New offices and expanded footprint will better support local economic development for British Columbians in the Southern Interior
KELOWNA, BC, Nov. 16, 2022 /CNW/ – From the Coast Mountains to the Kootenays, British Columbians across the Southern Interior are coming together to build their businesses and create vibrant communities. PacifiCan is here to help.
PacifiCan is the new federal economic development agency dedicated to British Columbians. PacifiCan works with partners across B.C. who are building innovative businesses, creating quality jobs, and supporting inclusive growth in communities across our province.
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan) announced the official opening of new offices in Kelowna and Cranbrook, serving businesses and communities, including Indigenous communities, across the Southern Interior of B.C.
Anchored by communities like Kamloops and Kelowna – some of the fastest growing cities in Canada – the region is known for its world-class skill hills, wines and cherries and is also home to a thriving tech community and innovative forestry and mining sectors. PacifiCan’s expanded footprint will help British Columbians in the Southern Interior build a stronger economy. With PacifiCan staff living and working in the region, British Columbians can better access high-impact, local investments and quality advice to advance the Southern Interior’s diverse economic interests.
At a launch event for the new service in Kelowna today, Minister Sajjan also announced over $6.3 million in PacifiCan funding for four dynamic businesses in the Southern Interior. This includes over $3.6 million for Pela, a Kelowna-based company reducing plastic waste from consumer products. With this funding, Pela will hire new staff, acquire new facilities, and target new markets for its products, including the world’s first compostable phone cases. Companies like Pela are creating jobs, attracting talent, and fostering B.C.-made solutions that have a global impact.
“There is an amazing story unfolding here in the Southern Interior of B.C. Canada and the world need more of what British Columbians have to offer. Today’s announcement is about working more closely together to support the growth of your businesses and respond to the priorities of your communities. Time and time again, British Columbians have shown they have the ambition and talent to prosper in a rapidly changing world. Thank you for welcoming us to your communities and we look forward to helping you succeed.”
– The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan)
“We are thrilled to receive PacifiCan funding. The financial support provided from PacifiCan will help expand our domestic manufacturing capabilities, create more sustainable job opportunities in western Canada and accelerate our international market expansion. This funding will be instrumental in supporting our aggressive growth and competitiveness as we expand globally and accelerate our mission to create a sustainable waste free future.”
– Jeremy Lang, Founder, Pela
“The Kootenay Association for Science and Technology (KAST) is excited to welcome PacifiCan to the Kootenays. PacifiCan has been instrumental in developing the West Kootenay innovation ecosystem by supporting KAST initiatives such as the Midas Fab Lab in Trail and the Nelson Innovation Centre in Nelson. KAST looks forward to exciting future partnerships with PacifiCan, supporting new technology and innovation in the Kootenay region.”
– Lorri Fehr, Board Chair, Kootenay Association for Science and Technology
- In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada provided funding for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) to transition into two new Regional Development Agencies – PrairiesCan, serving the Prairies, and PacifiCan, serving British Columbia.
- In August 2021, the Government of Canada launched PacifiCan and announced the plan to open new offices in Campbell River, Cranbrook, Fort St. John, Kelowna, Prince George, Prince Rupert and Victoria. PacifiCan has an existing office in Vancouver and a liaison office in Ottawa. PacifiCan will open a new head office in Surrey.
- This enhanced footprint will improve responsiveness to local needs and deepen connections with communities and businesses.
- PacifiCan is committed to growing its culture of service excellence and supporting clients through four key roles: investor, pathfinder, convenor and advisor.
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Backgrounder: Minister Sajjan announces new PacifiCan service in the Southern Interior of BC
Businesses in the Southern Interior of British Columbia receive $6.4 million to spur growth and create jobs
Today, the Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan, Minister of International Development and Minister responsible for the Pacific Economic Development Agency of Canada (PacifiCan), announced an investment of over $6.4 million through the Business Scale-up and Productivity program and Jobs and Growth Fund for four projects, located throughout B.C.’s Southern Interior.
The projects announced are:
Business Scale-up and Productivity
This funding will allow Pela to expand international sales and improve local manufacturing capacity for biodegradable consumer products through the hiring of new staff and development of marketing materials for global sales.
Fenix Advanced Materials Inc. ($1,000,000)
This funding will help Fenix Advanced Materials increase production of ultra-high purity cadmium and tellurium, both of which are used in the development of medical imaging and nuclear security technology.
Jobs and Growth Fund
Valid Manufacturing Ltd. ($1,680,000)
This support will help Valid Manufacturing establish wiring harness manufacturing in the Kootenay region, which will support the electrification and production of zero-emission heavy duty vehicles.
Great West Equipment Ltd. ($190,000)
This funding will allow Great West Equipment to adopt specialized training software, which will enhance productivity and increase performance.
SOURCE Pacific Economic Development Canada