• December 07, 2011 8:45 PM | Anonymous

    Obama - Harper Border Action Plan


    President Barack Obama and Canada's Prime Minister Stephen Harper met today in Washington, D.C. and released a New Action Plan for U.S.-Canada Cooperation.   


    "These agreements represent the most significant step forward in Canada-U.S. co-operation since the North American Free Trade Agreement," Harper said Wednesday in Washington, D.C. with U.S. President Barack Obama.


    President Obama said, "We're going to make it easier to conduct the trade and travel that creates jobs."


    The Perimeter Security and Economic Competitiveness Action Plan identifies concrete steps to increase jobs and trade between the US and Canada and procedures to align regulations on products between our two nations. The joint action plan was developed through a coordinated consultative process and is intended to produce specific outcomes and timelines to improve border security and enhance economic cooperation by streamlining regulations to increase trade. It outlines specific steps the US and Canada are working on to better partner in trade, provide security in a risk based approach, and make it easier for legitimate goods and travel to take place between our two countries, enhancing our joint competitiveness in global markets.   


    The Action Plan lays out a structure with responsibilities and timelines for success. It is a first step, and it will require leadership on both sides of the border to implement innovative solutions that improve the current trading and security relationship between the U.S. and Canada. The plan serves as a much needed framework for U.S. and Canadian Agencies to work collaboratively with stakeholders to build solutions for the future that make all of our businesses more competitive in the global marketplace.


    Of notable interest here in the northwest related to our Cascades Train service from Eugene, OR to Vancouver, B.C., US Customs will conduct full preclearance of travellers and accompanying goods at Vancouver, B.C., for passenger rail and cruise ship traffic destined to the United States. Negotiations to this end will be completed by the end of 2012.


    Under the action plan, companies will have a "single window" to submit all import data electronically rather than requiring up to 17 different forms.


    More than $1.6 billion in goods and services as well as 300,000 people cross the Canada-United States border every day - that's over a million dollars a minute. More than 8 million U.S. jobs depend on trade with Canada. - with over 360,000 jobs in the 5 northwest states alone. Canada is the most important foreign export destination for 34 U.S. states, and Canada buys more goods and services from the United States than Germany and China combined. Finally, in 2010 the increase in exports to Canada alone was greater than all US trade with Brazil, double all US trade with India, and triple all US trade with Russia.


    These numbers point to an excellent opportunity to look to our closest neighbour to increase jobs and enhance our economic recovery. Rep. Mike Schaufler of Oregon, President of PNWER said, "We applaud the leadership of President Obama and Prime Minister Harper and look forward to see many innovative solutions designed, built, and implemented here in the Pacific Northwest."


    The Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) is a public/private non-profit created by statute in 1991 by the states of Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Washington, the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and the Yukon and Northwest Territories.


    For additional information, please contact:

    Matt Morrison

    Executive Director

    Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER)

    Phone: 206-443-7723

  • December 06, 2011 12:40 PM | Anonymous

    On December 2, 2011, the Government of Alberta announced the launch of a Red Tape Reduction Task Force.  This task force will engage small business leaders to build a stronger understanding of how red tape affects their operations and identify ways to improve the regulatory environment in which they operate.  


    As representatives of the small business community, your views and experiences are an important part of this work.  Over the next few weeks, The Red Tape Reduction Task Force will be connecting with stakeholders to provide more details on the task force - as well as obtaining feedback on how to help Alberta businesses remain competitive and promote economic growth in our province.


    Alberta’s regulatory reform agenda focuses on the quality of regulations. This means assessing the impact of regulations on businesses and stakeholders to ensure regulations are only used when needed and that the right rules are in place to accomplish what was intended – in an efficient manner.


    For more information on the Red Tape Reduction Task Force visit: www.alberta.ca/RedTapeReduction.cfm.

  • October 12, 2011 10:23 AM | Anonymous

    Premier Alison Redford has named a new cabinet team that will get to work immediately on Albertans’ priorities.

