Canada's Economic Action Plan

Canada's Economic Action Plan

January 26, 2010 12:35 ET

Economic Action Plan to Help Quebec Livestock Sector

STE-ANNE-DES-PLAINES, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Jan. 26, 2010) - While in Terrebonne, the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Minister of State (Agriculture), was pleased to announce that as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Government of Canada will be investing in Canada's red meat sector through a loan of up to $2.7 million to assist Écolait, a Quebec firm specialized in the slaughter and processing of milk-fed veal calves. The federal support will help Écolait improve its storage capacity and upgrade its slaughterhouse plant technology. 

Écolait processes more than 100,000 head of veal in its facilities annually, raised by over 150 of its producer partners. With 50 per cent of its products exported, the company plays a major role in expanding market access for Canada's producers. This federal investment will help the company achieve major savings which will help to increase the profitability of its plant and that of its partners.

"In this current global economy, Canada must be able to rely on a strong and profitable red meat industry," said Minister Blackburn. "This investment will help Écolait cut its costs considerably and improve its operations, which by extension, will help Quebec producers capture new domestic and international markets."

Since its establishment in 1979, Écolait has made several major acquisitions and has grown to a staff of 350 employees. The company currently holds substantial market shares of 61 per cent in Quebec and 68 per cent in Canada.

About the Slaughter Improvement Program

With a budget of $50 million, the Slaughter Improvement Program makes federal repayable contributions available to support sound business plans aimed at reducing the costs, increasing the revenues and improving the operations of meat packing and processing operations in Canada.

This is the second project announced in Quebec under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Slaughter Improvement Program.

With more than $20 billion in sales, the red meat industry is the single largest food industry employer in Canada.

For more information on this program, visit

For more information on Canada's Economic Action Plan, visit

Contact Information

  • Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary