Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

September 09, 2005 14:18 ET

AAFC: Quebec Agricultural Producers to Receive $3.8 Million for Water Projects

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(CCNMatthews - Sept. 9, 2005) - The Government of Canada, Government of Quebec and Quebec agriculture industry are teaming up to help reduce the risk of water shortages for producers in the province.

Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Laurent Lessard, Quebec Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, and Denis Bilodeau, Vice-President of the Conseil pour le developpement de l'agriculture du Quebec (CDAQ) and of the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA), announced the implementation of the $3.8-million National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP) today. The program runs until March 2008.

"NWSEP aims to improve the reliability and quality of the water supply in Canada's agricultural areas," said Minister Mitchell. "The Government of Canada is helping ensure a strong and sustainable future for producers in Quebec, and across the country."

The minister added that planning, development, and adoption of sustainable practices geared to protecting water resources will also enable agricultural producers to diversify their production, and potentially increase their farms' profitability through more effective water management.

Mr. Lessard said the delivery of NWSEP in Quebec supports initiatives already undertaken under the province's water policy, which, among other things, strives to manage water resources from a sustainable development perspective.

"Projects funded under this program will also lend concrete support to the development of the agricultural sector while promoting resource protection and a quality environment," he said.

"The objectives of this program are in full harmony with the shift toward environmental protection made by the agricultural community in recent years," stated Mr. Bilodeau. "Indeed, we have noted an increase in the number of farm initiatives related to the responsible use of water. By supporting these initiatives, we acknowledge the actions undertaken and encourage the implementation of other projects in the future. Thus we will be building on the sustainable, diversified and high-quality agriculture that benefits Quebec today."

The CDAQ will administer NWSEP, with the support of a committee including representatives from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, the Quebec Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food, the UPA, the Conseil quebecois de l'horticulture, and federal and provincial environment departments.

The $3.8 million in federal funding for NWSEP in Quebec is over and above the funding in place from now until 2008 for environmental farm planning and the implementation of beneficial management practices.

Governments and industry are working together to intensify efforts to reduce agricultural risks and protect Canada's water resources, soil, air, and biodiversity.


Backgrounder

CANADA-QUEBEC NATIONAL WATER PROGRAM

The National Water Supply Expansion Program (NWSEP) is a four year, $60-million initiative to help agricultural producers deal with drought situations through expanded long-term water supply.

The objective of the program is to ensure the agricultural sector/community has access to secure, long-term, good quality water supplies to meet its growing needs and to reduce the risk of future water shortages through the planning and development of rural water resources.

The Canada-Quebec National Water Program is the Quebec component of the NWSEP. Through the Canada-Quebec National Water Program, the Government of Canada is providing $3.8 million for projects aimed at improving the quality and quantity of water supply for agricultural production. Feasibility studies will also be done to increase knowledge about the state of water supply and aquifers. Quebec will provide $850,000 in in-kind resources to support water supply initiatives at the farm level.

The program will be implemented in partnership with the Quebec Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAPAQ), the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and both federal and provincial Environment Departments. It will be delivered by the Conseil pour le developpement de l'agriculture du Quebec (CDAQ). The NWSEP in Quebec is fully supportive of the provincial water policy.

Eligibility requirements

Eligible applicants for Canada-Quebec National Water Program assistance include individuals and/or incorporated groups of farmers. To apply for program assistance, submit an Application for Assistance or project proposal, which can be obtained through CDAQ. Applications will be accepted until the program ends on March 31, 2008.

Further information

For more information, please contact Marc Chenier, Environment Coordinator, Environment Team, (514) 283-3815, ext. 510.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Ottawa, ON
    Media Relations
    (613) 759-7972 or 1-866-345-7972
    or
    Minister's Office, Ottawa, ON
    Matt Tolley
    (613) 759-1059
    or
    CDAQ
    Catherine Villeneuve
    Communications Officer
    (450) 679-0540, ext. 8368
    or
    Minister's Office, Quebec City
    Andre Menard
    Press Secretary
    (418) 380-2525