Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Minister of State's Message

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, P.C., M.P.As Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, I am pleased to present the 2014–2015 Report on Plans and Priorities for the Department.

As a result of broad-based engagement across Western Canada and a review of existing departmental priorities, WD is setting out a new strategic agenda to create jobs and secure economic growth while delivering on the Department’s mandate to develop and diversify the western Canadian economy.

Canada's West is home to world-class academic research institutions, and our innovators develop products and services that have great potential. It is a challenge, however, for firms to find funding to translate their ideas into market-ready products and services. WD is helping bridge this gap through the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. WINN responds to a clear need that western Canadian businesses have identified, providing them with access to the capital they require to move ideas from test bench to marketplace.

WD will also continue to help industry and educational institutions address identified skilled labour shortages in Western Canada. WD will provide market-driven, targeted investments so that western Canadians can access training opportunities and gain the skills they need to secure high-paying jobs.

To further trade and investment, WD will help businesses capitalize on international opportunities while improving trade corridors to support the flow of goods and services into and out of Western Canada. The department will also play a key role in maximizing opportunities related to federal defence procurement by highlighting regional business strengths to key players and informing local businesses of potential defence procurement opportunities. In support of these efforts, WD will continue to promote western Canadian aerospace, defence and marine capabilities.

WD will work with Aboriginal entrepreneurs and leaders across the West to ensure that their communities take full advantage of available economic opportunities. This is part of our Department’s strong commitment to engage western Aboriginal communities to promote job creation and economic growth.

Moving forward, WD will continue working with stakeholders while exploring new partners to improve the long-term competitiveness of the western provinces. Together, we’re showing Canada and the world that The West Means Business.


 

 

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, P.C., M.P.