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Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do

Raison d’être / Mandate

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established in 1987 to promote the development and diversification of the economy of western Canada and to advance the interests of the west in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation. The Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development is responsible for this organization.


WD delivers a wide range of initiatives across the west and makes strategic investments to build on regional competitive advantages and help grow the western economy. WD also contributes to the Government of Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan, other Government-wide priorities, and ministerial mandate letter commitments.

WD has offices in each of the four western Canadian provinces and in Ottawa. Its western base enables the department to foster strong partnerships with business and community organizations, research and academic institutions, Indigenous peoples, and provincial and municipal governments. These connections help WD reflect western perspectives in national decision-making.

The department delivers funding and services in western Canada through grants and contributions programs and network partners. Network partners include the Western Canada Business Service Network (WCBSN) members such as:

  • Canada Business Network
  • Community Futures
  • Women's Enterprise Initiative
  • Francophone Economic Development Organizations
  • Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program
  • Indigenous Business Development Services

WD’s research and policy work provide regional evidence and knowledge to advance the diversification and development of the economy of western Canada.

For more information about the department’s organizational mandate letter commitments, see the Minister's mandate letter.

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