Western Economic Diversification Canada
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4. Application Process

The WDP will be delivered through a CFP process where applicants will have 30 days from the beginning of the WDP-CFP application period to submit their application. Applicants are encouraged to visit WD's website for the dates of these application periods or to contact WD to be placed on an email notification list. No applications will be accepted outside the application period. Saved applications that have not been submitted prior to the deadline of the application period will not be assessed by WD. Signing and submitting the application form does not constitute a commitment from WD for financial assistance.

4.1 Application Requirements

The WDP requires the items below for assessment and may require additional documentation and information for more detailed assessment. Applicants must submit:

  • A completed WDP Application Form;
  • Current financial statements;
  • A detailed project budget by Government of Canada fiscal year (April 1 – March 31); and,
  • Evidence of other funding sources (where available provide written confirmation).

If the project has confirmed funding at the time of application, please attach proof of all sources of non-WD funding. WD considers the following as sources of confirmed funding:

  • Letters of confirmation;
  • Signed agreements; and,
  • Financial and/or bank statements.

This documentation is necessary in order to consider non-WD funding as confirmed.

4.2 Saving and Submitting your Application

All applicants are strongly encouraged to use Western Economic Diversification Canada's online application tool to apply for funding. An online application can be saved, allowing you to complete it in more than one session. All applications must be submitted before February 23, 2017.

Saving your application form

  • Save your application as soon as you can - To do so, the following nine fields on the application form must be completed so that Western Economic Diversification Canada can find the saved application if you require technical support.
    • Question 1. Full legal name of your organization;
    • Question 19. Salutation;
    • Question 20. First name;
    • Question 21. Last name;
    • Question 22. Job title;
    • Question 23. Email address;
    • Question 24. Telephone;
    • Question 33. Project Title; and,
    • Question 38. Province.
  • Save frequently – This will help prevent you from losing data that you have inputted in the event there is an Internet interruption or your session is timed out.

Accessing your saved application form

Once you have successfully saved your application, an email will be sent to the email address of the Primary Contact (Question 23 in the Application Form). If the Primary Contact is not the person completing the application, he/she must forward this email to the individual who is. You can only access your saved application with the information (weblink) included in this email, therefore it is critical that you save this email.

Upon receiving your 'saved' project application email from WD please do the following:

  • Click on the Application Retrieval Link included in the 'saved' email.
  • You will require a GCKey to open your saved application
    • A GCKey is a unique username and password that allows access to, and protects your communication with, online Government of Canada programs and services.
    • More information on GCKey is available here.
  • If you do not already have a GCKey, you can register for one when opening your saved application for the first time.
    • Step 1. Select the "Continue to GCKey" button (this will be the second option on your screen).
    • Step 2. Select the "Sign Up" button on the right-hand side of the GCKey login page.
    • Step 3. Follow the instructions on your screens to create a username and password.
  • Once you have registered for a GCKey, select the "Continue to GCKey" button and input your username/password.
    • WD recommends that you create a new (separate) GCKey for each individual application you submit to Western Economic Diversification Canada. Creating a unique GCKey for each application allows you to share the GCKey with others in your organization who may need to view the application. As such, we do not recommend using the Sign-in Partner method using financial institution partners; however, this option is available to those who prefer it.

It is important to note the following:

  • You must save the link contained in the email you receive from WD after saving your application for the first time to retrieve a saved draft of your application. You will not receive another email when saving your work in the future.
  • Once you have accessed the saved application form with your GCKey, only that GCKey will be able to access the form. Therefore, it is important that you do not lose your GCKey username and password.
  • In the event that another individual must gain access to the saved application, sharing the GCKey is at your organization's risk and discretion.
  • It is important to remember your GC Key username as it cannot be retrieved if lost. In the event your GCKey username is lost, a new application will have to be started.
  • If you experience technical difficulties related to accessing your saved application form, please contact Western Economic Diversification Canada.
  • You must click the "Validate/Submit" button at the top of the application form to formally submit your application to WD. A "saved" application that is not formally submitted will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for funding.
  • Once you submit your application, you can no longer re-open the form. Be sure to either print a copy or convert it to PDF and save before you submit.

Additional Tips:

  • Always save your application form once the minimum number of fields for saving is complete.
  • Always save regularly as the online form does not automatically save.
  • Logout when you are finished with the form for the day.
  • If you are using two separate GCKeys for any reason, you may need to clear your computer browsing history when logging out from one saved form and logging into another.
  • More detailed instructions on registering for, and using a GCKey are available here.

If you are unable to submit your application using the online application tool, contact a Western Economic Diversification Regional Office for assistance. It is recommended that applicants retain their GCKey information as it may be used for reporting purposes if an application is approved.

