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Wednesday, September 17, 2014
Saskatchewan

GOVERNMENTS OF CANADA AND SASKATCHEWAN ANNOUNCE ADDITIONAL INVESTMENT TO HELP CREATE AND MAINTAIN JOBS IN IRRIGATION INDUSTRY

Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and Saskatchewan Highways and Infrastructure Minister and MLA for Rosetown-Elrose Jim Reiter, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud, announced additional federal and provincial support to strengthen economic opportunities in the South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District (SSRID), Riverhurst Irrigation District and Luck Lake Irrigation District.

"We know that these irrigation districts have been attempting to expand for several years," said Yelich. "That's why our government made the initial investment in these three projects. With today's increased funding, we can further assist our producers by creating jobs and maintaining employment both on and off the farm."

These projects are expanding irrigation capacity by 15,000 acres in the SSRID, Riverhurst and Luck Lake Irrigation Districts.

"The Government of Saskatchewan recognizes the value of these irrigation projects to our agriculture industry, and to Saskatchewan's overall economy," Reiter said. "We are pleased to work together with our partners and provide the necessary funding to make these projects a success."

The additional funding for these projects will go toward hiring of engineering consultants to design the irrigation distribution works and contractors to install the pumps, pipelines and power lines. The individual irrigation districts will oversee the purchase and installation of the works to service their respective projects.

Additional federal funding of $810,000, for a total of $5.58 million, is being provided under the Community Adjustment Fund. This includes $1.71 million each toward the SSRID and Riverhurst Irrigation District projects and $2.16 million for the Luck Lake Irrigation District. The Government of Saskatchewan is contributing an additional $90,000 to these projects, resulting in a total provincial contribution of $190,000 each to the Riverhurst and SSRID Districts and $240,000 to the Luck Lake Irrigation District.

"Irrigation, water management, sustainability, rural development all comes hand in hand in our district," SSRID Vice-Chair Greg Sommerfeld said. "Challenge this with the cost of infrastructure and economic feasibility of expansion projects and you have what South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District #1 has been faced with since receiving initial funding from Western Diversification. This additional funding will assist us in adding new irrigation acres to our district, as well it has reinforced the demand for continual expansion of irrigation acres."

"We all know that if farmers are given one dollar they will spend two," Riverhurst Irrigation District Chair Lorne Jackson said. "We are thankful the Community Adjustment Fund has provided more funding, as our plans exceeded the first allotment. We are pleased to have received both federal and provincial funding for use in our area. The money spent on job creation helps infill our irrigation district."

"Luck Lake Irrigation District appreciates the continued support of the federal and provincial governments for a vital industry in the Lake Diefenbaker area," Luck Lake Irrigation District Vice-Chair Randy Bergstrom said. "The increased funding will enable the District to complete construction of our infill initiative which will be completed by March, 2011. Construction of the project creates short term jobs, and intensified irrigation creates long term employment in the Lake Diefenbaker area."

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, for instance forestry, mining, agriculture and fisheries, and communities that depend on the manufacturing industry. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering the fund in the four western provinces.

Visit the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) in the West or Canada's Economic Action Plan for more information.

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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
Email: jenna.webb@gov.sk.ca

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