Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

July 06, 2015 11:21 ET

Government of Canada Announces Support for the Aerospace, Defence and Security Sectors and the Unmanned Vehicle Systems Industry at WestDef 2015

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwired - July 6, 2015) - Western Economic Diversification Canada

Today, the Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, announced three investments to support an increase in global awareness of the western Canadian aerospace, defence and security sectors, as well as the unmanned vehicle systems industry at the WestDef 2015 Conference in Calgary, Alberta.

Funding from the Government of Canada will support the WestDef 2015 Conference and three conferences hosted by Unmanned Systems Canada. Additional funding will enable the Western Canadian Defence Industries Association (WCDIA) to increase training capacity for defense procurement to ensure industries have access to highly qualified personnel in Western Canada. The federal funding announced today is being provided through the Western Diversification Program (WDP).

Quick Facts

  • The Western Canadian Defence Industries Association (WCDIA) is an industry association formed by western small- and medium-sized enterprises to promote western businesses as viable suppliers for federal military procurement opportunities.
  • The $50,000 investment toward WCDIA's WestDef 2015 Conference will help to generate new opportunities for western Canadian companies to establish relationships and develop business ventures.
  • Additional funding of $150,000 will also enable WCDIA to bring together industry, academia, technology incubators and government to develop skills training programs to address the need for skilled labour in the defence sector.
  • Unmanned Systems Canada (USC), a not-for-profit industry association representing public and private innovation in unmanned vehicle systems, will receive federal funding of $105,000 to support the organization and delivery of three USC events, as well as various marketing activities.
  • The Canadian aerospace industry contributed more than $29 billion to Canada's Gross Domestic Product and 180,000 to employment in the Canadian economy in 2014.
  • The defence and security industries contribute $12.6 billion to the Canadian economy annually and employ 109,000 Canadians in jobs that pay salaries that are 60 per cent higher than the national average.
  • The unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) spending will nearly double over the next decade, growing from current worldwide UAV expenditures of $5.9 billion to $11.3 billion annually. Alberta has emerged as Canada's leader in the development of unmanned vehicle systems with more than 70 Alberta companies, military agencies and educational institutions working in various forms of UVS research, testing, development and manufacturing.


"Our Government recognizes that these industries are key to Canada's long-term economic success. With our support, we are driving innovation, improving international competitiveness and growing both the western Canadian aerospace, defence and security sectors, and the unmanned vehicle systems industry."

- The Honourable Michelle Rempel, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification

"The WCDIA would like to extend generous thanks to the Government of Canada for its support. These investments are assisting the WCDIA to bring added value to our participants at WestDef, as well as elevating new activities for western Canadian aerospace, defence and security companies. Our latest project will ensure the opportunities and impacts of program extensions and support contracts are fully realized."

- Denean Tomlin, Executive Director, Western Canadian Defence Industries Association

"Unmanned Systems Canada (USC) is pleased to receive federal support in marketing activities and international exposure for one of the fastest growth industries in Western Canada. The Canadian unmanned vehicle sector is currently valued at $500 million dollars and Western Canada is a leader in this important emerging sector of the economy."

- Stewart Baillie, Chairman, Unmanned Systems Canada (USC)

Additional Links

- WestDef 2015

- Western Canadian Defence Industries Association

- Unmanned Systems Canada

- The State of the Canadian Aerospace Industry

Subscribe to news releases and keep up-to-date on the latest from WD. Follow us on Twitter at @WD_Canada.

The West Means Business.


Contact Information