Mr. Speaker, Western Economic Diversification Canada, WD, works to improve the long-term economic competitiveness of the west and the quality of life of its citizens by investing in a wide range of initiatives designed to facilitate innovation, promote a competitive and expanded business sector, and support community economic development. The central vehicle to deliver on this mandate is grants and contributions’ funding which WD manages using a project-based approach.
In managing projects, WD maintains a well-established risk management framework designed to ensure risks are identified, assessed and mitigated throughout the project development process. The system examines criteria such as materiality, profile, visibility, or reputation, project complexity, threats to and impacts of a project not delivering on results, and financial management. Risk assessments are conducted in the course of performing due diligence on projects, and are an integral part of the overall WD funding process.
While the management of grants and contributions at WD are project centered, WD strives to ensure that the delivery of programming is client focused and regionally oriented. To this end, WD has established programs and initiatives specifically tailored with defined objectives, such as the entrepreneurs with disabilities program, the francophone economic development organizations, and the mountain pine beetle community economic development initiative. Business services and programs are, for the most part, delivered by third parties such as the community futures corporations or the women’s enterprise initiative. WD closely monitors third parties delivering services to ensure minimum performance standards are achieved annually.
WD measures client satisfaction on a regular basis through program evaluations, stakeholder consultations, and client satisfaction surveys. The results of stakeholder and client feedback are publicly available on the department’s website at www.wd.gc.ca.