Mandate and structure of Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan)

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Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) is the federal department that supports economic growth in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Its programs and services help businesses, not-for-profits and communities grow stronger.


PrairiesCan supports economic growth and diversification in the Prairie provinces and advances the interests of the region in national economic policy, programs, and projects through 4 key roles:


PrairiesCan’s vision is to be a leader in creating a more diversified economy in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba that has strong, competitive and innovative businesses and communities. 


The department operates under the provision of the Western Economic Diversification Act, which came into force on June 28, 1988. As a federal department, PrairiesCan is headed by a Minister and a Deputy Head (President).

PrairiesCan’s head office is in Edmonton, Alberta. The department also has an office in Ottawa.


PrairiesCan organizational chart

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To the side of the Minister is the Parliamentary Secretary. Below the Minister is the Deputy Minister. Below the Deputy Minister are the Executive Director of Finance and Corporate Management and the following 4 Assistant Deputy Ministers:

  • Policy and Strategic Direction
  • Alberta
  • Sasktchewan
  • Manitoba

Programs and services

PrairiesCan administers a number of grants and contributions programs that enable the department to contribute strongly to the productivity and competitiveness in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

Strategic priorities

PrairiesCan activities in 2023-24 will focus on 3 priorities:

Read more about PrairiesCan's priorities in our 2023-2024 Departmental Plan.

Future priorities will be informed by engagement with Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba businesses, organizations and communities.


The Western Economic Diversification Act governs budgets and activities. The Act seeks to boost and diversify the economy in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba. It also advances the interests of the Prairie economy when the Government of Canada creates national economic policy and runs its programs.

The Act requires the PrairiesCan Minister to fulfill 3 duties:

Values and standards

PrairiesCan employees care about people and about serving the best interests of its many clients. These 6 statements reflect PrairiesCan’s values. They were developed in the context of the Values and Ethics Code for the Public Service:

PrairiesCan employees are accountable for their actions. They know that for these statements to have meaning, each of them must hold the other accountable in a supportive manner. From these values, comes PrairiesCan’s commitment to provide you with quality service.

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