Watson Lake receives funding for regional economic development project

The Town of Watson Lake has been awarded $49,700 for a regional economic development project through the Government of Yukon’s Regional Economic Development Fund. This funding will support the implementation of prioritized community and economic development initiatives focused on governance, land development, procurement, tourism and encouraging local economic activity.

The project is made up of the following four initiatives to be undertaken from June 2019 to March 2020.

  1. A study of development options for vacant or underutilized lands, including mechanisms to incentivize development, and a report for the Town of Watson Lake’s Council.
  2. A study of the role of tax exemptions and grants in incentivizing local economic development. The study will be used to develop a draft tax exemptions and grants policy for the Council’s review.
  3. An update of Watson Lake’s procurement policy to include provisions for local spending and value-driven procurement.
  4. Research into how Watson Lake can become a leading tourist destination along the Alaska Highway, in preparation for separate and subsequent project phases focused on the development of a strategy.

Watson Lake has great potential to become a leading tourist destination along the Alaska Highway and this funding will help identify and maximize economic growth and development opportunities for local businesses and residents. We are proud to support regional economic development projects as part of our commitment to diversify and grow Yukon’s economy.

Minister of Economic Development Ranj Pillai

We’re very excited about the new economic development opportunities in our community that this funding will enable us to explore. We also look forward to collaborating with the Watson Lake Chamber of Commerce and non-governmental organizations as we move forward with this regional economic development project.

Mayor of Watson Lake Cheryl O'Brien

Quick facts 
  • The Regional Economic Development Fund provides up to $50,000 per project for economic planning, opportunity identification and capacity development at the regional and community level in Yukon.


  • Regional Economic Development Fund provides up to 75 per cent of the total proposal costs.

  • Eligible organizations include municipal and First Nations governments, local governing bodies, Yukon First Nation development corporations, community associations and Yukon businesses (registered with Corporate Affairs) or business-related organizations.


Lisa Bucher
Cabinet Communications

Jason Seaton
Communications, Economic Development

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