Minister Sohi unveils Government of Canada’s plan to support Alberta’s economic future

News release

June 14, 2019 – Edmonton, Alberta – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada remains committed to growing the economy, creating good jobs, and keeping Canada competitive. That is why the Government, today, laid out priorities to accelerate western Canada’s growth, productivity, and competitiveness.

The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, is pleased to announce the next chapter of Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy—a strategy to grow the western economy through four interconnected pillars:  

  • Diversification: Build a broader economy by growing emerging sectors and transforming resource sectors
  • Trade: Seize global opportunities by improving export access and growing markets
  • Skills: Foster talent for the new economy by strengthening education and upskilling
  • Communities: Connect to innovation and growth by building resilience and liveability, and enhancing digital access

Building on our legacy of strong entrepreneurial spirit, Alberta has the opportunity to spur growth in new sectors, including the AI and life sciences ecosystems, while embracing technology to transform our traditional strengths. With a rich endowment of natural resources, strategically located trade corridors, a highly skilled workforce, and strong capacity for research, the West is well-positioned to continue to thrive.

In 2018, the Government of Canada, through Western Economic Diversification Canada, started laying the foundation to capitalize on home field advantages by engaging in meaningful conversations with Canadians about western Canada’s future. Budget 2019 allocated $100 million in new funding over the next three years for Western Economic Diversification Canada to strengthen programming and advance Grow West with like-minded partners. With a strong history of supporting industry, innovation, and economic development, the Department will coordinate efforts under the diversification priority.

To learn more about Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy, visit


“The world we know is changing and in order to succeed in the new global economy, we must mobilize all Canadians to deliver real change for the middle class and those working hard to join it. Grow West: The Western Canada Growth Strategy sets our path forward towards building an inclusive and innovative Canada. We’re excited to work alongside Canadians to realize the vision of the future, while creating the jobs of tomorrow.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“We are ensuring that our industries remain competitive, and we will continue to support development, innovation, and growth across our sectors. This approach, identified in Grow West, ensures we will build a broader and more prosperous future for generations to come.” 

- The Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for Edmonton Mill Woods

“Grow West is Canada’s roadmap made by western Canadians, for western Canadians. Through the Western Canada Growth Strategy engagement sessions, a broad-range of participants shared their ideas, concerns, and solutions for building a stronger western Canada. Their voices and the work of western MPs have shaped a strategic vision for a future that is exciting, inclusive, and diverse.”

- Randy Boissonnault, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre and Special Advisor to the Prime Minister on LGBTQ2 Issues

“Most western Canadians want to see our natural resources developed, but they want it done responsibly. The Western Canada Growth Strategy is our opportunity to advance and promote made-in-the-West solutions that make our oil and gas, mining, forestry, and agricultural production both cleaner and more productive.”

- Kent Hehr, Member of Parliament for Calgary Centre

Quick facts

  • Over the past two decades, western Canada's strengths have helped drive national economic growth. In 2017, the region’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) was $756 billion.

  • The western provinces are home to nearly a third of the national population, more than half of all Indigenous peoples in Canada, and over 40 per cent of its recent immigrants.

  • According to the last census, six of Canada’s fastest growing cities are in the West: Calgary, Edmonton, Saskatoon, Regina, Lethbridge, and Kelowna.

  • Western Canadians are entrepreneurial and innovative. The region has more than 450,000 small- and medium-sized businesses that account for 92 per cent of private sector employment.

  • In 2017, western Canada exported over $193 billion in goods and over $30 billion in services to other countries. The western provinces also exported $154 billion worth of goods and services to each other and the rest of Canada.

  • Western Canada is home to the world's largest potash reserves, third-largest crude oil reserves, and fourth-largest uranium reserves.

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Follow the department on Twitter: @ISED_CA, @WD_Canada

Media Relations
Innovation, Science and
Economic Development Canada

Media Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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