Submitting your application form

  1. Save a final version of your application using the ‘Save’ button at the top of the application form. Please ensure that you have attached all required additional documentation (see Section 4.1 for a complete list).
  2. Print a copy for your records.
  3. Select the ‘Validate/Submit’ button at the top of the application form to formally submit your online application to WD. Once the validation of your application is complete you will have to select a second ‘Submit’ button.
  4. The Primary Contact will receive a confirmation email upon successful submission. If you do not receive this confirmation email within 24 hours of submitting please contact a WD Regional Office.  A “saved” application that is not formally submitted will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for funding.

4.3 Assessment Criteria

Each application will be assessed to determine the following:

  • Meets the mandatory eligibility criteria (see Section 2 of this guide);
  • Aligns with WD's 2017 investment priorities (see Section 2.2 of this guide);
  • Responds to market/industry demand;
  • Demonstrates clear, measurable economic results for Western Canada (see Section 4.5 of this guide);
  • Organization's overall governance and management capacity to provide oversight and carry out the project;
  • Analysis of the project's objectives and key activities, rationale, and project plan (proposed timelines);
  • Leverages funding from non-WD sources and what portion of this other funding is confirmed; and,
  • Organization's long-term financial viability.

It is critical that applicants submit a complete application form that clearly shows how their project meets the elements listed above.

4.4 Attributes of a Strong Project

Strong projects will demonstrate:

  • A clear alignment to one or more of WD's priorities: clean tech and Indigenous economic growth (see Section 2.2 of this guide);
  • Strong market/industry demand (e.g., the project addresses a significant gap in the market or there is a demonstrated industry demand for the project);
  • Clear, measurable economic results for Western Canada (see Section 4.5 of this guide);
  • Effective governance measures and management team in place to carry out the project;
  • A strong rationale for the project;
  • Financial statements that demonstrate the organization is financially self-sustaining;
  • Leveraged funding from provincial governments, the private sector, and other non-government sources (typically 50 percent or more); and,
  • Non-WD funding is confirmed. Funding will only be considered confirmed if written proof is provided (see Section 4.1 of this guide for further instructions).

4.5 Economic Results

Projects under the WDP-CFP will create economic results for Western Canada. The economic results should be clear, measurable, and directly attributable to the project. The economic results should also be reported against during and at the end of the project.

Economics results will vary depending on the project's alignment with one or more of WD's 2017 investment priorities (see Section 2.2 of this guide).

Applicants must identify in their application form (Question 50) between one and five measures of “How Economic Results will be Measured” from the following list, and provide a reasonable and quantitative target for each one, to be achieved over the course of the proposed project.

Depending on the nature of the proposed project, results may be measured and reported up to one year past the project completion date.

Please note, the examples of economic results provided are samples, not a comprehensive list. For further information on other possible economic results, please contact your nearest WD Regional Office.

Economic Results by Priority
Clean Technology
Desired Outcomes Examples of how Economic Results will be Measured
  • Increased development and/or commercialization of clean tech products and processes that will surpass the current marketplace standard and/or most commonplace technology.
  • # of products, processes, or services proven through successful deployment in an operational setting
  • # of instances of intellectual property exercised
  • $ value of sales tied to the knowledge-based product, process, service, or technology commercialized
  • Increased access to capital and clean tech market share for western Canadian organizations.
  • # of SMEs that increase gross margins
  • SME employment growth (FTEs)
  • # of SMEs and other organizations pursuing a new trade, investment, or international R&D opportunity
  • # of western clients with new international sales
  • $ value of new international business leads generated through missions, events, or marketing initiatives
  • $ value of international business activity
  • # of western SMEs or other organizations participating in an international business mission mission event or marketing initiative
  • $ value of incremental private sector investment attracted.
  • Increased employment, development, and retention of Highly Qualified Personnel (HQP) in clean tech industries.
  • # of HQP jobs created
  • # of HQP trained
Indigenous Economic Growth
Desired Outcomes Examples of how Economic Results will be Measured
  • Greater Indigenous participation in the western Canadian economy.
  • Increase and expand Indigenous businesses.
  • Increased capacity and competitiveness of Indigenous businesses.
  • Increased employment for Indigenous people.
  • Increased skills development to address labour gaps.
  • # of businesses created, maintained, or expanded through business or capital services
  • # of SMEs that increase gross margins
  • SME employment growth (# of FTEs)
  • # of business training services (# of unique participants)
  • # of SMEs investing in adoption of sound management, business practices, or technology
  • # of participants trained in skills shortage area
  • # of skilled workers hired
  • # of new Indigenous economic development partnerships and/or business opportunities created
  • # of Indigenous communities or businesses participating in an economic development or business development conference or event
  • # of western firms and other organizations participating in a domestic tourism business mission, event, or marketing initiative
  • # of western SMEs and other organizations participating in an international tourism business mission, event, or marketing initiative
  • # of tourists visiting Western Canada (domestic and/or international)

The table below outlines examples of economic results expected for projects funded through the EDI program. As this is not a comprehensive list, please contact your nearest WD Regional Office for further information on possible economic results for the EDI program.

