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These agreements are a partnership of federal, provincial and municipal governments working in collaboration on broad issues such as inner city revitalization, strengthened innovation, or sustainable economic development. They are flexible instruments that coordinate action among government and result in the seamless delivery of programs and services. WD's urban development strategy recognizes that western Canadian cities are growing centres of economic activity. WD is focused on opportunities and challenges in urban development in the seven major cities in the West that will ensure full economic participation from all sectors of society. Western Canadian cities have the infrastructure - key industries, supporting sectors, training organizations and research universities - to work together and share information, technologies and labour force skills.
Urban Development Agreements are currently in place in Vancouver, Saskatoon, Regina, and Winnipeg. WD participates as a federal partner in each agreement, allocating its funds toward projects and initiatives that support economic development in the respective cities.
In May 2005, a new five-year UDA was announced in Regina. The tripartite agreement ($5 million from WD and $2.5 million each from the Government of Saskatchewan and the City of Regina) will initially focus on the city's inner-city neighbourhoods and downtown revitalization. The agreement sets out six priorities for action that focus on:
View the news release to learn more about the Regina Urban Development Agreement .
>> view news release
Announced in May 2005, this agreement will invest $10 million ($5 million from WD and $2.5 million each from the Government of Saskatchewan and the City of Saskatoon) in revitalizing the city's older neighbourhoods, encouraging participation in artistic, recreational and cultural activities, and promoting a positive business climate that attracts innovation.
Projects support one of these areas:
View the news release to learn more about the Saskatoon Urban Development Agreement.
>> view news release
In Winnipeg, the federal, provincial and municipal governments have developed a tradition of successful tripartite cooperation and partnership to address economic and social development issues. Four five-year agreements have been implemented since 1981:
Over 20 years, the first three tripartite agreements contributed $271 million to address Winnipeg's challenges and resulted in significant physical renewal in the downtown area, including redevelopment of two key areas: The Forks and the North Portage area, improvements to inner city neighbourhoods and business streets, community facilities, new and renovated inner-city housing, and delivery of innovative education and training initiatives directed to immigrants, Aboriginal persons, youth and women.
The purpose was to stimulate investment and employment, which would revitalize inner city areas. The agreements were catalysts that levered significant private and public sector investment. A total of $196 million in Winnipeg Core Area Agreement (I and II) funding levered $600 million in additional public and private (at 40%) sector investment.
The $75 million in tri-partite funding from the Winnipeg Development Agreement levered another $77 million from the private sector and $49 million from other government sources.
The three governments agree that effective, urban renewal efforts require long-term commitment, collaboration and coordinated action in partnership with the business, community, not-for-profit stakeholders and citizens.
The new Winnipeg Partnership Agreement was signed on May 20, 2004 by the governments of Canada, Manitoba and Winnipeg. It will fund projects in four strategic programs:
This agreement was renewed for a second five-year term lasting until March 2010.
The Vancouver agreement is contributing to major initiatives such as the creation of a non-profit organization to assist in the implementation of the Economic Revitalization Plan, the Carrall Street Greenway, a pedestrian and cyclist route linking False Creek to Chinatown and Gastown, the operation of North America's first supervised injection site, and improved social housing.
The scope of the Vancouver Agreement is broad and currently focuses on the city's Downtown Eastside. This neighbourhood faces severe problems of poverty, unemployment, drug addiction, mental illness, crime and a depressed economy.
These funds and contributions support initiatives in four priority areas:
In April 2003, the federal and provincial governments announced that each would contribute $10 million to the Vancouver Agreement. The City is also contributing in-kind goods and services, including space in city buildings, zoning and development costs, and heritage preservation incentives.
Before the creation of this $20 million fund, Vancouver Agreement partners shared existing resources between their respective levels of government. WD had already contributed about $7 million toward economic development investments in the Downtown Eastside. These include: the Chinatown Millennium Gate, lighting projects in Victory Square and Chinatown, establishment of the Interurban art gallery, and support to employment and business development organizations like Fast Track to Employment and local Business Improvement Associations.
In September 2004, the Institute for Public Administration of Canada awarded its highest annual prize for innovative public service management to the Vancouver Agreement in recognition of innovation and creativity in governance. The Vancouver Agreement also received a 2005 United Nations Public service Award and was cited for its innovative partnerships between government agencies, and with community groups and businesses. To read more about these awards view the WD news release Vancouver Agreement wins highest award for innovative management or the Vancouver Agreement Media Advisory.
For more information, visit the Vancouver Agreement website or view the Vancouver Agreement renewed for second five-year term news release.
In the future, Urban Development Agreements may be signed in a number of other western Canadian cities.
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