    “This cabinet reflects what change looks like. It’s a team that’s committed to listening to Albertans, and getting to work right away on bringing the change Albertans want and expect,” Redford said.

    “As promised, there is a lot of new talent around the table that will change the way government works. There are also some familiar faces, including Doug Horner, who, as previously announced, will stay on as Deputy Premier.”

    The new Cabinet will take the helm of a renewed government structure, including the creation of a Ministry of Human Services that will bring together programming for children and families in need.  Aboriginal relations and immigration will move to International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations to better coordinate federal and Aboriginal portfolios. &nbspThe function of economic development for the province will move to Treasury Board and Enterprise. The Ministry of Environment and Water will emphasize the importance of protecting one of Alberta’s greatest resources.

    Cabinet was sworn-in by Alberta’s Lieutenant Governor on October 12 at Government House.  The event was broadcast live on www.alberta.ca. Its first meeting followed the swearing-in ceremony.

    “With this new team in place, we’re ready to work for Albertans on a new agenda. One of our first jobs will be getting ready for the fall session and setting our agenda to move forward,” Redford said.

    Redford also announced the appointment of nine parliamentary assistants and membership in the government’s renewed committee structure. A new Operations Committee will play a key role in the day-to-day coordination of the government’s agenda, including issues management, legislation and house planning, and communications.

    Premier Redford’s Cabinet team in order of precedence



    Alison Redford, QC, Calgary-Elbow

    Premier, President of Executive Council, Chair of Agenda and Priorities

    Doug Horner, Spruce Grove-Sturgeon-St. Albert

    Deputy Premier, President of Treasury Board and Enterprise

    David Hancock, Edmonton-Whitemud

    Minister of Human Services, Government House Leader

    Ted Morton, Foothills-Rocky View

    Minister of Energy

    Verlyn Olson, Wetaskiwin-Camrose

    Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Deputy Government House Leader

    Fred Horne, Edmonton-Rutherford

    Minister of Health and Wellness

    Ron Liepert, Calgary-West

    Minister of Finance

    Thomas Lukaszuk, Edmonton-Castle Downs

    Minister of Education

    Diana McQueen, Drayton Valley-Calmar

    Minister of Environment and Water

    Jonathan Denis, Calgary-Egmont

    Solicitor General and Minister of Public Security; Deputy Government House Leader

    Cal Dallas, Red Deer-South

    Minister of International, Intergovernmental and Aboriginal Relations

    Evan Berger, Livingstone-Macleod

    Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development

    Frank Oberle, Peace River

    Minister of Sustainable Resource Development

    George VanderBurg, Whitecourt-Ste. Anne

    Minister of Seniors

    Ray Danyluk, Lac La Biche-St. Paul

    Minister of Transportation

    Jeff Johnson, Athabasca-Redwater

    Minister of Infrastructure

    Doug Griffiths, Battle River-Wainwright

    Minister of Municipal Affairs

    Greg Weadick, Lethbridge-West

    Minister of Advanced Education and Technology

    Jack Hayden,  Drumheller-Stettler

    Minister of Tourism, Parks and Recreation

    Heather Klimchuk, Edmonton-Glenora

    Minister of Culture and Community Services

    Manmeet Bhullar, Calgary-Montrose

    Minister of Service Alberta


  • September 26, 2011 3:03 PM | Anonymous

    One of our members, the Rural & Co-Operatives Secretariat has just launched a new Community Information Database (CID), that can be used in community and regional planning. The information is as follows:

    The Community Information Database (CID) Team is pleased to announce the following new features available at: www.cid-bdc.ca


    The CID has a new website with a new look and new client focused features:

    • "Start Mapping" link for users that want to go directly into creating a map
    • "Community Information Database" searchable link to community profiles for every community in Canada
    • "Mapping Wizard" step by step wizard that introduces users to all of the mappable data on the CID
    • Completely revamped mapping Help files available under the "Help/Support" link on the website

    The Community Information Database is a free Internet-based tool providing consistent and reliable social, economic and demographic data for all communities and regions across Canada The CID was developed by the Rural and Co-operatives Secretariat in collaboration with provincial, territorial and community partners. It is part of the Government of Canada’s ongoing support to rural and remote communities.

