Towards a Western Canada Growth Strategy
Working together for a better future
The world is changing. In an era of intense global competition, Canadians must build on past achievements, address challenges head on, and work to seize new economic opportunities that position us for the future.
To ensure western Canada continues to remain competitive in this new reality, the federal government is working with business, industry, academia, Indigenous communities and organizations, and different levels of government, to help develop a truly "Made-in-Western-Canada" growth strategy. This strategy not only reflects the unique regional advantages of each province, but also helps to stimulate economic growth.
Imagine a future where innovative processes make our agriculture, forestry, mining, and energy industries more efficient and sustainable, where digital services and media developed here meet the needs of companies and people across the globe, and where new opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and new immigrants translate into jobs and prosperity for all.
This vision is within our grasp, but it cannot be accomplished by any one person, government, organization, or sector.
This is why we are working together to develop a Western Canada Growth Strategy—one that positions western Canada for a prosperous future.
This strategy is about growing the economy, attracting investment, and creating middle class jobs for Canadians. To do this, we need to think boldly and work together to focus our efforts on advancing western Canada's regional strengths.
Engaging with western Canadians
Growing the economy is like building a house. It starts with a solid foundation.
You would not start building a house without considering the needs of the people who will live there, engaging an architect, creating the right floor plan, or finding the right people and tools to do the job.
Likewise in economic development, to build an effective strategy, we need to engage western Canadians, including First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities and organizations, rural communities, municipalities, economic development organizations, industry, innovation centres, think tanks, and academia, to help define the "pillars" or the foundation that make up the Western Canada Growth Strategy.
Why? Because when you thrive, we all thrive.
Whether you live in rural or urban areas, you are a part of a small startup, or you are a community leader, you have ideas about what is needed to build a strong economy. We need you to tell us what matters most to you about growing the economy, and how we can better work together to build on our existing regional strengths
What is the Western Canada Growth Strategy?
The Western Canada Growth Strategy is a "made-in-western-Canada" plan that aims to position the West for success five years from now, 10 years from now, and beyond. This pan-western growth strategy will help set the foundation to ensure that the unique regional economies in western Canada continue to grow and flourish by:
- identifying shared priorities to grow the economy
- increasing collaboration with those who make a difference in our economy, such as business, industry, academia, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities and organizations, and different levels of government
- engaging western Canadians to identify and drive economic growth opportunities
Challenges and opportunities
Western Canada's strong economic performance over most of the last two decades has helped drive growth at the national level, but slower growth is expected going forward as the region faces significant challenges, including:
- Emerging trade barriers with traditional partners;
- Disruptive technologies posing risks for companies and workers;
- Lower economic participation by Indigenous Peoples and other groups;
- Weaker prices for natural resources, combined with transportation bottlenecks, and the growing interest in environmentally sustainable practices; and
- Ready access to talent and skilled workers.
Increased collaboration between players can address these challenges and help western Canadians pursue new opportunities for growth, such as:
- Diversifying exports and capturing rising demand from emerging markets;
- Growing emerging industries and transforming traditional sectors;
- Supporting Indigenous Peoples, women, and youth to enter the workforce and access opportunities for entrepreneurship;
- Making small businesses more competitive and helping them to scale-up;
- Diversifying the economy, building on innovation to develop, market and distribute products and services; and
- Equipping western Canadians with the skills they need to thrive in the new economy
Get a glimpse of a current snapshot of Western Canada:
32% of Canada's Population
55% of Canada's Indigenous Population
38% of the national total
6 million workers
6.3% unemployment rate
What do you think?
We want to hear from you. Help us build the pillars to shape the Western Canada Growth Strategy by answering the following five questions either online, through mail, or by leading your own group discussion:
- What does a stronger western Canadian economy look like 10 years from now?
- What are the best ways to spur new growth in western Canada?
- What will help the Indigenous economy continue to grow?
- How can we improve economic participation in the west of underrepresented groups, including women, youth and new immigrants?
- How can governments, industry and western Canadians work together to grow the regional economy?
Ideas will be posted to the Western Canada Growth Strategy website within 2 business days in the language in which they were provided. Read what we are hearing.
Please send us your ideas by November 16, 2018.
Organize your own group discussion by checking out this toolkit for tips on how to plan a session, shape your conversation, and report back.
Send us an email at email@example.com with your ideas or suggestions
Mail your letter by post November 9, 2018 to:
Western Economic Diversification Canada
C/O: Western Canada
Growth Strategy Engagement
Suite 1500, 9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7
Follow the conversation on Twitter by using the hashtag: #MyWesternCanada
The federal government is working with business, industry, academia, First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities and organizations, and different levels of government to identify areas of shared economic interest to advance new opportunities for western Canadians.
The engagement will be open until November 16, 2018 and the Western Canada Growth Strategy will be developed and launched by early 2019. Make sure to visit this site often for updates.
What we've done so far
The Government of Canada is supporting a number of initiatives that will have a positive impact on Western Canada.
Read about what we've done so far to grow the western Canadian economy.
What we are hearing
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