Western Economic Diversification Canada
Symbol of the Government of Canada

Common menu bar links

Western Economic Diversification Canada Programs

WD receives an annual allocation, approved by Parliament, for grants and contributions that support a wide range of programs responding to Western Canada's economic development needs and priorities.

Funding Mechanisms

Direct Agreements | National Agreements | Legislation

Direct Agreements

WD's grants and contributions also support projects delivered directly by WD, either alone or in partnership with other organizations. 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 Innovation (WINN) Initiative is a five-year federal Initiative that offers repayable contributions for small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) with operations in Western Canada to move their new and innovative technologies from the later stages of research and development to the marketplace.
  • The Western Diversification Program (WDP) is the main program through which WD makes strategic investments in initiatives that enhance and strengthen the economy of Western Canada. Funding is available to not-for-profit organizations (e.g., universities and other post-secondary institutions, research institutes, industry associations, Indigenous organizations) for projects that support innovation, business development  and/or community economic growth.
  • Western Canada Business Service Network is a group of several independent organizations that receive funding from WD to provide a range of services to help create and build small businesses across the West.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

National Agreements

WD delivers a number of national programs in the western provinces.

  • The Economic Development Initiative will invest $3.2 million in the West over five years to support business and economic development that encourages sustainable growth in Western Canada’s Francophone communities.
  • The Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI) is an innovative program designed to increase Indigenous participation in complex economic development opportunities. SPI is administered by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, with WD providing an active role with 13 other federal departments in investment decision-making and implementation of projects under the program.

The following programs have now concluded:

  • The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is a Government of Canada program that invested in community infrastructure projects across the country. In Western Canada, CIP 150 was delivered by Western Economic Diversification Canada. The program concluded on March 31, 2018.
  • The Drywall Support Program is a relief program for Western Canadian drywall contractors and builders, and residents of the Regional Municipality of Wood Buffalo whose homes were severely damaged or destroyed in the May 2016 wildfires. The program concluded on June 13, 2017.

Return to the top of this pagetop of page

Legislation that Governs Program Activity and Expenditures of WD Include:

Western Economic Diversification Act: Promotes the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and advances the interests of Western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Act requires that the WD Minister undertake three mandatory duties:

  • guide, promote and coordinate the policies and programs, including those related to industrial benefits, of the Government of Canada in relation to the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada;
  • lead and coordinate the efforts of the Government of Canada to establish cooperative relationships with the provinces constituting Western Canada, business, labour and other public and private organizations for the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada; and
  • compile detailed information on all programs and projects undertaken by the Minister for the purpose of measuring trends, development and progress in the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada.