Federal government invests in business development and skills training in Northern BC

News release

September 5, 2019 – Vancouver, British Columbia – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada is working with organizations to support training opportunities and equip Canadians with the skills and resources needed to succeed in today’s workforce.

That’s why the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science, and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada has announced more than $3.2 million for six projects to ensure people living in northern BC have the tools they need to take advantage of employment and business development opportunities.

These projects are expected to create at least 152 jobs, provide business development and skills training to at least 639 people, and scale up 367 businesses. This investment aligns with WD’s inclusiveness priority and promotes reconciliation through Indigenous participation in the economy and workforce.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan aims to build an inclusive foundation so that all Canadians have access to the training needed to obtain high-quality jobs and the business development resources to participate in a rapidly evolving and competitive marketplace.

Organization Project Description Funding
Haida Gwaii Institute and the University of British Columbia Increase post-secondary courses for students and establish a local job match program for graduates. $403,525
Haida Gwaii Community Futures (CF) Deliver business advisory services and training to Indigenous entrepreneurs across BC. $504,900
Young Entrepreneurship Leadership Launchpad (YELL) Expand programming in northern and rural BC to support under-represented groups in the economy, including Indigenous youth in northern BC. $475,000
Gitxsan Safety Services Inc (GSS) / Gitxsan Development Corporation (GDC) Support medical and transportation business that services the natural resource sector in northern BC. $445,006
Metlakatla Development Corporation, Coastal Shellfish Corporation, and Coastal Shellfish LP Support for shellfish grow out and processing commercialization. $1,250,000
Burns Lake Native Development Corporation Establish a community-owned, Indigenous driving school in the Village of Burns Lake. $123,000


“The Government of Canada is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in businesses and organizations that operate in northern BC build on our competitive advantages and will result in strengthened business support, boosting skills training and creating good paying jobs for Canadians.”

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

Quick facts

  • Northern BC’s economy is set to benefit from new construction projects in Kitimat and the pipelines that link the Northeast.

  • After increasing between 2014 and 2016, the unemployment rate in northern BC has recently begun to trend lower.

  • Increases in employment in the North Central, Cariboo-Chilcotin and Lillooet, and northwest regions are largely due to increased construction activity. 


Ben Letts
Communications Advisor
Western Economic Diversification Canada

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