Mélanie Joly, who is the National Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, presented PacifiCan Thursday morning in Surrey. She also announced the creation of Prairie Economic Development Canada, which will help businesses in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
This is the first time in more than 30 years that the federal government has strengthened its presence and its economic development services in Western Canada.
In addition to Kelowna, PacifiCan will have service points in Victoria, Surrey, Campbell River, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Prince George and Cranbrook. It will build on Western Economic Diversification Canada, which has been in existence for 34 years and works closely with businesses, innovators and communities in British Columbia; promote connections and investments to foster economic growth; and help organizations navigate federal programs and policies.
“As Canada’s most entrepreneurial region and a leader in economic recovery, Kelowna and the central Okanagan are a perfect fit for a branch of PacifiCan,” Kelowna Mayor Colin Basran said in a statement. Press.
“This new agency and new leadership will build on the momentum that exists in our economy and ultimately create a more meaningful engagement between regional businesses and the federal government.”
The Central Okanagan Regional District Economic Recovery Task Force, Central Okanagan Economic Development Commission, UBC Okanagan, Accelerate Okanagan and the region’s chambers of commerce spent the last year in lobby for the establishment of a branch in the central Okanagan.
“We are thrilled with today’s announcement of a PacifiCan office in the central Okanagan,” said RDCO President Gail Given. “The Regional Economic Recovery Task Force encouraged the federal government to recognize the economic strength of the central Okanagan by establishing a branch of the new agency in the region.
“We are pleased that Minister (Mélanie) Joly supported our request, as evidenced by today’s announcement.
The federal government announced its regional development plan in this year’s budget, when it pledged $ 553.1 million over five years for PacifiCan, starting in 2021-2022, and $ 110.6 million by the following.
Points of service in Kelowna and other communities in British Columbia will be launched over a period of a few months.
“British Columbia’s economy is growing and diversifying more and more every day, requiring a tailored approach that recognizes its needs and seizes its opportunities,” said Joly. “We are proud to invest in the economic future of innovators, businesses and communities in British Columbia with the creation of PacifiCan.
“For over 30 years, WD has done a tremendous job in the West, and this is the start of an exciting new chapter. ”