Strategy aims to grow the economy and create middle class jobs by building on Western Canada's unique strengths and competitive advantages
SASKATOON, Sept. 11, 2018 /CNW/ - The new global economy presents exciting opportunities but also requires greater innovation for businesses and economies to grow. In fact, changes in today's competitive landscape are driving businesses to rethink their strategies to reach beyond their traditional boundaries.
From coast to coast to coast, Canada's economy is as diverse as its landscapes, presenting unique challenges and opportunities. That is why the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), today launched an engagement plan to develop a regional growth strategy with Western Canadians for Western Canadians.
As announced in Budget 2018, the Government is committing $208 million over five years to promote the development and diversification of the Western Canadian economy. This strategy will grow the region's economy, create good middle-class jobs, and lay the foundation for long-term prosperity across the four western provinces. It also builds on the Innovation and Skills Plan to make Canada a world leader in innovation and create good middle class jobs
Western Canadians are invited to share their ideas online to help shape the Western Canada Growth Strategy. Over the fall, roundtable discussions will take place in major cities across Western Canada with businesses, different levels of government, thought leaders, Indigenous Peoples, rural communities, women, youth, and new immigrants to develop a new targeted approach to economic development with a focus on innovation.
"Western Canada's unique set of strengths and challenges requires a long-term economic growth strategy built in close collaboration with the people who make this economy work. Our government is committed to growing the Western Canadian economy and strengthening its middle class. By engaging directly with Western Canadians, we will develop a Western Canada Growth Strategy that builds on regional strengths and focuses on innovation to establish a foundation for long-term prosperity and good middle class jobs."
- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
- The Western Canada Growth Strategy will be a roadmap to build an innovative Western Canada - one that strengthens the economy, supports innovative and resource-based industries, and increases job opportunities for all Canadians.
- Western Canada is home to the four fastest-growing provincial populations.
- Western Canada's diverse economies create over 35% of Canada's real gross domestic product (GDP).
- Over 60% of Canada's value-added agriculture is produced in Western Canada.
- Over 425,000 small businesses employ over 3.4 million people across the West.
- Five of the top 15 Canadian research universities are based in Western Canada.
Towards a Western Canada Growth Strategy
The Western Canada Growth Strategy will be a roadmap to build an innovative and diverse western Canadian economy by:
- Identifying shared priorities to grow the economy;
- Increasing collaboration with those who make a difference in your economy, such as business, industry, academia, Indigenous Peoples, and different levels of government; and
- Engaging western Canadians to drive economic growth opportunities.
Understanding the needs of businesses, thought leaders, Indigenous Peoples, rural communities, women, youth, and new immigrants, the strategy will help western Canadians pursue new opportunities for growth, including:
- Growing emerging industries and transforming traditional sectors;
- Diversifying exports and capturing rising demand from emerging markets;
- Making small businesses more competitive and helping them to scale-up;
- Increasing entrepreneurship opportunities for Indigenous Peoples, women, youth, and new immigrants;
- Helping get innovative products and services developed and into the hands of consumers; and
- Equipping western Canadians with the skills they need in the new economy.
At its core, the Strategy will aim to stimulate economic growth, create middle-class jobs and drive innovation in the West.
- · Western Canada Growth Strategy
- · Innovation and Skills Plan
- · Building an inclusive and innovative Canada
SOURCE Western Economic Diversification Canada
For further information: Jean-Luc Ferland, Director of Communications, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-4033; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777, [email protected]; Media Relations, Western Economic Diversification Canada, 613-227-7393, [email protected]