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Economic Development Initiative

The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) provides financial support to economic development projects that encourage economic diversification, business development, innovation, partnerships and increased support for small- and medium-sized enterprises in Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs).

Investing in our future

In March 2018, the Government of Canada announced the Government’s Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future. The Plan comes with a budget of $2.7 billion over five years allocated among 15 federal departments and agencies.

News Release: Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023: Investing in Our Future represents the largest federal investment in official languages in our history

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) along with Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada and the other Regional Development Agencies, are responsible for delivering the EDI.

WD will invest $3.2 million through the EDI over five years for projects that contribute to the development of capacities, new expertise, and partnerships leading to the economic development of businesses and communities, and the sustainable growth of Western Canada’s francophone communities.

How can I apply for the EDI?

If you have a project idea and would like to submit an application, please contact your regional office.

Applicants can apply through WD's Western Diversification Program (WDP). WDP Terms and Conditions and eligibility criteria will apply to the EDI.
In addition:

  • Applicant(s) must represent and/or support francophone community economic development in Western Canada.
  • The proposed project must:
    • respond to the economic development needs of western OLMCs, and
    • support one or more identified needs or priorities confirmed through consultations with OLMC stakeholders.
      • Tourism,
      • Trade and investment,
      • Immigration, and
      • Community capacity building (with a focus on economic development).
  • The proposed project should support:
    • the economic well-being of western Official Language Minority Communities and enterprises;
    • innovation, diversification, partnerships that support community economic development; and
    • concrete, direct, and measurable impacts for OLMCs.

What are some examples of approved EDI projects?

EDI projects funded in Western Canada include:

Le Conseil de développement économique de l'AlbertaWD contribution $448,929
Project description: Establish physical and virtual business incubators to support pan-western francophone entrepreneurs.

L'Université de Saint-Boniface – WD contribution $301,200
Project description: Develop and deliver post-graduate courses on Inclusive Education on-line.

University of Regina-Cite Universitaire Francophone – WD contribution $135,785
Project description: Acquire equipment and resources for Bachelor of Science in Nursing French-language program.

Eco-Ouest (Le Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba)WD contribution $960,000
Project description: A green economic initiative to promote sustainable growth and strengthen the competitiveness of rural communities and OLMCs in the West.

Contact us

Contact your regional Western Economic Diversification Canada office to speak to a business officer about your application and funding opportunities.

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