Raison d’être, mandate and role: who we are and what we do – PrairiesCan 2022-2023 Departmental Plan

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Raison d’être

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established in 1987 to promote growth and diversification in the economy of the West. In August 2021, WD’s operating name was changed to Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan). PrairiesCan promotes the economic growth and diversification in the economy of the prairie provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba). PrairiesCan also advances the interests of the prairie provinces in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation.

The Minister of Northern Affairs is responsible for Prairies Economic Development Canada.

Mandate and role

PrairiesCan’s mandate, enabled by the Western Economic Diversification Act, is to grow and diversify the economy of the Prairies and to advance Prairie interests in Ottawa.

This broad mandate allows the department to deliver a wide range of initiatives across the Prairies and make strategic investments to build on regional competitive advantages. PrairiesCan also contributes to Government of Canada priorities and ministerial mandate letter commitments.

PrairiesCan will build upon the foundation created by WD. In the last decade, WD touched over 940 communities, 5,700 for-profits, 1,600 not-for-profits, and supported 86,000 jobs. PrairiesCan is expanding it presence with more locations across the Prairies and a strengthened approach to economic development.

This Prairie base enables the department to foster strong partnerships with business and community organizations, research and academic institutions, Indigenous Peoples, and provincial and municipal governments. These connections help PrairiesCan reflect Prairie perspectives in national decision-making.

PrairiesCan will strengthen its four roles to help businesses and communities in the Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and Alberta. These four roles are investor, advisor, pathfinder, and convenor. We are proud to be able to assist the people of the Prairies to recover, grow, transform, and achieve long-term success.

For more information on PrairiesCan priorities, roles, programs, and the work we do, please visit the PrairiesCan website at the links below.

For more information on the department and Minister’s mandate letter commitments, see the Minister’s mandate letter.

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