Dylan Jones is the new head of PacifiCan, BC's regional development agency

The former deputy minister of Western Economic Diversity has legal and policy background with law degrees from UBC and Oxford.

On August 6th, the day after the Government of Canada launched Pacific Economic Development Canada (PacifiCan), the new regional development agency for BC, Dylan Jones was quietly appointed president of it. Jones previously served as deputy minister for PacifiCan predecessor Western Economic Diversification starting in 2016.

Jones, who will oversee the agency on behalf of Minister Joly, has legal and policy background with law degrees from UBC and Oxford.

In the mid-90s he served as a law clerk in a federal court before joining the CRTC for three years as an articling student and senior policy analyst. Following the CRTC, Jones held progressively more senior roles with the Government of Saskatchewan including executive director of strategic policy and deputy minister of intergovernmental affairs.

In May 2012, Jones joined the Canada West Foundation, a public policy think tank focused on issues of importance to Western Canada. After four years in that role, in 2016, he was tapped as deputy minister of Western Economic Diversification (WD) for just over five years until this recent PacifiCan appointment.

According to the government, the establishment of PacifiCan recognizes the diversity of Canada’s regional economies, specifically in BC. “British Columbia’s economy is growing and diversifying more each day, requiring a tailored approach that considers its needs and seizes its opportunities,” said Mélanie Joly, the federal Minister responsible for PacifiCan, at the organization’s launch.

In Budget 2021, the Government of Canada allocated $553.1 million over five years, starting in 2021-22, and $110.6 million ongoing for PacifiCan.

Like WD, PacifiCan will maintain an office in Vancouver and move to establish its new headquarters in Surrey and expand its reach by establishing new service locations in Victoria, Campbell River, Prince Rupert, Fort St. John, Prince George, Kelowna and Cranbrook over the coming months.