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Monday, September 01, 2014
Saskatchewan

GOVERNMENTS MAKE INVESTMENT TO CREATE AND MAINTAIN JOBS IN SASKATCHEWAN IRRIGATION DISTRICT

Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud announced joint federal - provincial funding to help expand and strengthen economic opportunities in the South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District (SSRID), Riverhurst Irrigation District and Luck Lake Irrigation District.

These projects will expand irrigation capacity by 15,000 acres in the SSRID, Riverhurst and Luck Lake Irrigation Districts. The resulting expansions will create 60 long-term jobs and 20 to 22 short-term jobs, while also sustaining 223 jobs across the three districts.

"Today's expansion will create more opportunities for our producers and our processors," said Yelich. "Our government wants to help create and maintain jobs on and off the farm and this investment will do just that so our region can emerge from this challenging time prosperous and stronger than ever."

"Irrigation is key to the success and growth of our agriculture industry in Saskatchewan," Bjornerud said. "We are pleased to provide this funding, as well as technical assistance from our ministry, to help develop these projects, expand our irrigation industry and create employment opportunities in our province."

"This is absolutely great news," SSRID Chairman of the Board of Trustees Grant Pederson said. "Our irrigation district has been attempting to expand for several years and were almost ready to show significant growth until the financial crisis hit. This grant will provide the needed capital to assist us to boost our irrigated acres and provide long-term sustainable growth in our community."

"This funding will help our district further irrigation plans and provide irrigation to younger farmers to develop their land," Riverhurst District Vice Chair Dale Ewan said. "In the future, the community hopes to attract agricultural industries."


"The community sees a great benefit from irrigation," Luck Lake Irrigation District Chairman Roy King said. "Increasing the acreage of irrigated farmland gives more people an opportunity to see these benefits."

Funding for these projects will go towards hiring contractors to design and construct the distribution works and install pipelines and associated materials for water delivery. The individual irrigation districts will oversee the purchase and installation of power grids and pumps to service their respective project areas.

Total federal funding of $4.77 million is being provided under the Community Adjustment Fund. This includes $1.44 million for both the SSRID and Riverhurst Irrigation District project and $1.89 million for the Luck Lake Irrigation District. The Government of Saskatchewan is contributing $210,000 to the Luck Lake project and $160,000 each to the Riverhurst and SSRID projects.

As part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Community Adjustment Fund is a two-year, $1-billion national program that will provide an economic stimulus by supporting projects that create jobs and maintain employment in rural communities.

The fund will provide $306 million over two years to support the most affected western Canadian communities, such as those that are heavily reliant on resource-based industries,such as forestry, mining, agriculture and fisheries, and communities that depend on the manufacturing industry. Western Economic Diversification Canada is delivering the fund in the four western provinces.

For more information on the Community Adjustment Fund, please visit www.wd-deo.gc.ca. To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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For more information, contact:

Joanne Mysak
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon
Phone: 306-975-5942 Jenna Webb
Agriculture
Regina
Phone: 306-787-2359

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