Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

April 19, 2012 11:30 ET

Minister Yelich Connects Small and Medium Enterprises with New Business Opportunities

SASKATOON, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - April 19, 2012) - Today, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, provided opening remarks at the Saskatchewan Aerospace and Defence Opportunities Forum to demonstrate the Harper Government's continuing support for Western Canada's dynamic and growing aerospace, defence and shipbuilding sectors.

"Our Government is committed to supporting small and medium-sized businesses by connecting them with opportunities for reaching new markets throughout Western Canada," said Minister Yelich. "Our Shipbuilding Action Plan is just one of the many ways we are creating jobs and economic growth in the West."

Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) and Enterprise Saskatchewan partnered to host this event to provide comprehensive details on the Government's Industrial and Regional Benefits (IRB) policy.The forum also allowed Saskatchewan small-and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to network with companies that have IRB obligations and establish valuable business connections in the aerospace, defence and shipbuilding sectors.

Since 2006, WD has made significant investments in projects and initiatives that support Western Canada's aerospace, defence and, shipbuilding industries. These investments have resulted in exciting new opportunities across the West and are creating jobs, providing training and research benefits to industry professionals, and improving the productivity and safety of technology and equipment in these sectors.

IRBs consist of contracts awarded to Canadian businesses and investments made in high-technology sectors of the Canadian economy by successful bidders on federal defence and shipbuilding projects.

The Harper Government's $33 billion National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy is expected to create thousands of high-value jobs and will provide three decades of stability for shipbuilders across the country. Economic Action Plan 2012 highlighted Western Canada's Shipbuilding Action Plan, which will support western businesses in taking advantage of the opportunities presented by the Strategy.

Over the coming months, WD will be hosting several events to highlight how companies can take advantage of industrial opportunities. For more information about these upcoming supplier development events, or to register online, please visit www.wd-deo.gc.ca.

Western Economic Diversification Canada works with the provinces, industry associations and communities to promote the development and diversification of the western economy, coordinates federal economic activities in the West and advances the interests of western Canadians in national decision making.

For Broadcast Use:

Western Canada's dynamic and growing aerospace, defence and shipbuilding sectors were in the spotlight today at the Saskatchewan Aerospace and Defence Opportunities Forum. The event was co-hosted by WD and Enterprise Saskatchewan and allowed Saskatchewan businesses to network with companies such as Seaspan Marine to discuss key opportunities.

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Contact Information

  • Jerra Byrne
    Office of the Minister
    Western Economic Diversification

    WD Toll-Free Number: 1 888 338-WEST (9378)
    Teletypewriter (TTY): 1 877 303-3388
    Website: WD is online at www.wd-deo.gc.ca