The Government of Canada is aiming to grow western Canada’s unique strengths and competitive advantages with the announcement of the Western Canada Growth Strategy. Home to over 425,000 small businesses, western Canada is a vital cog in our national economy, with the four fastest-growing provincial populations creating over 35% of Canada’s real gross domestic product.
Securing a Better Future
Our world is changing. With that change comes new realities for business owners to face. To ensure western Canada continues to remain competitive, the federal government is partnering with business leaders, industry, academia, Indigenous communities and organizations to develop a “Made in Western Canada” growth strategy. This strategy will reflect the unique regional advantages of each province while also helping to stimulate economic growth.
What is the Western Canada Growth Strategy?
This pan-western growth strategy is designed to create a resilient and diverse economy across western provinces that will position the west for success in future. It will help set this foundation by reaching the following goals:
- Identifying shared priorities to grow the economy
- Increasing collaboration with those who make a difference in our economy
- Engaging Western Canadians to identify and drive economic growth opportunities
Western Canadian economies have boomed over most of the last two decades, driving growth at the national level. However, slower growth is expected soon as the region faces the following challenges:
- Emerging trade barriers with traditional partners;
- Disruptive technologies creating risks for business and workers;
- Lower economic participation by Indigenous Peoples and other groups;
- Weaker prices for natural resources, combined with transportation bottlenecks, and the growth of interest in environmentally sustainable practices; and
- Ready access to talented and skilled workers.
The federal government believes collaboration between relevant stakeholders can address these challenges and help Canadians pursue new opportunities for growth. As a result, they are committed to investing $208 million over five years to promote the development and diversification of the western Canadian economy. This strategy will target areas such as:
- Diversifying exports and capturing the 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;
- Helping small businesses to become more resilient and scalable;
- 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.
How to Get Involved
Interested in having your say on the Western Canada Growth Strategy? Western Economic Diversification Canada wants to hear from you. You can email your ideas or suggestions, contribute to the discussion on Twitter by using the hashtag #MyWesternCanada or mail your letter by post to the following address:
Western Economic Diversification Canada
C/O: Western Canada
Growth Strategy Engagement
Suite 1500, 9700 Jasper Avenue
Edmonton, Alberta T5J 4H7
The engagement period is now open and will run until November 16, 2018. Following this consultation, the Western Canada Growth Strategy will be developed and launched by early 2019.