Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) was established to help lessen the West's (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba) economic dependence on natural resources.
A department of the Government of Canada, WD was established in 1987 under Bill C-113 to promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada. WD is governed by the Western Economic Diversification Act and reports to Parliament through the Minister of Public Works and Government Services and Minister of Status for Women, and the Minister of State (Western Economic Diversification).
Since 1995, WD has directed its core resources towards working in collaboration with many partners including all levels of government, universities, financial institutions, the private sector, and the not-for-profit sector. Key partners in the not-for-profit sector include members of the Western Canada Business Service Network, which is comprised of over 100 points of service, including: Community Futures Development Corporations, offices of the Women's Enterprise Initiative, Francophone Economic Development Organizations and Canada Business Centres.
Under the Western Economic Diversification Act, the Department is mandated to "promote the development and diversification of the economy of Western Canada and to advance the interests of Western Canada in national economic policy, program and project development and implementation".
In order to achieve this mandate, Western Economic Diversification Canada has worked with, and on behalf of, western Canadians to address a wide range of issues that affect the region's long-term prosperity and the ability of its communities to prosper economically.