    The CID Team welcomes your comments, and would be interested in hearing how the CID is useful to you. If you are interested, send an email to: cid-bdc@agr.gc.ca.

  • September 12, 2011 6:49 AM | Anonymous

    Alberta Finance & Enterprise has updated its Community and Regional Economic Development Funding Programs information. To download it, click here.

  • September 02, 2011 12:23 PM | Anonymous

    On November 1 – 3, 2011, the Global Clean Energy Congress will bring together leading experts from around the world in the field of clean energy to discuss emerging technologies and strategies. 

    This comprehensive conference and exhibition is highly technical for business-minded people.

    The Congress will explore the possibilities of new and future technologies, demonstrate real-world applications of forward-thinking initiatives, and illuminate strategies for successful integration.

    For more information click here http://globalcleanenergycongress.com/conference/


  • August 31, 2011 9:10 PM | Anonymous

    This Memorandum of Understanding enables EDA and IEDC to increase their opportunities to work together in order to better serve the economic development profession by sharing access to products, services and professional information; program development; creating a consistent and unified professional image; improving collaboration and innovation within the profession and raising the visibility of model practices.


    “I am extremely pleased with this MOU and what it will bring to our organization. Although many of EDA’s members are familiar with IEDC and its programs and services, this MOU will enable us to take our relationship to the next level in order to advance the economic development profession both within Alberta and beyond”, states Maggie Armstrong, EDA President. “I look forward to attending the IEDC conference next month in Charlotte, NC and participating as an IEDC Partner.  Hopefully it will be the beginning of a long, mutually beneficial relationship for all of our members”.


    “We are excited about our MOU with EDA as it enables us to expand our network into Canada. We share many common goals and objectives, and I look forward to working with EDA over a long future as we continue to equip our economic development professionals with leading edge programs and services” states Jeff Finkle, IEDC President & CEO.


    The International Economic Development Council (IEDC) is headquartered in Washington, DC. It is a non-profit membership organization dedicated to helping economic developers do their job more effectively and raising the profile of the profession. IEDC has more than 4,500 members across the United States, Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and other nations. Some of its programs and services include professional development, advisory services, research and an annual conference.


  • August 31, 2011 9:05 AM | Anonymous

     If you have an innovative clean technology, we want to hear from you. That is the message Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) sent out today as it announced its 20th round of funding, which will be open until October 19, 2011. 

    “We are looking for technology solutions that will strengthen Canada's economy by helping its main industries be more efficient, creating jobs and increasing its global competitiveness," said SDTC President and CEO Vicky Sharpe. “Canadian entrepreneurs and technology developers with new technologies and a compelling business case are encouraged to submit Statements of Interest to the SD Tech Fund™."

    SDTC is a not-for-profit corporation created and funded by the Government of Canada to finance and support the late-stage development and pre-commercial demonstration of clean technologies. SDTC helps companies through the critical juncture when capital and scaling costs become formidable challenges and the risk profile deters many other investors.

    SDTC supports technologies that address the challenges of Climate Change, Clean Air, Soil and Water, including technology solutions focused on these current priority areas:

    Natural Resources:  Mitigate environmental impacts associated with Canada’s natural resource sector including “green mining”, cleaner fossil fuels and forestry

    Clean Energy:  Enable cleaner energy production and improved energy efficiency of transportation, the built environment, and industrial processes

    Soil and Water:  Improve the efficiency of the largest water users and address the most sensitive points of water and soil contamination

    Agriculture:  Increase yield and improve temperature and drought resistance of agricultural crops and mitigate land-use changes and biodiversity loss

    Northern and Remote Communities: Innovative solutions for self-sufficiency in smaller communities

    In addition, SDTC’s SD Business Case™ reports should be used to identify additional priority investment areas. These reports are available in the Knowledge Centre section of the SDTC website at www.sdtc.ca.

