Western Economic Diversification Canada
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Answers

What does Western Economic Diversification Canada do?

WD’s mandate is to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and advance the interests of the West in national economic policy. For more information on the WD’s priorities, please refer to:

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What programs does WD offer?

WD receives an annual allocation, approved by Parliament, for grants and contributions that support a wide range of programs responding to Western Canada's economic development needs and priorities.

Groups eligible to apply under these programs include post-secondary academic institutions, research institutes, industry associations and other not-for-profit organizations.

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How do I contact WD?

Consult the Contact Us page for mailing addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses to contact WD.

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Where do I get information about WD publications?

Consult our list of Western Canada fact sheets or browse our list of reports and publications.

Would you like to subscribe to Access WestWD's newsletter is your update on our programs and services for western Canadian entrepreneurs, their business success stories and news on innovative activities from across the West.

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How do I submit an Access to Information or Privacy request to WD?

A request for information pursuant to the Access to Information Act must be submitted in writing, providing sufficient details to identify the records being requested.  The Access to Information Request Form may be used or a letter detailing the specifics of the request should be submitted to the departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator (APC1), and must be accompanied by the $5 application fee (cheque or money order made payable to the "Receiver General for Canada").

A request for personal information pursuant to the Privacy Act must be submitted in writing with the Personal Information Request Form or a letter detailing the specifics of the request.  There is no fee to request your personal information. All requests for information under the control of any WD office must be sent to the departmental Access to Information and Privacy Coordinator (APC2).

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What grants do you have for new businesses?

WD does not provide grants to businesses. Loan programs supported by WD are delivered through a network of not-for-profit organizations that offer small loans or assist with access to small business financing. Each lending institution funds its own program and makes its own decisions on all loan approvals. For more information on WD-supported loan programs and other assistance in finding financing, please refer to:

For other government agencies that may provide funding to small businesses, please refer to:

Canada Business is a government information service for businesses and start-up entrepreneurs in Canada. For other government agencies that may provide funding to small businesses visit the Canada Business website:

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What funding do you provide for community infrastructure projects?

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is responsible for delivering a variety of national infrastructure initiatives in the West.

The Community Infrastructure Improvement Fund (CIIF) is a two-year national program that will invest over $46 million in the West to support the rehabilitation and improvement of existing community infrastructure that is non-commercial and accessible to the public.

WD also delivers the following national Infrastructure Canada programs in Western Canada:

Program Update:  Program funds are still being dispersed for the programs noted below, but no new applications are being accepted in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan. In British Columbia, the Building Canada Fund will have another intake for disaster mitigation – flood protection project applications in the 2012/13 fiscal year:

  • The Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund is investing $265.9 million in the West to improve and increase the stock of core public infrastructure for municipalities with populations of less than 250,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation; and
  • The Building Canada Fund through the Communities component is investing $509 million in the West to address the unique needs of communities with populations less than 100,000 in areas such as water, wastewater, culture and recreation.

What funding do you provide for not-for-profits?

WD supports activities that are aligned with its mandate as well as with its current priorities as outlined in its annual Report on Plans and Priorities. For 2012 -2013, WD priorities include projects that:

For more information about the specific funding for not-for-profits WD offers, visit WD Programs. Specifically, the Western Diversification Program.

Applicants are encouraged to contact the nearest WD office and discuss their proposal with a Program Officer, who can provide invaluable assistance about sources of funds and the application process.

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How do I start a business?

WD provides access to on-line information products to help you develop your business idea, prepare a business plan, and assess your entrepreneurial qualities.

Canada Business is a government information service for businesses and start-up entrepreneurs in Canada. They provide a wealth of information on business planning and startup. For more information, please visit the Canada Business website.

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How do I find information on starting a business or obtaining financing in rural areas?

Community Futures (CFs) provide community and business development to communities in rural Canada. They are non-profit corporations run by volunteer boards of directors, supported by a salaried staff. They provide business development loans to small and medium-sized businesses, technical support, training, self-employment assistance, and employment programs that target young entrepreneurs. The CFs work in partnership with WD as members of the Western Canada Business Service Network. For more information on assistance available in rural areas, please visit the CF website:

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How do I register my business and find a registry agent near me?

