PacifiCan: British Columbia’s New Government Funding Agency
Canadian Government grant and loan programs are financial awards given federally, provincially, or territorially towards a strategically impactful project. There can be as many as 100+ active government funding programs at any given time, which is what led to the creation of government funding agencies to create, review, and administer new funding programs to support key regions and address top industry and economic challenges. The latest province to get their own funding agency is Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan).
PacifiCan will administer new provincial grant and loan programs for British Columbia.
The creation of PacifiCan was announced along side the Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan) agency. These two agencies are replacing the Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), which has been serving western Canadians since August 4, 1987.
Canada’s other regional development agencies include:
- Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
- Canada Economic Development for the Regions of Quebec (CEDQ)
- Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
- Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
- Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor).
What Led to The Creation of PacifiCan?
One of the federal and provincial government funding agencies’ duties is to provide financial relief for local businesses. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for government funding has been paramount to the survival of businesses facing both shared and unique challenges. This is what led to the decision to split the Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) into the Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) and Prairies Economic Development Canada (PrairiesCan).
“British Columbia’s economy is growing and diversifying more each day, requiring a tailored approach that considers its needs and seizes its opportunities. We are proud to be investing in the economic future of innovators, businesses, and communities across British Columbia with the creation of PacifiCan. For more than 30 years, WD has done tremendous work in the West and this is the beginning of an exciting new chapter.”
– The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for Pacific Economic Development Canada
PacifiCan will use funding laid out in the Federal Budget 2021 to help businesses on a track for long-term growth, and ensure that Canada’s future will be healthier, more equitable, greener, and more prosperous. This new funding agency will help to foster innovation, resilience, and growth in local urban, rural, and Indigenous communities.
How Will PacifiCan Distribute Its Funding?
In the Federal Budget 2021, PacifiCan was awarded $553.1 million over five years, starting with $110.6 million in 2021-22. They will be maintaining its current office in Vancouver. However, this move allows PacifiCan to establish an additional headquarters location in Surrey and expand its reach by establishing new service locations in Victoria, Campbell River, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Prince George, Kelowna, and Cranbrook.
The new agency will build on existing relationships with clients and will continue to deliver new federal funding programs, as well as existing programs that help businesses to scale-up and support regional innovation.
Find British Columbia Grants and Loans
Western Canada has a wealth of federal and provincial grant and loan programs available to them. These programs include funding for hiring, training, R&D, tech adoption, business growth, and capitol. Find the full list on our British Columbia Government funding program directory page.
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