Minister Joly highlights new BC-focused Regional Development Agency investment announced in Budget 2021
Burnaby, British Columbia, April 29, 2021 – Budget 2021 is the Government of Canada’s plan to finish the fight against COVID-19 and ensure a robust economic recovery that is inclusive of all Canadians.
Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, along with Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.) met with local business leaders from Burnaby and the Tri-Cities area to discuss the new British Columbia-focused Regional Development Agency investment from Budget 2021: A Recovery Plan for Jobs, Growth, and Resilience.
Budget 2021 is an historic investment to address the specific wounds of the COVID-19 recession, put people first, create jobs, grow the middle class, 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.
From the outset, regional development agencies have helped businesses across Canada weather the effects of the pandemic. In the West, Western Economic Diversification Canada has been playing a key role in helping businesses and organizations mitigate the financial pressures caused by COVID-19. However, as Westerners begin to move into the recovery phase, it is essential to build a more focused, locally informed federal approach to economic development initiatives that encourage business growth and community resilience.
Budget 2021 will establish a new agency for British Columbia to play an enhanced role as convenor, pathfinder, partner, investor, and advisor to support economic development in more communities and help develop businesses to create good jobs that people can rely on. Growing Western Economic Diversification Canada into two new separate agencies focused on British Columbia and the Prairies is recognition 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.
Budget 2021 is a plan to bridge Canadians and Canadian businesses through the crisis and towards a robust recovery. It proposes to extend business and income support measures through to the fall and to make investments to create jobs and help businesses across the economy come roaring back. Budget 2021 is a plan that puts Canada on track to meet its commitment to create 1 million jobs by the end of the year.
Canada entered the pandemic in a strong fiscal position. This allowed the government to take quick and decisive action, supporting people and businesses, and put it in the position to make historic investments in the recovery.
“As we work towards post-pandemic economic recovery, supporting businesses and communities will help Canadians build a brighter future. A new economic development agency for British Columbia recognizes diversity in regional economies, will build on their success, and will result in good middle-class jobs for western families.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada
“Small- and medium-sized businesses are a vital part of our communities, providing jobs and security for Canadians across the country. Budget 2021 includes measures to support our communities, while providing necessary resources B.C. businesses need to prosper and grow.”
- Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard and to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages (B.C.)
Budget 2021 includes $101.4 billion over three years in proposed investments as part of the Government of Canada’s growth plan that will create good jobs and support a resilient and inclusive recovery. Key measures include supporting small and medium-sized businesses through several transformative programs, such as:
Funding a new BC-focused agency through $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and with $110.6 million ongoing, while existing core program funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will remain to support a new Prairie agency:
This measure increases investments available for businesses, institutions, organizations, and communities in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba.
This represents an increase of approximately 70 per cent in permanent regional development agency funding in the West.
Revitalizing Canada’s tourism sector through $1 billion to help tourism businesses recover and support festivals and cultural events that provide jobs and growth in many of our cities and communities.
Supporting women, Black Canadians, and other underrepresented entrepreneurs who face barriers to launching and owning businesses through $300 million to enhance initiatives like the Black Entrepreneurship Program and the Women Entrepreneurship Strategy.
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Regional Communications Manager, British Columbia
Western Economic Diversification Canada
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