THE City of Surrey welcomed the announcement by the Government of Canada to create a new regional economic development agency for British Columbia — Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) — with headquarters being established in Surrey. The federal government is providing the agency $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing.
“The impacts of Covid-19 have had a ripple effect through our local economy, and we must work together with all levels of government to help businesses recover from this pandemic and continue to prosper in the years to come,” said Surrey Mayor Doug McCallum on Thursday. “Today’s announcement will ensure that our city, and our Province, has dedicated and sustained federal economic development support in place to foster long term economic growth. The selection of Surrey as the headquarters for this important new federal agency is an example of the federal commitment to building Surrey as the second metropolitan centre for the region.”
“The launch of PacifiCan headquarters in Surrey will ensure that our City, and our Province’s innovators, entrepreneurs, businesses and communities have additional federal support to become more economically resilient as we recover from the pandemic,” said Councillor Allison Patton, member of the Investment and Innovation Impact Committee. “This investment in our region will ensure that we can come back stronger, expand our businesses and increase well paying jobs in our region. This is great news for our city, and our Province.”
FOR the first time in more than three decades, the Government of Canada will enhance its federal economic development presence and services in Western Canada by creating two regional development agencies for British Columbia and the Prairie provinces. This approach 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.
Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan) will be the new federal regional economic development agency for British Columbia. It will build on Western Economic Diversification Canada’s (WD) 34-year legacy to work more closely with BC businesses, innovators, and communities; promote connections and investments to foster economic growth; and help organizations navigate federal programs and policies.
In Budget 2021, the federal government provided this new BC-focused agency with $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing. As a result, in addition to maintaining its current office in Vancouver, PacifiCan will move to establish its new headquarters 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 government said these locations will be launched over a period of months. When complete, this enhanced on-the-ground presence will bring the federal government closer to businesses and the communities they call home. Supporting economic development in more communities will help develop businesses and create good jobs that people can rely on.
The new agency will build on existing relationships with clients and partners such as the Western Canada Business Service Network, and will continue to deliver new Budget 2021 funding programs, as well as existing programs that help businesses to scale-up, and support regional innovation.