WD 2020 Year in Review: Focus on protecting Western Canadian businesses and saving jobs


EDMONTON, AB, Dec. 22, 2020 /CNW/ - In 2020, a year of unprecedented challenges, the Government of Canada has turned to the regional development agencies (RDAs) to support as many businesses as possible in communities large and small. RDAs like Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) know and understand the specific needs of their regions and the businesses they serve.

With hard times already in many western Canadian communities, the COVID-19 pandemic caused businesses to struggle with solvency and families to worry about their livelihoods. The ongoing viability of small and medium-sized businesses is critical for Canada's economy. That is why the Government of Canada responded with decisive action throughout 2020 to keep businesses viable and poised to grow to create jobs on the other side of the pandemic.

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, highlighted the impact of WD's investments this year, which totalled more than $433 million, and have created and maintained over 26,000 jobs across Western Canada. These investments are positioning Canada for a strong recovery, while supporting the government's commitment to create over one million jobs, restoring employment to previous levels.

Addressing the economic impact of COVID-19

WD has been at the forefront of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 economic response in Western Canada, rolling out emergency relief programs on an unprecedented scale and adjusting ongoing programs to support businesses through the pandemic period.

Using regional know-how and local networks to pivot, WD provided over $333 million in COVID-related support to more than 6,100 small and medium-sized businesses in 2020. At least 25,000 jobs have been protected or created as a result of this funding.