Western Economic Diversification Canada
April 29, 2021
The Government of Canada’s Budget 2021 will establish a new Regional Development Agency for British Columbia to play an enhanced role as convenor, pathfinder, partner, investor, and advisor to support economic development in more communities and help develop businesses to create good jobs that people can rely on. Growing Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) into two new separate agencies focused on British Columbia and the Prairies is recognition that economic drivers and conditions are different in each of the two regions, and entrepreneurs, innovators, institutions, and communities have unique needs linked to where they are located.
Funding for the new BC-focused agency will be $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and with $110.6 million ongoing, while existing core program funding from WD will remain to support a new Prairie agency.
WD programs include the Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) program stream, which aims to create, grow and nurture inclusive regional ecosystems that support business needs throughout the innovation continuum, and foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth and competitiveness.