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Western Canada Growth Strategy: Next Steps

Moving Forward

Western Canada Growth Strategy: Next Steps

The West has weathered price collapses and recessions before. We have pioneered new products and services. We have tackled new markets. Our communities have bounced back from unexpected disasters, both natural and economic.

Westerners recognize today's pressing challenges, but are still confident in their future. They want governments, communities, industry, and other partners to work differently and seize opportunities. They want to be part of the solution.


Western Canadians have a bold vision for building a more innovative, inclusive, and connected economy. One that creates jobs and supports businesses, so that our families and communities continue to prosper.


The Government of Canada is listening and taking action

WD and its federal partners share the vision of western Canadians. A strong and agile West is critical for Canada's future. The Government of Canada is committed to making federal programs and services more responsive to the needs of western Canadians.

The Western Canada Growth Strategy draws from public engagement to set priorities for diversification, trade, skills, and communities. WD and its federal partners are taking action, but this is only the beginning.

Western Canada Growth Strategy
Our Path Forward


Build a broader economy

Government of Canada Leads:

Western Economic Diversification Canada

Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

Natural Resources Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada


a) Grow emerging sectors

  1. Strengthen innovation ecosystems
  2. Support high-growth western firms
  3. Build inclusive technology sectors
  4. Accelerate innovation adoption
  5. Modernize regulations

b) Transform resource sectors

  1. Invest in cleaner resource development
  2. Embrace technologies that increase productivity
  3. Capture more value for our products
  4. Grow regional economic partnerships

Measures of success

GDP growth

GDP share of emerging industries

Business R&D expenditures

Commercialization of technologies

Company collaborations with post-secondary partners

High-growth firms

Clean technology adoption


Seize global opportunities

Government of Canada Leads:

Global Affairs Canada

Transport Canada


c) Improve export access

  1. Get western energy to new markets
  2. Reduce bottlenecks
  3. Modernize trade infrastructure and plan for the future

d) Grow markets

  1. Leverage trade agreements
  2. Enhance export services
  3. Improve our knowledge of global markets
  4. Strengthen regional export markets

Measures of success

Export of goods and services

Diverse export markets

Energy and non-energy exports

SMEs exporting


Talent for the new economy

Government of Canada Leads:

Employment and Social Development Canada

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada


e) Strengthen Education and Upskilling

  1. Develop essential skills that keep pace with change
  2. Connect academic skills with practical experience
  3. Strengthen career pathways
  4. Attract global talent
  5. Include and empower western Canadians

Measures of success

Employment growth

Share of professional jobs

Labour market participation by underrepresented groups

Attracting high-skilled immigrants

Education completion rates


Connected to innovation & growth

Government of Canada Leads:

Infrastructure Canada

Centre for Rural Economic Development


f) Build resilience and liveability

  1. Keep pace in growing urban centres
  2. Support communities in transition
  3. Partner with Indigenous communities and organizations
  4. Strengthen rural communities
  5. Build resilience to natural disasters
  6. Protect arable land

g) Enhance digital access

  1. Improve broadband
  2. Build smart communities
  3. Deliver effective virtual services

Measures of success

GDP growth

Broadband coverage and performance

Community infrastructure investments

Immigration to rural communities

Well-being for Indigenous, rural, and remote communities

Bringing the strategy to life

For more than 30 years, WD has been helping grow the western economy and improve the lives of western Canadians. The department has strong relationships both on the ground and with its federal partners. To help coordinate the strategy, WD will:

Convene Western Partners

Convene Western Partners

Provinces, communities, Indigenous organizations, industry, academia, and other stakeholders all have a role to play. Working together, we need to chart a path forward. Actions can move at different speeds. A one-size fits all approach will not work.

Develop Western Solutions

Develop Western Solutions

Partners will develop new ideas, investments, and partnerships that are more responsive to the needs of western Canadians. WD will work more closely with other federal departments to ensure that western Canadian perspectives are fully recognized in national decisions.

Measure Progress

Measure Progress

It is important to assess the impact of the strategy and track successes. WD will work with partners to determine specific results for the programs and initiatives that are part of the strategy. Analyzing outcomes will also help improve our efforts and identify gaps.

Calling on Western Canadians

As part of WD's engagement for the strategy, western Canadians shared their perspectives and potential solutions. They want more innovative businesses leading the way. They think our resource sectors must adapt to stay competitive. More western firms need to be trading across Canada and in global markets. We need to nurture western Canadian's diverse talents. Our communities, big and small, need to be well-positioned for the future.

Similar conversations are taking place across the West. Provincial governments are looking at new ways to spur growth. Cities and towns are resetting priorities. Entrepreneurs and industry are searching for the next big opportunity. Indigenous Peoples are exploring new solutions and partnerships. Universities, colleges, and educators are looking at exciting new models for learning and research.

The Western Canada Growth Strategy aims to take some of these ambitious ideas and make them a reality. While local actions can be effective, we must also recognize the impact that stronger regional and national partnerships can have. We need the commitment and energy of western Canadians to move the strategy forward.

Federal initiatives that support the Western Canada Growth Strategy

Now is the time to act. Working together, we can create the future that western Canadians want!

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