Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Report on Plans and Priorities 2015-16

Minister of State's Message

The Honourable Michelle Rempel, P.C., M.P.As Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification (WD), I am pleased to present the 2015–16 Report on Plans and Priorities for the Department.

Following a series of broad-based engagement activities across Western Canada, WD set out a strategic agenda aimed at creating jobs and securing economic growth, while delivering on the Department's mandate to develop, innovate, and diversify the western Canadian economy.

Canada's West is home to world-class innovators who are developing new products and services with tremendous commercial potential. A challenge still remains, however, for firms to acquire the necessary funding to bring their ideas to market. In response, we launched the Western Innovation (WINN) Initiative. The Initiative addresses a need that western Canadian businesses have themselves identified, which is accessing the capital they require to move innovative ideas and emerging technologies from the test bench to the marketplace. Through it, we are now providing support to our innovators and I look forward to the results of our investment.

In partnership with industry, WD also continues to address identified skilled labour shortages in Western Canada. The Department will provide market-driven, targeted investments enabling western Canadians to better access training opportunities, and gain the skills they need to secure high-paying and rewarding jobs. The Western Diversification Program (WDP) is the main program through which WD can achieve this goal, and make strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada.

Complementing our projects under WINN and WDP, the Department will continue to act as an advocate for the West. This means we will continue to promote western Canadian aerospace, defence and marine capabilities, maintaining the sectors' place as leaders in the global marketplace. With our western headquarters, we are well-positioned to receive feedback, and rely upon it to inform our decision making. I encourage all western Canadians to avail yourselves of our resources and to share your thoughts with us so that we can continue building on our successes. 

Moving forward, WD will continue to forge new partnerships and build on existing ones so that we can continue to create new jobs and economic growth. Together, we're showing Canada and the world that The West Means Business.



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