Canada's Regional Development Agencies
Canada's Regional Development Agencies (RDA) work closely with businesses and innovators in their regions to fuel economic growth that creates more well-paying middle-class jobs for Canadians.
Canada's regional development agencies (RDA) are a key part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, advancing and diversifying our regional economies and helping communities thrive. There are seven RDAs across Canada:
Helping businesses in Atlantic Canada to become more competitive, innovative and productive.
Guiding Quebec businesses and regions toward the economy of tomorrow.
Helping to develop a diversified, sustainable, and dynamic economy across Canada's three territories.
Programs and services to support innovation and economic growth in southern Ontario.
Supporting businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario.
Supporting business, innovation and community economic development unique to Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.
Supporting business, innovation and community economic development unique to British Columbia.
Action taken by RDAs to support business during the COVID-19 pandemic
Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Tourism Relief Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund, Major Festivals and Events Support Initiative, Regional Air Transportation Initiative, Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative, Canadian Seafood Stabilization Fund
Supporting regional economic growth through innovation
RDA programs foster the right environment to enable businesses to grow and entrepreneurs and innovators to start businesses, creating the ideal conditions for the development of strong, dynamic and inclusive regional economies throughout the country.
Regional Development Agencies support regional innovation ecosystems and help businesses scale up by:
- delivering nationally coordinated programs tailored to fit regional needs and circumstances
- providing access to financial assistance
- bringing together key players in their respective ecosystems
- supporting community economic development
- ensuring that regional growth strategies eliminate regional gaps and align with federal government objectives
"We understand that the path to economic prosperity varies from region to region. Strong regional economies are essential for Canada's success and sustainability. That's why our regional development agencies are there to help businesses and innovators grow, succeed and create good jobs for Canadians. Together, we will overcome the challenges of today and ensure all regions of Canada realize their full economic potential. We have your back."
— The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages
Businesses and industries in communities across the country are thriving thanks to targeted investments from the RDAs.
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA)
Blue Roof Distillers developed a one-of-a-kind method of distilling potatoes from their farm as an alternative to having to throw away those that are too small to sell in stores. With the recent investment of $100,000 from ACOA, Blue Roof Distillers was able to purchase specialized small-scale equipment to not only solve this issue but also support its continued business growth.
Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED)
With assistance from CED, Indigenous woman-owned business Atikuss was able to expand its operations offices and warehouse, optimize its production line and create a new line of luxury products. Ms. Leblanc, the owner of Atikuss, is giving Indigenous women an opportunity to share their ancestral beadwork tradition and, most importantly, to make a decent living.
Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor)
Investments made by the Government of Canada assisted in the development of the NorthLight Innovation building. This hub will support an ecosystem of innovation in Yukon and will provide community businesses with access to the people and tools they need in Canada's rapidly growing innovation network.
Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
A federal investment of $275,000 through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program went toward upgrading Canada's oldest railway tunnel: the Brockville Railway Tunnel. Improvements included repairing the tunnel's drainage system, creating a concrete travel surface, repairing masonry and stabilizing rock, and installing new lighting and ventilation systems. This project has created a safer and more accessible experience for visitors.
Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor)
NADF is a not-for-profit Aboriginal organization that provides business financing, community economic development resources and business counselling services to First Nation and Metis people across northern Ontario. In 2013, a $4.4-million investment through FedNor contributed to, among other things, the development of a toolkit to assist northern Ontario Indigenous communities to make positive changes through Comprehensive Community Planning (CCP) that empowers community members.
Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD)
Indigenous communities are stepping up to build the power plants of the future. Thanks to a $910,000 investment from WD, the Cowessess First Nation in Saskatchewan has achieved a first in Canada. It has created the country’s first hybrid renewable energy system, which generates both solar and wind power, then stores it in batteries for use when the sun is not shining or wind not blowing. Not only does this project generate clean energy, it is also creating new economic opportunities. It supports 12 small to medium-sized enterprises, including 3 Indigenous businesses.
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