The Government of Canada is launching Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan), a new federal regional economic development agency solely for British Columbia.
To be headquartered in Surrey, the new BC focused agency will start with a budget of $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing.
As a result, in addition to maintaining an office in Vancouver, PacifiCan will expand its reach by establishing new service locations in Victoria, Campbell River, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Prince George, Kelowna, and Cranbrook.
“In roundtable discussions across British Columbia, entrepreneurs, innovators, institutions, and community leaders have been clear about the need for more federal resources for investments and community economic development based on their unique needs. The launch of PacifiCan and its expanded footprint is a substantial step in that direction,” said MP Terry Beech regarding the announcement.
There will be two regional development agencies for Western Canada, one for British Columbia and one for the Prairie provinces. Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan), replacing Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), will continue to be based in Edmonton and focus on Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
In splitting WD, the government said it “recognizes 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.”