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Minister Sajjan celebrates Economic Development Week and announces over $3.7 million for British Columbians

Press Release

From: Pacific Economic Development Canada

The Government of Canada is making investments in British Columbia to create jobs, strengthen communities and build a skilled and inclusive workforce

May 9, 2024 – Vancouver, British Columbia – PacifiCan

British Columbia is home to industry-leading innovation, world-class destinations and thriving communities. The Government of Canada is supporting economic growth that will help B.C. businesses and communities thrive now and for years to come.

To mark Economic Development Week, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced over $3.7 million in PacifiCan funding for four projects across British Columbia. This includes over $3.2 million for three projects funded through the Community Economic Development and Diversification program and $499,143 for one project through the Regional Innovation Ecosystems program.

The Government of Canada is committed to building prosperity and creating inclusive economic opportunities. Two of the projects announced today will directly support those opportunities across British Columbia. Clear Seas will receive over $1.7 million to support the Indigenous Marine Career Advancement Program, which provides training and job opportunities for Indigenous workers. The program aims to increase Indigenous participation in maritime-related industries through career advising, mentorship, job placement and hands-on experience. Similarly, the Work Wellness Institute will receive $968,000 to deliver the Inclusive Workforce Development Program, which will provide businesses across B.C. with tools and best practices to create inclusive workplaces.

For the full list of projects, please see backgrounder here.

The investments announced this Economic Development Week are expected to benefit more than 600 businesses and help create more than 1,200 jobs.


“During Economic Development Week, we are shining a spotlight on B.C.’s thriving businesses and vibrant communities. Today’s investments demonstrate the Government of Canada’s dedication to economic development across British Columbia. Investing in innovation, strong communities and our workforce is laying the groundwork for prosperity for British Columbians today and well into the future.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada

“We raise our hands to PacifiCan; their support of our Indigenous Marine Career Advancement Program (IMCAP) grants us the opportunity to provide Indigenous peoples with access to education, training, and career pathways in both the blue economy and within communities. IMCAP aims to facilitate Indigenous peoples’ meaningful involvement in the marine industry while addressing skill and labor shortages, fostering an inclusive ecosystem of partners, industry, participants, and communities, all working together to support talent and promote sustainable growth.”
– Sarah Thomas, Director of Indigenous Programs, Clear Seas

Quick facts

  • PacifiCan is the federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth throughout our province.
  • Funding announced today was provided through PacifiCan’s Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) and Community Economic Development and Diversification (CEDD) programs.
  • The RIE program aims to grow and nurture priority sectors across British Columbia, building an ecosystem that includes under-represented groups and allows these priority sectors to innovate and compete globally.
  • The CEDD program supports economic development initiatives that contribute to the economic growth and diversification of communities across British Columbia. Through this program, PacifiCan helps communities respond to economic development opportunities and adjust to changing and challenging economic circumstances.

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Associated links

Haley Hodgson
Senior Communications Advisor
Office of the Minister of International Development and Pacific Economic Development Agency (PacifiCan)

Leith Blachford
Communications Manager



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