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Through the use of partnerships and opportunities to expand on current community and economic development initiatives, WD commits to four key activities in WD's Section 41 Action Plan (2004-2008):
The Action Plan seeks to enhance the department's strategic directions within the activities of the western Official Language Minority Communities (OLMCs). Further information on the Action Plan can be obtained at: http://www.wd.gc.ca/rpts/strategies/ola/2004/.
Across Western Canada, WD partners with the Francophone Economic Development Organizations (FEDOs) to address and provide assistance to francophone entrepreneurs and western OLMCs. The four FEDOs work with francophone communities and entrepreneurs to encourage innovative, sustainable and entrepreneurial economic practices.
WD and Industry Canada signed a Memorandum of Understanding to implement tele-education and tele-learning pilot projects and youth internships in the West that will continue until
March 31, 2008. The pilot projects target:
The major focus of the pilot projects is on expanding content and applications as opposed to supporting infrastructure or capital development. The internships serve to establish opportunities for youth to develop skills and labour capacity in their province of residence, and provide an environment conducive to enhancing their skills in the minority official language.
WD employs a flexible, comprehensive and integrated approach to innovative business development and sustainable communities in Western Canada's francophone communities. It offers WD the flexibility to support operating funding to existing francophone organizations, while enhancing the suite of services that can be offered to francophone entrepreneurs, SMEs and OLMCs.
Western Diversification Program (WDP) - this program is designed to promote economic development and diversification in Western Canada and advance the interests of Western Canada in national policy, program and project development and implementation. The WDP is WD's main program, and is used to fund projects and contributes to the expected results of all WD program activities.
Community Futures Program (CF) - this national program is designed to provide funding for a network of Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) across Canada with WD as the delivery department for the West. CFDCs are volunteer-led, non-profit organizations that lead strategic economic planning, and provide advice and commercial loans to local entrepreneurs, who foster economic development.
Loan and Investment Program (LIP) - allows financial institutions to supply loan capital to clients to whom it would not otherwise make loans. Under this program, WD contributes funds to a “loan loss reserve”, which partly offsets higher risks associated with eligible loans to small businesses. Eligible clients apply directly to the financial institutions partnered with WD under this program.
Information on these and other WD programs is available at: http://www.wd.gc.ca/programs/default-eng.asp.
4 "A Frontier Approach to Canada-United States Multifactor Productivity Performance," Statistics Canada, April 3, 2003.
5 The forecasted lapse relates to the Infrastructure Canada Program and the Alberta/Saskatchewan Centenaries initiative. WD will seek Treasury Board approval to reprofile the funds, through the Supplementary Estimates and Annual Reference Level Update (ARLU) process, to fiscal years 2007-2008 and future.