News Release - May 18, 1999
FUNDING ANNOUNCED FOR APPAREL AND TEXTILE INDUSTRY
Natural Resources Canada Minister Ralph Goodale and Saskatchewan
Economic and Co-operative Development Minister Janice MacKinnon today
announced funding of $428,160 under the Canada-Saskatchewan Western
Economic Partnership Agreement (WEPA) to facilitate growth of the
apparel and textile industry, which currently employs 1,800 people,
mostly in rural Saskatchewan.
The Apparel and Textile Association of Saskatchewan (ATAS) will use
the funding for a provincial technology resource centre to make the
latest sector-related technology available to the industry. The
centre will also provide facilities for advanced technical training,
and give the industry new manufacturing equipment to contract for
large-volume export orders.
"This WEPA funding will provide an exciting opportunity to create
further growth in an important industry sector, one that already
contributes substantially to our economy," said Minister Goodale on
behalf of Ron J. Duhamel, Secretary of State for Western Economic
"We're helping small businesses invest in their future by
providing them with the resources and technology to increase
their manufacturing capacities, develop new products and, in
turn, create employment opportunities."
Minister MacKinnon said that access to the tools of innovation
will enhance the capacity of the Saskatchewan industry to create
jobs and opportunities in rural Saskatchewan.
"Our apparel and textile industry is experiencing phenomenal
growth a 76 per cent increase in the period from 1990 to 1995
alone," MacKinnon said. "Many of these firms are in our smaller
centres, providing hundreds of jobs and opportunities for people
in rural Saskatchewan.
"This initiative will address growth restrictions around training
and access to technology. With this targeted funding, the
industry will be able to compete on an more equal footing with
their much larger competitors around the world, clearing the way
for even faster growth."
Saskatchewan's apparel and textile industry consists of 400
companies, with annual sales in excess of $45 million. Sales are
expected to reach $300 million by 2017 and the industry is
projected to create up to 4,000 new jobs in the next 20 years.
"We appreciate the support from both levels of government and our
industry is particularly proud of this partnership," said ATAS
President Janet Lee. "The project will enhance the economic
viability and awareness of our sewn product manufacturing."
The WEPA, administered by Western Economic Diversification Canada
and Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development, will
direct $40 million over the next four years toward initiatives
that encourage new jobs and support new economic infrastructure,
tourism products, export and marketing initiatives, and new
economic opportunities, including rural, northern and Aboriginal
For more information, contact::
Manager, Consultations, Marketing and Communications
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Phone: (306) 975-5942
WD Toll-Free No:1-888-338-WEST(9378)
WD World Wide Web site:
English - http://www.wd.gc.ca
French - http://www.deo.gc.ca
Marilyn J. Pollock
Apparel and Textile Association of Saskatchewan Inc.
Phone: (306) 565-0065
Manager, Corporate Affairs
Saskatchewan Economic and Co-operative Development
Phone: (306) 787-1691