Rules and regulations vary, depending on the type of business you have and the province in which it is located. 

Provincial government sites for business registration:

Federal Incorporation:

On-line business registration services:

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How do I get a Business Number, business license and information on GST?

Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) administers the Goods and Services Tax and Harmonized Sales Tax (GST/HST). Information and on-line registration forms are available on the CRA website:

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Do you have assistance for growing a business?

For information on programs and services for business, visit WD's small business development page:

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Do you have information about entrepreneurs with disabilities?

Western Canadians who have a disability can access a network of business professionals and a world of resources through WD's Entrepreneurs with Disabilities Program.

The program provides western Canadians with disabilities with easy access to business information, training and development, mentoring and one-on-one counseling services, and financing in their pursuit of self-employment and entrepreneurship. For more information, please visit:

The Advice and Business Loans for Entrepreneurs with Disabilities (ABLED) loan program is offered in cooperation with Van City Credit Union and Coast Capital Savings Credit Union. The program is designed to improve access to business services and other support mechanisms for entrepreneurs with disabilities starting or expanding small businesses in B.C.

Other links:

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Where can I find information on youth entrepreneurship?

The Canadian Youth Business Foundation (Youth Business) is a non-profit organization that helps young people start new businesses. For more information, please refer to:

YouthPath was built with the help and direction of 16 Youth Team Leaders, hundreds of volunteers from across Canada and 16 Federal Partners. For more information please refer to:

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How do I find information for women on starting a business or obtaining financing?

Women's Enterprise Initiative offices in each of the four western provinces administer funding for entrepreneurs unable to obtain traditional financing, and also provide business counselling, resource information and referral, business-to-business linking and training programs. Funded through a contribution from WD, the Women's Enterprise Initiative (WEI) provides business information and services specifically aimed at women entrepreneurs. The WEIs work in partnership with WD as members of the Western Canada Business Service Network. For more information on assistance available, please visit the WEI websites:

How do I obtain information for Francophones on starting a business or obtaining financing?

Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDOs) offer a full range of business development services to the francophone community throughout each province in Western Canada. These organizations provide information, mentoring and counselling, as well as promotion of special economic development initiatives, comparable to other WD partnership network members. For more information please visit the FEDO wbsites:

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Where can I find information on Aboriginal programs?

The Aboriginal Business Development Network provides information and resources for Aboriginal entrepreneurs to improve access to capital and to establish or develop businesses. For more information, please visit:

Aboriginal Business Development Network 

Or, contact Canada Business for a referral to the nearest Aboriginal resource office.

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Where can I find market information and community profiles?

WD provides access to on-line information products to help you develop your business idea, prepare a business plan and assess your entrepreneurial qualities. In particular, the following pages of the WD website contain links to help your market research and business planning:

Other federal links:

Other links:

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Where can I find information on businesses in my province?

Industry Canada maintains information on businesses throughout Canada.

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Where do I find information about how to bring my business to Western Canada?

Invest in Canada was created by the federal government to promote, attract and retain foreign direct investment in Canada. As a bureau of the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, they assist multinational companies planning to invest in Canadian businesses or expand their operations in our country. Consult the Invest in Canada website for more information.

The following provincial partnership websites provide useful information resources:

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How do I obtain employment with the federal government or WD?

A career at WD has unique opportunities. We invite you to discover what WD is all about. Check out what we have to offer. Take the first step towards experiencing a career like no other.

The Public Service Commission of Canada (PSC) posts all jobs available in the federal public service, including WD. For information on applying for work in the federal government, please refer to:

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How does a student find work within the government?

Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP): Are you a full-time secondary or post-secondary student? Do you want to gain valuable work experience related to your field of study with a number of federal government departments and agencies?

Post-Secondary Co-op/Internship Program: Did you know that the federal public service of Canada is the nation's largest single employer of students enrolled in post-secondary Co-op/Internship Programs? In partnership with participating academic institutions, the public service plays an important role in providing post-secondary students with the relevant and practical work experience to fulfil the requirements of your academic program.

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Where do I find information about employment and moving to the West?

While WD does not provide employment relocation services or advice, we often get asked this question due to the nature of our work in the West. The following resources provide information to answer this question: