Federal initiatives that support the Western Canada Growth Strategy
The following provides examples of current federal initiatives* that advance the pillars of the Western Canada Growth Strategy.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada (AAFC)
AAFC will be the lead federal partner helping farmers and agri-food producers to transform their sectors under the strategy's diversification pillar. The department will continue to support innovative federal and provincial programming under the Canadian Agricultural Partnership.
Advance Payments Program
This program provides easier access to credit through cash advances.
This program supports industry to develop and implement assurance systems to meet market requirements (e.g., food safety, plant and animal health, and market attributes).
This program supports a limited number of national associations in support of business management, youth, and on-farm safety.
Agricultural Clean Technology
This program enables Provincial-Territorial led initiatives that drive changes required to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions intensity of Canadian agricultural production.
This program strengthens the sector and builds capacity by helping diverse groups to take on a greater leadership role in the sector and building business skills of under-represented groups.
This program accelerates the demonstration, commercialization, and/or adoption of innovative products, technologies, processes, or services.
This program increases and diversifies exports through industry-led promotional activities that differentiate Canadian products, and leverage Canada's reputation for safe, high quality food.
This program supports leading-edge discovery, and applied science, and innovation driven by industry research priorities.
Business Risk Management programs
This suite of programs help farmers manage risks that threaten the viability of the farm. They provide protection against different types of income and production losses. The suite includes: AgriStability, AgriInvest, AgriInsurance, AgriRecovery, and AgriRisk.
Canadian Agricultural Loans Act Program
This program provides easier access to credit to establish, improve, and develop farms, as well as loans to process, distribute, or market the products of farming.
Canadian Agricultural Strategic Priorities Program
This program facilitates the ability to seize opportunities, to respond to new and emerging issues, and to pathfind and pilot new solutions in new and ongoing issues.
Dairy Processing Investment Fund
This program provides funding for investments that will improve productivity and competitiveness.
Farm Debt Mediation Service
The service helps bring producers and their creditor(s) together with a mediator in a neutral forum to reach a mutually acceptable solution.
Indigenous Agriculture and Food Systems Initiative
This program's objective is to increase development opportunities for Indigenous Peoples by building their capacity to participate in the agri-food sector.
Living Laboratories: Collaborative Program
This programs puts in place demonstration facilities to improve adoption of innovations, agro-ecosystem resilience, and sustainable production practices for the sector.
Regional Collaborative Partnership
This program supports, enables, and encourages provinces coming together to address shared challenges and/or priorities.
Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC)
ESDC will continue to focus on building a workforce that is ready for the future. Working with western partners, they will be the federal co-lead for the skills pillar of the strategy. For example, new investments in work-integrated learning will support stronger labour market outcomes and growth in the West.
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant
This grant offers financial support to individuals to help them enter and progress within an apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal Trade.
Apprenticeship Incentive Grant for Women
This grant offers financial support to women to help them enter and progress within an apprenticeship program in Red Seal trades where they are underrepresented.
Apprenticeship Completion Grant
This grant offers financial support to individuals to complete their apprenticeship program in a designated Red Seal trade.
Foreign Credential Recognition Program
This program funds provincial and territorial governments' international credential recognition programs.
This plan prepares Canadian policies and programs to adapt to changing skills needs over time. A Future Skills Council and Centre will be established to analyze workforce trends and emerging skills, as well as skill assessment and development methods.
Indigenous Skills and Employment Training Program
This program is designed to help reduce the employment and skills gaps between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, focusing on moving clients along the skills continuum and supporting them in achieving their employment goals.
Labour Market Development Agreements
These bilateral transfer agreements enable provinces and territories (PTs) to design and deliver Employment Insurance-funded employment programs and services best suited to the needs of their local labour markets. Through skills training and employment assistance, the funding provided under these transfer agreements helps eligible Canadians to prepare for, find, advance in, and keep good jobs.PTs are also responsible to provide support to eligible employers to train their employees.
Literacy and Essential Skills Program
This program supports the testing, replicating and scaling up of effective and innovative essential skills training models to help Canadians better prepare for, get and keep a job, as well as adapt and succeed at work. Funded projects complement provincial and territorial programming, and support individuals facing multiple barriers to employment such as Indigenous people, youth, newcomers, and official language minority communities (OLMCs).
Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program
This program supports third party service providers to assist persons with disabilities prepare for, obtain, and maintain employment or self-employment. It supports employment-focused interventions designed to assist persons with disabilities who have limited or no attachment to the labour market. The program also works with employers to prepare workplaces for the integration of persons with disabilities and to raise the profile of persons with disabilities in the employer community.
Skills and Partnership Fund
This demand-driven, proposal-based program encourages stakeholders, such as training institutions, community organizations, local business, and industry, to partner with Indigenous organizations to support skills development, job training, and employment supports for Indigenous people.
This program provides financial assistance for adults who would like to upgrade their skills with additional education. Eligible candidates are adults who are studying full time or part time, have low- or middle-income levels, or are on employment insurance.
Skilled Trades Awareness and Readiness Program
This program encourages Canadians, including groups that face barriers (e.g., women, Indigenous Peoples, newcomers to Canada, persons with disabilities and youth), to explore and prepare for careers in the skilled trades.
Temporary Foreign Worker Program
This program provides employers with access to foreign workers on a temporary basis when qualified Canadians and Permanent Residents are not available, and ensures foreign workers are protected. The Global Talent Stream of this program assists Canadian employers to access highly-skilled global talent to expand their workforce and be competitive on a global scale.
Union and Training Innovation Program
This program supports technical apprenticeship training for Red Seal Trades. Supports include helping organizations purchase new training equipment, among other activities that encourage the trades to be more inclusive of women and Indigenous Peoples.
Youth Employment Strategy
This initiative helps youth aged 15-30 by providing them access to information and helping them gain the job experience, skills, and other abilities they may need. While the program will provide opportunities for all youth, an emphasis will be placed on youth that have less opportunity, as well as those who are underrepresented and underemployed.
Global Affairs Canada (GAC)
Working with western stakeholders, GAC will be a powerful advocate for modern and efficient trade supports to get our products to new markets. GAC will co-lead federal efforts under the strategy's trade pillar. The Trade Commissioner Service will play a role by expanding advice and services in areas such as digital, e-commerce, and intellectual property that will make western innovators more competitive.
Canada Trade Missions
Led by the Minister of International Trade or other senior government officials, Canada Trade Missions provide an opportunity for the business community to learn about foreign markets and network in order to build partnerships for potential export opportunities.
Canadian Technology Accelerators
These accelerators support small technology firms working in information communication technology, robotics and devices, life sciences, and clean technology. Supports include mentorship, office space, investor networks, and other services to increase their participation in the technology community.
This program supports global export marketing activity for Canadian small and medium-sized businesses by reimbursing up to half of their expenses related to expanding into global export markets.
Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)
IRCC will continue their efforts to attract global talent and strengthen supports for newcomers. They will be the federal co-lead for the strategy's skills pillar. Their work will also help strengthen communities, through initiatives such as the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot.
Provincial Nominee Program
This program provides a pathway to permanent residence for immigrants who can support the Canadian economy with their skills, education, and work experience. Each province and territory, with the exception of Quebec and Nunavut, has a regionally tailored program based on their labour market needs.
Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot
This pilot attracts immigrants to rural and northern communities who have an economic development need that can be supported by the targeted attraction of immigrants. It tests how economic opportunity and community-based settlement approaches can attract and retain newcomers to better distribute the benefits of immigration across Canada.
Indigenous Services Canada (ISC)
ISC will support the strategy by continuing to improve infrastructure and services for Indigenous communities. For example, the Water in First Nation Communities initiative is improving access to safe drinking water for on reserve communities.
Aboriginal Business and Entrepreneurship Development Program
This program funds Aboriginal businesses, corporations, and communities to increase economic opportunities within the Aboriginal community.
Indigenous Homes Innovation Initiative
This initiative funds Indigenous-led projects that improve housing infrastructure for First Nations, Inuit, and Métis communities. This includes housing strategies for those on and off reserve, as well as rural and urban communities. Partnered with the Smart Cities Challenge, this initiative supports community-led approaches for housing solutions.
Strategic Partnerships Initiative (SPI)
This initiative builds strategic partnerships among multiple federal government departments to ensure Indigenous Peoples can participate in current programs and economic opportunities.