    The SDTC portfolio is currently comprised of 223 clean technology projects, for a total value of $1.9 billion.

    “Canada is a hotbed for cleantech, as SDTC's current portfolio already shows,” said Sharpe.  “We are excited to hear about some of the up-and-coming projects being developed across Canada and are looking forward to adding more promising projects to our portfolio."

    Potential applicants are requested to first review the Statement of Interest process and funding requirements at sdtc.ca/applications and then schedule an initial call with an Applications Manager by emailing applications@sdtc.ca.

    About SDTC

    Sustainable Development Technology Canada (SDTC) is an arm’s-length foundation created by the Government of Canada which has received $1.09 billion as part of the Government’s commitment to create a healthy environment and a high quality of life for all Canadians.

    SDTC operates two funds aimed at the development and demonstration of innovative technological solutions.  The $590 million SD Tech Fund™ supports projects that address climate change, air quality, clean water, and clean soil.  The $500 million NextGen Biofuels Fund™ supports the establishment of first-of-kind large demonstration-scale facilities for the production of next-generation renewable fuels.

    SDTC operates as a not-for-profit corporation and has been working with the public and private sector including industry, academia, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), the financial community and all levels of government to achieve this mandate.

  • August 04, 2011 8:58 PM | Anonymous

    "Communities should be given the greatest possible opportunity to have their say and the greatest possible degree of local control." So said the Conservative Party in its policy Green Paper, Open Source Planning, published before the last election. "Restoring democratic and local control" has always been at the heart of the party's proposals for planning reform and sits at the centre of the localist agenda.

    Designing local plans "from the bottom up" to reflect the "aspirations of neighbourhoods" with "every single resident of the neighbourhood approached to take part" and allowing residents to sell their support for local schemes in return for financial compensation from developers were all firmly on the localist agenda, and apparently integral to the emergence of the Big Society that is itself so fundamental to over-arching government policy.


    There was also a written ministerial statement by Greg Clark urging upon councils the importance of "driving and supporting the growth that this country needs" and encouraging them to "support enterprise and facilitate housing". These developments appeared to signal a change of direction best illustrated, perhaps, by Chancellor George Osborne when delivering his Budget: "Yes, local communities should have a greater say in planning, but from today we will expect all bodies involved in planning to prioritise growth and jobs. We will introduce a new presumption in favour of sustainable development, so that the default answer to development is 'yes'."

    The picture, then, is one of compromise, and a somewhat unhappy one at that. As the CLG Committee noted in another of its reports, "the concept of 'localism' is far from new, nor is it particularly controversial." It is the manner of its application in the current economic climate that has caused so much anxiety in the industry. This, according to the Committee, "has thus far been marked by inconsistency and incoherence". One of the reasons for this is surely the fundamental tension between the need to secure development for the sake of economic growth and the desire to put planning powers in the hands of the communities expected to accommodate that development. (Source: Michael Gallimore, Harry Spurr)

  • May 28, 2011 9:00 PM | Anonymous

    Edmonton... A partnership of government and business leaders has identified 18 priority actions to make Alberta’s economy more competitive, including steps to address Alberta’s looming labour shortage.

    In its report, Moving Alberta Forward, the Alberta Competitiveness Council recommends 13 sector-specific actions, as well as five general actions to improve Alberta’s overall competitiveness:  

    1. Increase participation and employment of groups under-represented in Alberta’s economy.
    2. Remove barriers to employing workers from other parts of Canada and abroad.
    3. Leverage and promote productivity networks like Productivity Alberta, so employers know where to go to find out what tools, services and programs are available to them.
    4. Assess the ability to increase weight limits to allow transportation of higher density components and heavier loads of equipment to Alberta’s oil sands projects.
    5. Establish measures to regularly assess Alberta’s regulatory performance.

Your Economic Development Network in Alberta


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