Towards a Western Canada Growth Strategy

Thank you for your input. This engagement is now closed. Stay tuned for our report on what we heard from Canadians.

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.

Learn more about the Western Canada Growth Strategy.

Contact us

For questions about the Western Canada Growth Strategy, please contact:

For all other enquiries, please visit our contact us page.

We asked Canadians

Beginning September 11, 2018 and ending November 16, 2018, we asked the following five questions:

  1. What does a stronger western Canadian economy look like 10 years from now?
  2. What are the best ways to spur new growth in western Canada?
  3. What will help the Indigenous economy continue to grow?
  4. How can we improve economic participation in the west of underrepresented groups, including women, youth and new immigrants?
  5. How can governments, industry and western Canadians work together to grow the regional economy?

What we heard

We heard from individuals, communities, and organizations that shared valuable and diverse ideas. In the coming months, we will publish a "What we heard" report that highlights these ideas and recommendations. From that, the Western Canada Growth Strategy will be developed and launched in 2019.

Check back regularly for updates and follow the conversation on Twitter: @WD_Canada, #MyWesternCanada.

All comments received are considered public. Please read the Western Canada Growth Strategy Privacy Statement and Terms of Use.

Sept-Nov 2018

Dec 2018-Early 2019



Online Discussion ForumOnline Discussion Forum

Read the responses and conversations that took place in the online discussion forum by visiting the PlaceSpeak online platform.


Public Submissions Public Submissions

Please note that the comments below are presented as they were submitted, in the language in which they were written.

Date Individual Submissions (PDF) Organization Submissions (PDF)
September 11 to 16, 2018 Week 1 N/A
September 17 to 23, 2018 Week 2 Community Futures Stuart Nechako
September 24 to 30, 2018 Week 3 N/A
October 1 to 7, 2018 Week 4 S.U.C.C.E.S.S
October 8 to 14, 2018 Week 5 N/A
October 15 to 21, 2018 Week 6 Community Futures Boundary; Alberta Construction Association
October 22 to 28, 2018 Week 7 Community Futures North Okanagan; EnviroTREC; Community Futures West Interlake; Vancouver Fraser Port Authority; Manitoba submissions
October 29 to November 4, 2018 Week 8 Community Futures Crowsnest Pass; City of Calgary's Recreation Management Team; Port Alberni Port Authority; Co-operatives First
November 5 to 11, 2018 Week 9 Northern Village of Green Lake; Community Futures Highwood; Community Futures British Columbia
November 12 to 16, 2018 Week 10 Alberta Council of Technologies Society; Saskatchewan Chamber of Commerce; The Centre for Innovation Studies; Community Futures St. Paul – Smoky Lake Region; Vancouver Economic Commission; Community Futures Peace Country; Canadian Manufacturers & Exporters; Edmonton Airports and Edmonton Global; Johnson Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy; Peraton Canada; City of Calgary; City of Edmonton; Conexus Credit Union; Manitoba Council for International Education; Community Futures St Paul – Smoky Lake Region; Saskatchewan Co-operative Association; YMCA Canada; Alberta's Industrial Heartland Association; Chemistry Industry Association of Canada; Mobilisation du Conseil de développement économique des municipalités bilingues du Manitoba; BC Tech Association; Greater Saskatoon Chamber of Commerce; New Media Manitoba; Translink; Momentum; University of British Columbia; Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers; Edmonton Economic Development Corporation; Edmonton Screen Industries Office; University of Calgary; Sask Polytech; University of Alberta; ABB Canada; Surrey Board of Trade; WestGrid; Canadian Federation of Independent Business; Treaty 8 First Nations of Alberta; Co.Labs; Women's Enterprise Centre of Manitoba


Roundtables across Western CanadaRoundtables held by Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada led roundtables across Western Canada to hear different perspectives from business, industry, academia, Indigenous organizations, and different levels of government.

Participants selected for the roundtables varied and encouraged a mix of perspectives to promote a dynamic and helpful discussion.

*Note: Roundtable summary notes will be posted as they become available.

Date City Province Summary
September 21, 2018 Banff Alberta Roundtable - September 21, 2018
October 1, 2018 Regina Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 1, 2018 - Session 1 (lnk1)
October 1, 2018 Regina Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 1, 2018 - Session 2
October 1, 2018 Regina Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 1, 2018 - Session 3 (lnk1)
October 5, 2018 Winnipeg Manitoba Roundtable - October 5, 2018
October 10, 2018 Saskatoon Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 1, 2018 - Session 1 (lnk2)
October 10, 2018 Saskatoon Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 10, 2018 - Session 2
October 10, 2018 Saskatoon Saskatchewan Roundtable - October 1, 2018 - Session 3 (lnk2)
October 18, 2018 Winnipeg Manitoba Roundtable - October 18, 2018
October 26, 2018 Edmonton Alberta Roundtable - October 26, 2018
October 29, 2018 Vancouver British Columbia Roundtable - October 29, 2018
October 30, 2018 Vancouver British Columbia Roundtable - October 30, 2018 (lnk1)
October 30, 2018 Lethbridge Alberta Roundtable - October 30, 2018 (lnk2)
November 1, 2018 Regina Saskatchewan Roundtable - November 1, 2018
October 25, November 1 & 2, 2018 Edmonton Alberta Roundtable - October 25, November 1 & 2, 2018
November 2, 2018 Prince George British Columbia Roundtable - November 2, 2018
November 7, 2018 Calgary Alberta Roundtable - November 7, 2018
November 8, 2018 Calgary Alberta Roundtable - November 8, 2018 (lnk1)
November 8, 2018 Prince Albert Saskatchewan Roundtable - November 8, 2018 (lnk2)
November 10, 2018 Prince Albert Saskatchewan Roundtable - November 10, 2018
November 13, 2018 Edmonton Alberta Roundtable - November 13, 2018
November 14, 2018 Edmonton Alberta Roundtable - November 14, 2018
November 16, 2018 Winnipeg Manitoba Roundtable - November 16, 2018

The Vision

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, Inuit, and Métis 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

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.

Regional snapshot

Get a glimpse of a current snapshot of Western Canada:

Western canada's Population


Western Canada's Population

11.1 million
32% of Canada's Population

First Nations, Inuit and Métis in the West


First Nations, Inuit and Métis in the West

927,550 population
55% of Canada's Indigenous Population

Gross Domestic Product (GDP)


Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

$651 billion
38% of the national total

Labour market


Labour market

6 million workers
6.3% unemployment rate




$186.6 billion in merchandise exports
37% of national total

Natural resources


Natural resources

$122 billion in real GDP

SMEs and entrepreneurship


SMEs and entrepreneurship

427,000 active SMEs with employees

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