WestDef 2017

WestDef began in 2010 as an opportunity to showcase capacity and capability of aerospace and defence companies in the western region. Over the last 7 years, it has evolved into an event where corporate executives, policy makers, investors, entrepreneurs, innovators and industry thought-leaders gather to examine trends, develop innovation strategies, and discuss supply chain opportunities. Attendees make high-level contacts, get exclusive insights into opportunities and participate in thought-provoking discussions. WestDef has become a place to meet and connect, it is the only conference of its kind for Aerospace, Defence and Security in Canada. 

Last year the Government of Canada announced that they launched a Defence Policy Review and invited Canadians to participate in the process by attending public sessions providing written submissions to the committee. As a result of that, the format of our annual WestDef event was changed into a forum we called The Voice of the West. Following that successful event we submitted a formal paper to the Defence Policy Review committee.

The key points in the submission were that:

  • There will be a renewed focus on sustaining the existing domestic In-Service Support (ISS) industrial base, with access to the required Intellectual Property (IP) from foreign suppliers that is vital to the sustainment and availability of Canadian defence platforms.

  • There will be an expansive use of the robust Western experience in the critical capability of Cyber hardening and embedded systems in the national defence sector.

  • There will be a renewed focus on Federal Government Research and Development (R&D) investment to enable the design of new defence focused solutions that will lead to supporting local manufacturing and, ultimately, to international export.

  • The National Shipbuilding strategy will continue to progress as an example of a national defence industrial strategy in action.

  • The GOC will develop and regularly update a clear shortlist of defence program priorities and ensure stabilized funding is available for future capital investment. 
Feedback received from the attendees of Voice of The West was very positive; they felt that the open forum and panel discussion format was highly successful. In general they appreciated getting a chance to voice their opinions and to have a final deliverable form the conference sent to the government of Canada. 

“Supporting the Future – Ensuring a robust and sustainable Canadian defence industry”.

Building on the success of that event, WestDef this year will be another Voice of the West style forum. The plan for this year is to take two of the key points from our Defence Policy Review submission and prepare formal submissions to the government. The target for our papers will be the Minister of National Defence, Minister of Public Services and Procurement and Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

 Western Canadian Defence Industries Association (WCDIA)

The Western Canadian Defence Industries Association (WCDIA) is a regional not for profit industry association representing over 250 companies, academia and government agencies. We have membership coverage across British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba and are the voice for industry in western Canada.

WCDIA's role is to facilitate the development of the defence, security and law enforcement industries in western Canada. WCDIA focuses on strengthening our members' business growth, our region’s economy, and Canada's security through education, networking and advocacy.

Activities and services are provided to foster our members' growth through:

    • Events and Conferences
    • Training and Education
    • Networking 
    • Advocacy


WCDIA serves as an intermediary between members and the defence industry in Canada and abroad. WCDIA can make the right connections.

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