Economic Development Initiative for Francophones
Desired Outcomes Examples of how Economic Results will be Measured
  • Increased business productivity and growth
  • # of HQP trained
  • # of businesses created, maintained, or expanded through business or capital services
  • # of businesses adopting sound management practices or technology
  • # of skilled workers hired as a result of training/skills certification
  • # of businesses pursuing a trade or tourism opportunity
  • Increased community economic growth
  • # of local and regionally-based community strategic plan(s) developed and/or updated
  • # of communities benefitting from Community Economic Growth projects
  • $ value of community-based projects

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5. Official Languages

Under the Official Languages Act, the Government of Canada is committed to supporting and assisting the development of official language minority communities (English-speaking communities in Quebec and French-speaking communities in the rest of Canada). More than two million Canadians belong to an official language minority community. The intention is to enable these communities to thrive and to enjoy the same benefits as the rest of the population.

Applicants seeking funding through the WDP-CFP may assist WD in fulfilling its obligations under the Official Languages Act by identifying aspects of the proposed project that may benefit francophone communities in Western Canada, or by being willing to modify the proposed project to extend its benefits to the francophone community. This may be as simple as including a French-speaking service provider who is able to offer business services in French as part of the project or offering the final product resulting from the project in French.

Please contact your WD Regional Office to explore how you might modify your proposed WDP project to assist the department in extending benefits to the francophone community.

6. Environmental Assessment Compliance

Projects involving physical works may be subject to the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, 2012. Recipients of WDP funding will be responsible for obtaining all certificates, consents, permits, and approvals required for compliance with applicable legislation and for complying with the requirements of such legislation. Should an environmental assessment be required, it will be necessary to plan several months before the Proposed Project Funding Start Date to allow sufficient time for the completion of the assessment.

7. Reporting Requirements

All contribution agreements jointly signed between WD and a successful applicant include a requirement for periodic reports in order to demonstrate progress in implementing the project and achieving the economic results. These progress reports are required at least twice a year to support claims for reimbursement of project costs. Recipients are also required to provide financial statements to WD throughout project implementation.

8. Questions

Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page for more information.

Please refer to the WD programs, page for more information.

Find additional information by contacting one of our regional offices.

9. Glossary

Below is a short glossary of terms used in this guide:

Term Description
Assessment Thorough review and analysis of all aspects of an application prior to entering into a contribution agreement. This includes scoping of the project to meet program and departmental objectives, as well as Government of Canada guidelines for funding contributions.
Contribution A monetary payment to a successful Recipient that does not result in the acquisition by the Government of Canada of any goods, services, or assets. The payment(s) will be for assisted costs as identified in the Contribution Agreement with WD. The successful Recipient must first pay the cost of the service or good, then submit a claim which provides proof that the cost has been incurred and paid for by the Recipient. WD then reimburses such costs on the percentage basis specified in the Contribution Agreement.

Contributions are subject to performance conditions specified in a Contribution Agreement, and, therefore, a Recipient is required to report to WD on results achieved. A contribution is to be accounted for and is subject to audit, and where profit is generated by the project, it may be subject to repayment conditions also specified in the contribution agreement.
Incremental Activities to be undertaken that are additional to the applicant's current operations or activities.
In-Kind Costs/Contributions Contributions, such as goods and services, toward project costs that do not involve a cost incurred or paid for by the applicant. These types of contributions should be demonstrated in the application at fair market value.
Official Language Minority Communities Canadian English-speaking communities in Quebec, and Canadian French-speaking communities in provinces and territories other than Quebec, which in some cases includes communities that historically had a predominant minority language population.
Project The group of activities and actions, which are cost-shared, that occur in the period between the Project Funding Start Date and the Project End Date.
Project End Date The date it is anticipated that project activity will cease. (this does not include a repayment period when applicable.)
Project Funding Start Date This is the date that an agreement between a Recipient and the department comes into effect. Any costs incurred prior to this date are not eligible for reimbursement under the terms of the agreement and are outside of the scope of the project. It can be thought of as the start date for the project as defined by the WDP Contribution Agreement.