Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 08, 2009 15:59 ET

Creating Jobs and Benefitting Science - Government of Canada Invests in Upgrading Federal Laboratory in Morden

MORDEN, MANITOBA--(Marketwire - May 8, 2009) - Ms. Candice Hoeppner, Member of Parliament for Portage-Lisgar, today announced on behalf of the Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz, $250,000 in funding to modernize the Morden Research Station in Morden, Manitoba.

"In addition to driving agricultural research and keeping our food supply safe, our government investment will quickly bring economic stimulus to this region," said Ms. Hoeppner. "Our scientists and researchers will have safer and more modern work environments that will enhance research and development."

In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, over the next two years, to modernize federal laboratories. The funding, one of the many job-creating investments in the Economic Action Plan, will improve these facilities while providing economic stimulus in regions across the country.

"The Government of Canada is helping farmers prosper by ensuring that they are on the cutting edge of the agri-food sector," stated Minister Ritz. "By boosting research capabilities at the Morden Research Station, farmers will be able to deliver value-added products to Canadians."

This funding will modernize the growth control room at the Morden Research Station that is used by scientists to develop a new type of wheat that is resistant to a wheat stem rust that has the potential to devastate wheat crops.

The Morden Research Station is responsible for conducting research that helps farmers meet the needs of a changing marketplace, as well as the expectations of Canadians and world-consumers for the high quality and safe food Canada is known to produce.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit www.actionplan.gc.ca.


BACKGROUNDER

Modernizing Federal Laboratories

Project

Morden Research Centre

http://www4.agr.gc.ca/AAFC-AAC/display-afficher.do?id=1180643854086&lang equals eng

Department

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Location

Morden, Manitoba

Name and function of facility

The Morden Research Centre is linked to the Cereal Research Centre in Winnipeg, and develops new varieties and production technology, focusing on flax, pulse crops and landscape plants.

Funding amount

$250,000 (The full amount will be allocated in 2009-2010)

Project description

The funding will be used to replace the centre's outdated growth rooms and develop varieties resistant to the disease UG99, a new race of wheat stem rust that spreads and evolves quickly, and has the potential to devastate wheat crops. This research is only possible using stable and predictable growing environments that are provided by modern controlled environment chambers. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada is collaborating with the Canadian Food Inspection Agency to protect Canadian wheat crops. The project will create up to 3 jobs.

Modernizing Federal Laboratories

There are about 200 federal laboratories and scientific facilities in Canada. Activities at these laboratories include research, testing and regulatory services in areas such as health, safety, security, the economy, transportation, environmental protection, heritage and culture.

In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, over the next two years, to address deferred maintenance at federal laboratories.

This accelerated investment program is providing needed funds to address maintenance issues at federal laboratories and will provide economic stimulus in regions across the country. Service providers will be needed to address maintenance issues ranging from replacement of roofs, ventilation systems and boilers, to the updating of electrical systems.

In addition, the federal science community will benefit from updated laboratories where health and safety issues have been addressed. The quality of scientific activities in these laboratories will be enhanced because they will be better suited to modern scientific practice. This improved science and technology capacity will contribute to better health and safety outcomes for Canadians.

Project selection process

Federal departments and agencies were invited to submit proposals to the President of the Treasury Board which were reviewed against criteria set out in Budget 2009, including:

- Projects must be completed by March 31, 2011.

- Projects must addressed maintenance issues in federal laboratories.

- Laboratories must contribute to core federal regulatory responsibilities, advance science and technology capacity and/or contribute to enhance the health and safety of Canadians.

- Projects must provide economic stimulus.

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    613-759-7972
    1-866-345-7972
    or
    The Office of the Honourable Gerry Ritz
    Meagan Murdoch
    Press Secretary
    613-759-1059