Surrey, British Columbia – Pacific Economic Development Canada

From the outset, Canada’s regional development agencies have played a key role in helping businesses and communities weather the effects of the pandemic. They have delivered a suite of direct support programs to help mitigate the financial pressures caused by COVID-19, ensuring that businesses and their employees are not only able to survive the crisis, but positioned to come back stronger in our recovery.

The Government of Canada has laid out a plan, through Budget 2021, to set businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous. This includes supporting regional economies. As Westerners move towards their economic recovery, the Government of Canada is building a more focused, locally informed approach, and putting people first to foster innovation, business growth, and resilience in urban, rural, and Indigenous communities.

For the first time in more than three decades, the Government of Canada is enhancing its federal economic development presence and services in Western Canada by creating two regional development agencies for British Columbia and the Prairie provinces. This approach recognizes 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.

Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) is the new federal regional economic development agency for British Columbia. It will build on Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) 34 year legacy to work more closely with BC businesses, innovators, and communities; promote connections and investments to foster economic growth; and help organizations navigate federal programs and policies.  

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada provided this new BC-focused agency with $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing. As a result, in addition to maintaining its current office in Vancouver, PacifiCan will establish its new headquarters in Surrey and expand its reach by establishing new service locations in Victoria, Campbell River, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Prince George, Kelowna, and Cranbrook.

These locations will be launched over a period of months. When complete, this enhanced on-the-ground presence will bring the federal government closer to businesses and the communities they call home. Supporting economic development in more communities will help develop businesses and create good jobs that people can rely on.

The new agency will build on existing relationships with clients and partners such as the Western Canada Business Service Network, and will continue to deliver new Budget 2021 funding programs, as well as existing programs that help businesses to scale-up, and support regional innovation.