Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être

Western Economic Diversification Canada was established in 1987 to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of the West in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is responsible for this organization.

Mandate and role

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) implements diverse initiatives across the West and makes strategic investments that build on regional competitive advantages.

WD has offices in each western Canadian province, as well as an office in Ottawa. Its western base enables the Department to foster strong partnerships with business and community organizations, research and academic institutions, Indigenous peoples, as well as provincial and municipal governments. These connections assist WD to reflect western perspectives in national decision-making.

Building from the Budget 2016 priority of clean economic growth, WD will support several ministerial mandate letter commitments including:

  • promoting economic diversification and building on competitive regional advantages;
  • investing in western Canada’s clean technology sectors;
  • supporting the emerging national network for business innovation and cluster support including incubators and accelerators;
  • supporting Canadian businesses to increase their exports and expand their trading partners;
  • promoting economic development and creating jobs for Indigenous peoples; and
  • supporting openness and transparency in government by sharing information on WD’s investments and initiatives with Canadians.

For more information about the Department, see the “Supplementary information” of this report. For more information on the mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter on the Prime Minister of Canada’s website.