Mr. Speaker, as this is the first time I rise in this House, I want to thank the amazing people of Winnipeg South for their continued support. I promise them that I will do my very best to serve them well over the next number of years.
I want to congratulate the hon. member for Edmonton Strathcona on her election. I thank her for her passionate address and for her question.
We know, as we move forward as a country, that we have to include all Canadians and ensure that everyone has a real and fair chance to succeed. This government worked hard in the last Parliament to support Albertans who are going through tough times, and we will continue to do so in this Parliament.
We recognize the challenges facing workers in our resource sector. With the lower prices on international commodities, there have been some very difficult times for workers, particularly in the prairies. That is why, after many years of trying and failing by previous governments, we are moving forward on building the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion. There are shovels in the ground and thousands of Canadians hired to make sure that we can get our energy resources to new markets responsibly and sustainably. Our government is about partnering with westerners to develop the west's economy and advance its economic interests.
I am from the prairies. I have lived most of my life in the prairies. I am a University of Calgary graduate. I worked with farmers in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba over many years, and I know that westerners want to be heard and seen. Let me assure the hon. member that this government is listening and acting.
Our priority is to spur innovation, diversification and economic growth in communities across Canada, including Alberta. One key way our government supports Alberta is through the regional development agency focused on the west: Western Economic Diversification Canada, or WD for short.
Through WD, the federal government is partnering with Albertans and other western businesses and entrepreneurs to harness their skills and ingenuity. This partnership helps create the business environment and opportunities that will grow the economy. WD offers support to businesses that are starting up, want to scale up or need help getting their products and services to international markets.
Earlier this year, after engaging with westerners, WD developed the western Canada growth strategy. Grow West is a whole-of-government effort to build on a solid climate for investors, support small and medium-sized businesses and connect western enterprises to export markets and offshore supply chains.
As recently as September of 2019, our government announced over $27 million in new investments for 23 projects across the city and surrounding areas. Over $18 million was provided through business scale-up and productivity funding, which will support small and medium-sized businesses in Edmonton by providing interest-free loans for these projects. Another $6 million was announced through the regional innovation ecosystems program for projects in Edmonton, supporting a diverse range of innovations in advanced manufacturing.
This government's support for Alberta does not stop there. However, I have a little too much to say and too little time, so I will end by saying that this government will continue to invest in Alberta and Albertans, because we know that when Alberta does well, Canada does well.