April 25, 2008
Government of Canada and Western Provinces Negotiate New Economic Development Agreements
Minister Ambrose at the announcement with Honourable Lyle Stewart, Saskatchewan Minister of Enterprise and Innovation, Honourable Andrew Swan, Manitoba Minister of Competitiveness Training and Trade, Honourable Colin Hansen, British Columbia Minister of Economic Development, Honourable Doug Horner, Alberta Minister of Advanced Education and Technology, Honourable Iris Evans, Alberta Minister of Finance and Enterprise, Honourable Jim Rondeau, Manitoba Minister of Science, Technology, Energy and Mines
Today in Banff, Minister Ambrose announced that the Government of Canada and the four western provinces have negotiated new Western Economic Partnership Agreements (WEPAs). This joint federal and provincial investment of $200 million over five years will help stimulate economic growth, expand the knowledge economy, and modernize infrastructure to create jobs and new opportunities for western Canadians.
The announcement was made by Minister Ambrose during her first meeting with all her provincial counterparts responsible for economic development and science and technology in Western Canada.
“These negotiations for new Western Economic Partnership Agreements demonstrate our government’s commitment to working in cooperation with the provinces,” said Minister Ambrose. “These flexible agreements are a productive federal-provincial collaboration that promote economic diversification, strengthen economic activity and improve the quality of life across the West.”
Under the agreements, the federal government provides funding of $25 million for each western province. The federal investment is matched by $25 million from each of the provincial governments, providing a total $50 million in funding for each province to address specific regional challenges.
The new series of agreements will build on the success of previous WEPAs, which have invested $180 million in the shared economic priorities of the federal and provincial governments. A recent evaluation of the prior agreements, which expired on March 31, found they have effectively advanced innovative projects and leveraged significant additional financial investment from non-government sources.