Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Results: what we achieved

Program 1.3: Policy, Advocacy and Coordination


Policy, Advocacy, and Coordination arises from the Western Economic Diversification Act and empowers the Minister to advance the interests of Western Canada through policies and programs and by establishing cooperative relationships with key stakeholders. Policy, Advocacy and Coordination efforts enable WD to: provide a strong voice for Western Canada, which results in effective strategies, policies, and programs that address economic development needs; lead federal and intergovernmental collaboration to pursue key opportunities for long-term growth and diversification in areas of federal or shared federal-provincial jurisdiction; and, enable economic analysis activities to be carried out, which ultimately assist with informing policy and program decisions. Transfer payments in support of this program are made under the authority of the Western Diversification Program.


Through economic analysis and stakeholder engagement, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) continually refines its Policy, Advocacy and Coordination (PAC) program to meet the changing priorities of western Canadians and the needs of the business community.

Through its advocacy and coordination role, WD brought together key stakeholders to respond to growing opportunities and challenges in Western Canada. For example, WD held a roundtable discussion of key leaders from incubators and accelerators across Canada on December 15, 2016 regarding how to develop and enhance business assistance services for technology entrepreneurs and companies in Saskatchewan. This roundtable discussion informed the vision for the launch of Co.Labs, Saskatchewan’s first technology incubator.

WD; Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada; Public Health Agency of Canada; and Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada organized the Manitoba Indigenous Foresight Initiative, which engaged government and the Indigenous community to develop collaborative strategies and actions to improve social economic conditions for Indigenous peoples of Manitoba. The initiative included a data sharing forum with more than 100 participants learning about data and trends related to Indigenous peoples. There was also a foresight incubator event with over 120 participants learning about innovative ways of collaborating and working towards a future where reconciliation and self-determination have been realized. As a result of this initiative, WD has committed to exploring ways to further incorporate Indigenous perspectives into its work.

In November 2016, WD, in partnership with the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries, Mitacs, and the Canadian Commercial Corporation, held the third Western Innovation Forum in Vancouver, BC. This event, with an emphasis on innovation-driven investment, partnership, and business opportunities in the aerospace and defence sectors, attracted more than 450 participants from 210 organizations. WD created opportunities for western Canadian industry by arranging 364 pre-screened business-to-business meetings between companies, academia, research organizations, and global aerospace and defence companies.

Caring for communities in need

WD played a lead role during the Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016 with regards to federal recovery and rebuilding efforts, and coordinating with various stakeholders.

The Fort McMurray wildfire in May 2016 was an unprecedented natural disaster in Canadian history, driving 90,000 people from their homes and impacting Alberta’s largest industry—the oil and gas sector. WD played a lead federal role with regard to recovery and rebuilding. This involved working with numerous federal departments, the Government of Alberta, Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo, and Canadian Red Cross to coordinate the federal response and ensure effective collaboration with provincial and local governments. WD also worked through its service delivery partner, Community Futures Wood Buffalo, to provide local business recovery assistance and utilized one of its funding programs—CIP 150—to assist communities affected by the wildfire.

Through its on-the-ground intelligence gathering and economic analysis, WD identifies key issues and supports policy development at the departmental and national level to identify challenges. For example, WD undertook research on the venture capital (VC) market in Western Canada that identified developments over the last three years and long-term trends in VC investments. This research enhances the Government of Canada’s understanding of innovation investment in Western Canada and supports WD’s decision making and advocacy to develop the economy.

Results achieved

Expected results Performance indicators Target Date to achieve target 2016–17 Actual results 2015–16 Actual results 2014–15 Actual results
Policies that strengthen the western Canadian economy Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD activities resulted in policies that support the economic development of Western Canada 90% March 31, 2017 n/a n/a 82.7%
Programs that strengthen the western Canadian economy Percentage of key informants with the opinion that WD activities resulted in programs that support the economic development of Western Canada 90% March 31, 2017 n/a n/a 87.0%

Note: Results are based on a 2014 WD survey of PAC stakeholders.[1]  This survey was not conducted this year because WD is in the process of revising its reporting framework to allow better reporting in the future.

Budgetary financial resources (dollars)
Main Estimates
Planned spending
Total authorities
available for use
Actual spending
(authorities used)
(actual minus planned)
8,414,266 8,414,266 8,736,387 6,840,485 (1,573,781)

Note: Actual spending is lower than planned as a result of a project delay which required the money to be re-profiled to a future year.

Human resources (full-time equivalents)
2016–17 Planned 2016–17 Actual 2016–17 Difference
(actual minus planned)
55 58 3

Information on WD's lower-level programs is available on the TBS InfoBase.



WD Policy, Advocacy and Coordination Survey, March 2014