Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Services for Communities

WD invests in community-driven projects and other initiatives designed to increase productivity and competitiveness, and improve the quality of life in western communities.

Funding is available for community projects that support at least one of WD's project activities: innovation, business development and entrepreneurship and community economic development.

Our investments are helping rural and urban communities compete in the knowledge-based economy, develop a more diversified economic base and creating new skilled employment for western Canadians. Areas of focus include:

  • Community innovation,
  • Value-added production in traditional resource sectors,
  • Strengthening the capacity of western communities to undertake effective community economic development, and
  • Improving community and transportation infrastructure.

The following sections provide general information on various programs that are available. However, we strongly encourage applicants to contact the nearest WD office and discuss their proposal with a program officer, who can provide invaluable assistance about sources of funds and the application process.

Groups eligible to apply under these programs include universities and other post-secondary academic institutions, research institutes, industry associations and other not-for-profit organizations.

  • Western Diversification Program (WDP) is the main program through which WD invests in projects that support our program activities of innovation, business development and entrepreneurship and community economic development.

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is also responsible for delivering a number of national initiatives for communities, including:

  • The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada's celebration of our country's 150th anniversary. Through investments in community infrastructure, the Government of Canada will invest in projects that celebrate our shared heritage, create jobs, and improve the quality of life for Canadians.
  • The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund is a two-year national program that will invest over $46 million in the West for the rehabilitation and improvement of existing community infrastructure that is non-commercial and accessible to the public.

WD delivers the following national infrastructure programs in Western Canada on behalf of Infrastructure Canada.

  • The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is investing $276.4 million in the West to improve and increase the stock of core public infrastructure for municipalities with populations of less than 250,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation.
  • The Building Canada Fund through the Communities Component is investing $513.5 million in the West to address the unique needs of communities with populations less than 100,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation.

WD's multi-year funding for a Western Canada Business Service Network provides over 100 points of service in rural and urban communities. These business service partners deliver information, technical advice and other assistance to provide new and emerging entrepreneurs with the expertise they need to establish or expand their business. The Network includes: