Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Western Economic Diversification Canada Programs

WD receives an annual allocation, approved by Parliament, for grants and contributions that support a wide range of programs responding to Western Canada's economic development needs and priorities.

Funding Mechanisms

Direct Agreements | National Agreements | Legislation

Direct Agreements

WD's grants and contributions also support projects delivered directly by WD, either alone or in partnership with other organizations. Groups eligible to apply under these programs include universities and other post-secondary academic institutions, research institutes, industry associations and other not-for-profit organizations.

  • Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative is a $100 million five-year federal Initiative that offers repayable contributions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada to move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace.
  • Western Diversification Program invests in projects that support WD's activities of innovation, business development, community economic development and policy, advocacy and coordination, including a number of partnership programs undertaken with other levels of government.
  • Western Canada Business Service Network is a group of several independent organizations that receive funding from WD to provide a range of services to help create and build small businesses across the West.

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National Agreements

WD delivers a number of national programs in the western provinces, including:

  • The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada's celebration of our country's 150th anniversary. Through investments in community infrastructure, the Government of Canada will invest in projects that celebrate our shared heritage, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.
  • The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is a two-year national program that will invest over $46 million in the West for the rehabilitation and improvement of existing community infrastructure that is non-commercial and accessible to the public.
  • The Economic Development Initiative will invest $3.2 million in the West over five years to support business and economic development that encourages sustainable growth in Western Canada’s Francophone communities. 

WD delivers the following national infrastructure programs in Western Canada on behalf of Infrastructure Canada.

  • The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is investing $276.4 million in the West to improve and increase the stock of core public infrastructure for municipalities with populations of less than 250,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation.
  • The Building Canada Fund through the Communities Component is investing $513.5 million in the West to address the unique needs of communities with populations less than 100,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation.

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Legislation that Governs Program Activity and Expenditures of WD Include:

Western Economic Diversification Act: Promotes the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and advances the interests of Western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Act requires that the WD Minister undertake three mandatory duties:

  • guide, promote and coordinate the policies and programs, including those related to industrial benefits, of the Government of Canada in relation to the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada;
  • lead and coordinate the efforts of the Government of Canada to establish cooperative relationships with the provinces constituting Western Canada, business, labour and other public and private organizations for the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada; and
  • compile detailed information on all programs and projects undertaken by the Minister for the purpose of measuring trends, development and progress in the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada.

Canada Small Business Financing Act: Authorize the development and expansion of small business across Canada in cooperation with financial institutions. Through this legislation, loan loss guarantees are provided to the financial institutions, which grant loans to eligible businesses as provided for under the Act. The Small Business program is administered entirely by Industry Canada.