Infrastructure Canada (INFC)
As federal co-lead for the strategy's communities pillar, INFC will work with federal and western partners to address infrastructure gaps through the Investing in Canada plan. In addition, the Rural Economic Development Strategy will support opportunities for residents of rural and remote communities.
Clean Water and Wastewater Fund
This program provides short-term funding to infrastructure projects that improve water collection, treatment, and distribution systems.
Smart Cities Challenge
This is a pan-Canadian competition open to all municipalities, local or regional governments, and First Nations, Métis, and Inuit. The Challenge empowers communities to adopt a smart cities approach by improving the lives of their residents through innovation, data, and connected technology.
Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program
This program delivers funding through bilateral agreements with provinces and territories for transportation, community, cultural, and recreational infrastructure, as well specific support for rural and northern communities. These agreements will provide long-term funding to address ongoing infrastructure needs over the next decade.
Federal Gas Tax Fund
This is a permanent source of funding provided up front, twice-a-year, to provinces and territories, who in turn flow this funding to their municipalities to support local infrastructure priorities. Municipalities can pool, bank, and borrow against this funding, providing significant financial flexibility for various infrastructure projects.
Disaster Mitigation and Adaptation Fund
This national merit-based program supports large-scale infrastructure projects to help communities better manage the risks of disasters triggered by natural hazards.
Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program
This five-year program provides funding, training, and resources to help Canadian municipalities adapt to the impacts of climate change and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Innovation, Science, and Economic Development (ISED)
ISED will be a federal co-lead for the strategy's diversification pillar. They will continue to support western businesses and partners, including implementing recommendations from the industry-led Economic Strategy Tables and continuing to support the Innovation Superclusters Initiative.
Accelerated Growth Service
This service provides business advice to Canadian companies and streamlines government services for financing, innovation, and exporting.
This initiative aims to equip Canadian youth, including traditionally underrepresented groups, with the skills they need to be prepared for further studies, including advanced digital skills and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) courses.
Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy
This strategy takes a whole-of-government approach to increase and diversify Canada's tourism sector.
Digital and Data Consultations
In summer 2018, ISED held national consultations to better understand how Canada can support the data-driven digital economy. Discussions included Canadians across the country, as well as firms of all sizes, academics, and non-profits, and focused on three areas: Future of work, unleashing innovation, and privacy and trust.
Economic Strategy Tables
These are strategies that industry-led groups developed to grow Canada's advanced manufacturing, agri-food, clean technology, digital industries, health and biosciences, and natural resource sector.
Innovation Supercluster Initiative
This initiative funds industry-led collaborative projects to grow important sectors of the economy. Two of Canada's superclusters are located in the West—the Digital Technology Supercluster is in British Columbia, while the Protein Industries Supercluster is among the prairies.
Intellectual Property Strategy
The strategy includes initiatives to support Canadian businesses, creators, entrepreneurs, and innovators, including groups that have traditionally been less likely to use intellectual property (IP). For example, it helps Indigenous entrepreneurs better understand, protect, and access intellectual property at both the domestic and international level relating to the relationship between IP and the protection of Indigenous knowledge and cultural expressions.
Strategic Innovation Fund (SIF)
This fund supports research and development by innovative businesses to help them expand, attract investments, and improve collaborative relationships between organizations.
Universal Broadband Fund
This initiative will focus on extending "backbone" broadband infrastructure to underserved communities. For the most difficult-to-reach communities, funding may also support "last-mile" connections to individual homes and businesses.
Natural Resources Canada (NRCAN)
NRCAN will continue to support western Canada's important resource sectors and co-lead the strategy's diversification pillar. They will head efforts to make resource producers more sustainable and competitive, through initiatives such as the Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan, the Clean Growth Program, and the Joint Working Group on the Future of Vision for Canada's Upstream Oil and Gas Industry.
Canadian Minerals and Metals Plan
This plan will position Canada for long-term success in a world that increasingly values the minerals and metals needed for a clean, digital economy—and which are produced in a sustainable, ethical manner. Strategies to achieve this include increasing economic opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, investing in research and development, improving workforce skills, and using innovative engineering technology.
Clean Energy in Rural and Remote Communities Program
This program will invest $220 million to support a suite of diverse projects across Canada, to reduce the reliance of rural and remote communities on diesel fuel for heat and power.
