Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 19, 2009 13:05 ET

Creating Jobs and Helping Science Progress: Government of Canada Invests in Modernization of the Pesticide Laboratory at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Horticulture Research and...

...Development Centre in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

ST-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - May 19, 2009) - The Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), today announced a federal investment of $350,000 to modernize the pesticide testing laboratory at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Horticulture Research and Development Centre in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. The investment will allow for the renovation of the existing laboratory to update it and better support pesticide research, an important area for farmers.

This work was made possible under the Modernizing Federal Laboratories Initiative, which aims for the completion of maintenance work essential to the exercise of federal scientific responsibilities.

"By fostering pesticide research and development, we will contribute to the development of sustainable alternatives to current pesticides, an improvement that will give fresh impetus to a growing sector. This is also a demonstration of our will to respond to the desire of Canadians to see safer pesticides developed," explained Minister Jean-Pierre Blackburn.

For the Minister, the modernization of federal research facilities is all the more crucial as innovation is a guarantee of opportunities for farmers and for industry as a whole. "Innovation allows the sector to meet the requests of increasingly demanding consumers with safe, high-quality products that meet high environmental standards. The key to Canada's success in agriculture and agri-food lies in our scientific advances, and today the Government of Canada is taking concrete action to ensure that federal researchers have access to the facilities they need to support the sector in its search for success," added the Minister.

In Canada's Economic Action Plan presented in Budget 2009, the Government of Canada undertook to set up an accelerated capital program to provide $250 million over the next few years to modernize federal laboratories. This funding, one of many job-creating investments contained in the Economic Action Plan, aims to modernize these facilities while stimulating regional economies.

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



BACKGROUNDER

ABOUT THE HORTICULTURE RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTRE

The Horticulture Research and Development Centre - Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu

The funding for the Horticulture Research and Development Centre in Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu will be used to modernize the pesticide testing laboratory. This upgrade will enhance the capabilities of research being done under the Minor Use Pesticide Program of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Health Canada's Pest Management Regulatory Agency (PMRA). The laboratory will be partitioned into well ventilated smaller rooms that will enable staff to perform experiments under very strict health and safety conditions. The project will create up to four jobs for the construction phase. The production and commercialization of these new biopesticides are expected to create a few jobs over the next five years.

The Horticulture Research and Development Centre conducts research in the areas of sustainable production, pesticide management and preservation of the quality of crops and horticulture after harvesting. Scientists specialize in vegetables, tree fruits, small fruits, ornamental shrubs and new crops.

ABOUT THE MODERNIZATION OF 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 to address health and safety issues. 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's office where they were reviewed against criteria set out in Budget 2009, including:

- Projects must be completed by March 31, 2011.

- Projects must address maintenance issues in federal laboratories.

- Laboratories must comply with 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 Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Office: 613-947-7298
    Cell: 613-608-3252