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Home : Investments in the West : Community Economic Development : Urban Development Agreements

Urban Development Agreements

What are UDAs?

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.

What's the WD connection?

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.

What's been accomplished?

Regina Urban Development Agreement

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:

  • Ensuring community-based approaches to affordable housing, homelessness and the renewal of inner-city Regina neighbourhoods.
  • Developing cultural and recreational opportunities to enhance quality of life.
  • Supporting environmental protection and climate change solutions.
  • Strengthening Aboriginal participation in Regina's economy.
  • Promoting a positive business climate and Regina's competitiveness.
  • Addressing the strategic infrastructure needed to develop Regina physically, socially and economically.

View the news release to learn more about the Regina Urban Development Agreement . 
>> view news release 

Saskatoon Urban Development Agreement

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:

  • Building A Better City: Includes investments that would support a downtown that is a magnet for visitors and citizens of Saskatoon, a high standard of public infrastructure, and access to culture, arts and recreation for all Saskatoon citizens.
  • Sustainable Neighbourhoods: Includes investments that would help older Saskatoon neighbourhoods be safe, healthy, vibrant and inclusive places for all people to live and work, particularly residents who face barriers or are disadvantaged.
  • A Healthy And Innovative Environment: Includes investments that would support innovative business activity, and that further connections between the community and private firms, research facilities and educational institutions in innovation, research and technology.

View the news release to learn more about the Saskatoon Urban Development Agreement. 
>> view news release

Winnipeg Urban Development Agreements

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:

  • Winnipeg Core Area Initiative I ($96M) - 1981-1986
  • Winnipeg Core Area Initiative II ($100M)- 1986-1991
  • Winnipeg Development Agreement ($75M)- 1995-2001
  • Winnipeg Partnership Agreement ($75M) - 2004-2009
    - May 2004

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:

  • Aboriginal Participation: to enhance opportunities for Aboriginal people to participate fully in Winnipeg's economy and community life
  • Building Sustainable Neighbourhoods: to enhance neighbourhood renewal and build human capacity that will ensure economic viability
  • Downtown Renewal: to revitalize Winnipeg's downtown as a centre of commerce, entertainment, education and urban-life
  • Supporting Innovation and Technology: to build a knowledge-based economy and expand Winnipeg's national and international economic competitiveness

For more information, visit the Manitoba Intergovernmental Affairs  website or view the Winnipeg Urban Development Agreement news release.

Vancouver Agreement

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:

  • Revitalize the Hastings Street corridor (the heart of the Downtown Eastside)
  • Dismantle the open-drug scene
  • Turn problem hotels, particularly those that offer single-room-occupancy housing, into safe, clean places to live
  • Make the community safer for the most vulnerable, particularly women, youth and children

Carnegie Community Centre
Once home to Vancouver's first public library, the Carnegie Community Centre is often described as the Downtown Eastside's living room - a place where local residents can come to participate in a range of social, recreational and educational programs or to simply relax and socialize with others. WD has supported a number of programs offered at the Centre.

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.

What's on the horizon?

In the future, Urban Development Agreements may be signed in a number of other western Canadian cities.

Key Contacts

General Contact
Jim Monzer
Telephone: (780) 495-6881

Deanne Belisle
Telephone: (306) 975-4373
Liese Dorber
Telephone: (204) 983-0280

Michelle Neilly
Telephone: (604) 666-7011