Clean Growth Program
This program invests in projects that increase clean technology commercialization and adoption throughout the natural resource sector. Projects that reduce environmental impacts from energy, mining, and forestry operations are eligible.
This is a competition for entrepreneurs to develop innovative clean technology solutions. The goal of the program is for candidates to advance their innovative clean technology ideas into a business. Winners of the challenge may receive funding to develop their business, commercialize their innovation, and get expert advice.
Emerging Renewable Power Program
This program provides up to $200 million to expand the portfolio of commercially viable renewable energy sources available to provinces and territories as they work to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from their electricity sectors.
Forest Bioeconomy Framework for Canada
This framework outlines a comprehensive approach and specific actions for increasing the use of forest biomass throughout the economy by developing advanced bioproducts and other innovative, low-carbon solutions.
Indigenous Forestry Initiative
This initiative funds Indigenous communities and governments pursuing economic development projects in the forestry sector. Funded projects focus on skills development, training, and forestry related technology or services.
Investments in Forest Industry Transformation Program
This program funds Canadian pilot projects to commercialize and integrate new technologies into the forestry industry.
Smart Grid Program
This program will invest $100 million in utility-led projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, better utilize existing electricity assets and foster innovation and clean jobs.
Transport Canada (TC)
TC will co-lead the strategy's trade pillar to support a safe and secure, efficient, and environmentally responsible trade network. TC continues to modernize Canada's trade infrastructure and regulations, making it easier for western business to ship their products.
National Trade Corridors Fund
This competitive program funds projects that strengthen the efficiency and resilience of transportation corridors, such as improvements to ports, rail lines, and roads that promote the diversification of Canada's overseas trade.
The Ports Modernization Review
A review of measures to optimize the movement of goods, strengthen relationships with local communities (including Indigenous Peoples), and promote environmentally sustainable infrastructure and operations. It aims to enhance safety and security of transportation ports, as well as optimize their governance and financial management.
Freight Rail / Bill C-49
The Transportation Modernization Act includes measures to increase the efficiency, reliability and transparency of the freight rail system.
Canadian Centre on Transportation Data
This is a joint initiative with Statistics Canada to increase the accessibility of multimodal transportation data and system performance indicators on air passengers, railways, road and ports, as well as key strategic transportation corridors.
Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat (TBS)
TC is leading the Government of Canada's work to modernize our regulatory system.
Targeted regulatory reviews are exploring ways to reduce barriers to innovation, economic development, and investment in the Canadian economy, and help ensure that the Canadian regulatory system can accommodate emerging technologies and businesses.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)
With a strong history of supporting industry innovation and economic development, WD will co-lead federal efforts under the diversification pillar. WD will receive $100 million in new funding over the next three years to strengthen programming and coordinate the strategy.
Canada Coal Transition Initiative
This initiative supports Canadian workers and communities in Alberta and Saskatchewan affected by the transition to a low carbon economy. Budget 2018 allocated $25 million to WD to support community members with entrepreneurial training programs, job search, skills development, and business supports. Budget 2019 announced an additional $105 million for WD towards infrastructure funding for impacted communities.
Canadian Experiences Fund (CEF)
This program supports communities across Canada to create, improve or enhance tourism products, facilities, and experiences. WD received $11 million over two years to deliver the CEF in western Canada.
Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI)
This program aims to grow the economy through innovation and by creating more well-paying Canadian jobs. It includes several program streams, tailored to each region, that foster strong, dynamic, and inclusive innovation ecosystems across the country.
Western Canada Business Network
This group of independent organizations helps western Canadians start, grow and expand their businesses. The network includes Community Futures, Indigenous Business Development Services, Women's Enterprise Initiative, Francophone Economic Development, Entrepreneurs with Disabilities, Small Business BC, Business Link in Alberta, Square One in Saskatchewan, and Business InfoCentre in Manitoba.
Western Diversification Program
This program makes strategic investments in initiatives with not-for-profit organizations that enhance and strengthen the economy of western Canada.
Women Entrepreneurship Strategy
This strategy encourages women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses by increasing their access to expert advice, capital, talent, and business networks. The strategy is nationally coordinated by ISED, with targeted funding delivered in the West by WD.
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