Economic and Regional Development Agreements

Economic and regional development agreements (ERDAs) refer to bilateral agreements between the federal government and each of the 10 provinces in effect from 1984 to 1994. The ERDA system was a major component of federal-regional economic policy over that period.

Economic and regional development agreements (ERDAs) refer to bilateral agreements between the federal government and each of the 10 provinces in effect from 1984 to 1994. The ERDA system was a major component of federal-regional economic policy over that period. An ERDA was essentially an umbrella agreement which set out general objectives and priorities for action and a co-ordinating structure, with a subsidiary agreement committing both governments to do certain things and usually to share costs. Over the period of their existence some $5 billion was committed by both levels of government by means of 93 subsidiary agreements. ERDAs were the shared responsibility of the federal minister responsible for the then Department of Regional Industrial Expansion (DRIE) and the minister's counterpart in each province. Since the early 1990s, the federal government has been reducing its involvement in regional economic development programs, sharply curtailing subsidies to industry. The ERDA experience was not renewed. DRIE was dismantled, and most of its functions, including the negotiation of new ERDA-style agreements, transferred to 4 regionally based economic development agencies (see regional economics).