Atlantic Canada is well-known for its abundance of natural resources, its proud maritime history, and its significance to all Canadians as the birthplace of Confederation 150 years ago.

The region continues to capitalize on its traditional industries, but it is also home to world-class post-secondary institutions, cutting-edge research institutes, and high-tech firms that are making their mark in highly competitive global sectors like clean technology, bioscience, and information technology.

Clearly, Atlantic Canadians have the drive, the talent, and the forward thinking needed to keep pace and succeed in a rapidly changing global environment.

This was true in the past, as proven by Sir Sanford Fleming, who proposed worldwide standard time zones. And by Alexander Graham Bell, who invented the telephone.

That same ingenuity and innovation continue to thrive in Atlantic Canada today — as seen through new products and processes developed by Atlantic Canadians that are, for example, transforming concrete production, dentistry, and the safety and security of airplanes in flight.

An example of Atlantic Canadian excellence is the Canadian connection to Tesla.  Jeffery Dahn, a researcher and professor in chemistry and physics at Dalhousie University, partnered with the electric car company to design its rechargeable batteries.

At Tesla, Dahn is creating car batteries that are cheaper and can potentially last for decades. His work — which won him Canada’s top science prize — has the potential to transform the way we power the cars of the future.

Recognizing that strong and sustainable regional economies are the building blocks for inclusive growth, the Government of Canada has developed a new approach to regional innovation and development.

The goal is to promote regional advantages that help homegrown companies develop into globally competitive successes, and attract global companies to invest in all regions of the country.

Through the Atlantic Growth Strategy, we strive to meet these goals. This strategy focuses the efforts and resources of the federal and the four Atlantic provincial governments on a targeted, results-based economic development plan with a common vision, and co-operative actions to advance Atlantic Canada’s economic growth and long-term prosperity.

Launched in July 2016, the Atlantic Growth Strategy is focused on five key areas:

Innovation

Fostering collaboration between businesses and research partners will help firms scale up, commercialize research, and work to generate new ideas in various sectors such as fisheries, forestry, and agriculture, and emerging industries such as bioscience and renewable energy. This will help create the well-paying middle- class jobs of today and tomorrow.

Skilled workforce and immigration

Atlantic Canada’s workforce of 1.2 million possesses a diverse skill set and has among the lowest absenteeism and turnover rates in all of North America.  We are enhancing that strength and addressing skills shortages by connecting educated young people with local career opportunities, providing training for unemployed and underemployed workers, and launching a three-year, employer-driven pilot program to attract and retain newcomers.

Trade and investment

Trade accounts for 32 percent of Atlantic Canada’s gross domestic product. The region exports $35 billion worth of goods and services each year, which sustains over 150,000 jobs.  We are helping companies expand and diversify into international markets, and are attracting foreign direct investment by promoting Atlantic Canada as a premier investment destination.

Clean growth and climate change

We are building a diversified, sustainable economy by promoting clean growth that addresses climate change through investments in clean technology — products, processes, and services that improve on environmental performance. This will enable clean technology companies to grow, open up new markets, and create middle-class jobs for Atlantic Canadians.

Infrastructure

We are improving and expanding water, wastewater, and public transit systems, and enhancing infrastructure — including infrastructure at Atlantic post-secondary institutions — to create jobs, boost the economy, and support long-term economic growth.

Already, the Atlantic Growth Strategy is yielding results. It is propelling the growth of high-impact companies; it is encouraging clean economic growth; it is spurring innovation in the fish and seafood sector; and it is setting the stage for increased trade and investment in Atlantic Canada. 

All of these efforts are helping to increase the region’s capacity to innovate and grow, creating more opportunities to do business and succeed in the global economy. In turn, this will create good jobs and bring long-term prosperity to Atlantic Canada’s middle class and those working hard to join it.