Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Our Story

WD promotes the development and diversification of the Western Canadian economy and advances the interests of the West in national economic policy, program, and project development and implementation.

WD’s economic development mandate allows it to deliver diverse programs across the West to support communities, business, and not-for-profit organizations. Additionally, WD is responsible for developing policies to support economic development and diversification in Western Canada - such as clean technologies - and helping business grow, innovate, and export.

The Department is headquartered in Edmonton and has an office in the National Capital Region. There are also five regional offices located in Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver. WD capitalizes on the talents of its staff, with approximately 300 employees in Western Canada and Ottawa, to seize economic development opportunities throughout the West.

Transition

WD experienced a transitional period this year as the department became part of the Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada (ISED) portfolio.

This new working environment has positioned WD to better serve Canadians by taking advantage of its collaborative structure. This includes seizing opportunities to share tools and resources with other Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) under the ISED portfolio.

WD’s shift in focus to support an innovation agenda, and the investment in and support of clean technology, are priorities that we continue to integrate into our programs, initiatives, and services.

Other highlights of WD’s mandate priorities include:

  • Supporting business to increase exports, grow trading relationships, and take advantage of new trade agreements;
  • Promoting economic development and creating jobs for Indigenous Peoples;
  • Identifying Industrial and Technological Benefits for Canadian firms, including the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy;
  • Supporting small- and medium-sized enterprises in taking advantage of government financing and export-oriented supports; and
  • Reducing administrative burdens on small businesses.

In order to support WD staff through this transition period, a learning event was provided to all staff to discuss highlights from transition documents and the work involved in preparing for the transition. An open floor discussion was held to provide employees with the opportunity to share experiences with regard to process and policy changes.