have been created/maintained/expanded and 2,997 hectares of forest have been treated.

Recreational Infrastructure Canada Fund (RInC)

RM of Brokenhead upgrade of Garson Arena – Brokenhead, MB

With RInC funding of $63,308, the rural municipality of Brokenhead has upgraded the ice plant and heating system in the Garson Arena by installing a closed loop geothermal heating system that includes three water furnaces for heat recovery. The project also included installing in-floor heating in the stands. In addition to providing the municipality and surrounding area with a year-round recreation facility, the geothermal heating system will protect the environment by eliminating 18,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the next 20 years. This project created 52 months of employment and was completed successfully.

City of Saskatoon upgrade of the Credit Union Centre – Saskatoon, SK

With RInC funding of $283,333, the City of Saskatoon has upgraded the Credit Union Centre by replacing the score clock and adding a light emitting diode (LED) ribbon system and outdoor digital signage. The upgrades have brought the Centre’s LED equipment up to industry standards and will enhance the ability of the Credit Union Centre to attract future sporting events. The upgrades were a feature component in the facilities' hosting of the 2010 IIHF World Junior Hockey championship. This project created 26 months of employment and was completed successfully.

Multi-purpose artificial turf for Shouldice Athletic Park – Calgary, AB

RInC funding of $1 million has assisted the City of Calgary and the Greater Calgary Amateur Football Association in replacing the natural turf sport field at Shouldice Athletic Park with multi-purpose artificial turf. This project included amenities such as permanent spectator bleachers, enhanced landscaping, lights and a scoreboard. This world-class facility will provide increased access and opportunities for amateur sport and enhance player safety while extending the play season and promoting sports tourism opportunities. The project will help meet the demand for high quality and reliable recreation facilities in Calgary. As a result of this project, 67 months of employment have been created or maintained, which is six months higher than forecasted.

Buick Creek’s Arena – Buick Creek, BC

Buick Creek arena
Buick Creek’s new indoor arena that will allow the community an extra six months per year of ice time usage as well as the ability to convert the facility into basketball and indoor soccer arenas.

With $946,267 in RInC funding, the Peace River Regional District is replacing Buick Creek’s outdoor arena with a new indoor NHL-sized arena. Buick Creek is a rural and remote northern location with the nearest indoor rink located 80 km away. The project includes a kitchen, front entrance, sound system, score clock, Zamboni room water recycling system, ice plant and an upgraded slab for artificial ice. This will allow the facility to be used as an ice arena for an extra six months per year and permits for converting the ice into basketball and indoor soccer arenas (amenities that are currently unavailable). A significant amount of local contactors/trades people have been utilized in the arena’s construction. The project was finished by May 31, 2010, and created 245 months of employment.