Western Economic Diversification Canada

Western Economic Diversification Canada

September 30, 2011 15:30 ET

South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District Cuts Ribbon on Expansion

Project received $1.7 million through Canada's Economic Action Plan

OUTLOOK, SASKATCHEWAN--(Marketwire - Sept. 30, 2011) - Today, the Honourable Lynne Yelich, Minister of State for Western Economic Diversification, and Jim Reiter, Saskatchewan Minister of Highways and Infrastructure, on behalf of Agriculture Minister Bob Bjornerud, celebrated the completion of the South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District's (SSRID) expanded irrigation capacity.

"Today's celebration of the completion of the South Saskatchewan River Irrigation District's expansion illustrates the success of Canada's Economic Action Plan," said Minister Yelich. "Expansion of the local irrigation infrastructure helped to create jobs, stabilize existing agricultural operations in the region, and provide the necessary infrastructure to develop new opportunities in the future."

Federal funding of $1.7 million was provided to this project through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan. The Government of Saskatchewan contributed $190,000.

"The irrigation infill project at Tweeten North is an important Canada-Saskatchewan initiative that brings jobs and economic development to our province," Minister Reiter said. "The rapid uptake of irrigation through this project clearly demonstrates the willingness of our farmers to invest in economic growth."

SSRID constructed additional water pipelines, drainage ditches, and three-phase power-lines to expand upon existing irrigation infrastructure. The irrigation district also constructed its first pressurized pump house using centre pivots and pressurized mainlines in an area previously designated for flood irrigation. The increase in irrigated acres will create new business activity and value-added processing for agricultural producers, processors and services sectors in the region by attracting investment, creating employment and generating wealth.

"The Tweeten Project is coming into operation as a result of significant commitment from both the federal, provincial governments and SSRID with its irrigators," said Grant Pederson, Chairman of the SSRID Board of Trustees. "SSRID has had over $215,000 in expenditures and when all the individual irrigators come on line, they will have invested over $1,360,000 in field irrigation equipment. This will continue to provide for opportunities in job creation and employment sustainability in our community.

Irrigation around Lake Diefenbaker adds some $60 million to agricultural output every year and six times the number of rural jobs over the equivalent acres of dryland farming.

The CAF supported the most affected western Canadian communities, such as those that are heavily reliant on resource-based industries – like forestry, mining, agriculture and fisheries – and communities that depend on the manufacturing industry. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) delivered 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.

If there is a discrepancy between any printed version and the electronic version of this news release, the electronic version will prevail.

This news release is available online at: www.actionplan.gc.ca.

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