In 2017–18, Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) will celebrate its 30th anniversary as it assists Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia to grow, create jobs and strengthen the middle class.
WD’s work will be driven by the ministerial mandate commitments and the three pillars of the Government of Canada’s Inclusive Innovation Agenda, a whole of government initiative:
- Technology; and
In addition, WD will contribute to the development and implementation of the new Canadian international trade strategy.
WD has identified two strategic priorities for 2017–18:
The West already plays an important role within the Canadian innovation and technology sector. However, to compete globally, it must accelerate the development and adoption of new technologies.
In 2017–18, under the Western Diversification Program, WD’s technology focus will be to invest in competitive innovative clusters by supporting the development of clean technology products and processes. In addition, WD will launch an intake of the Western Innovation Initiative to assist western Canadian companies to commercialize new and innovative technologies.
WD will participate in the new Accelerated Growth Service, a Budget 2016 commitment, by assisting firms with high-growth potential to grow and scale up. This program will provide firms with access to federal government services to help them expand and become more globally competitive.
A skilled and entrepreneurial workforce is critical to drive economic growth in Western Canada. Through funding investments, WD will support Indigenous people to participate in the economy and be job creators themselves as successful entrepreneurs. Under the Western Diversification Program, WD will help Indigenous entrepreneurs to establish and grow their businesses and develop new skills.