Top Crop Manager

Government of Canada helps farmers and economy

During the past weekend, the federal agriculture ministry announced funding initiatives totalling more than $10 million for an upgraded federal laboratory in Swift Current, and the construction of a new greenhouse research facility in Charlottetown.

May 12, 2009  By Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

May 12, 2009

Swift Current, Saskatchewan -The Government of Canada is creating jobs and driving research by delivering $5 million, over the next two years, to modernize the Semiarid Prairie Agricultural Research Centre (SPARC). Member of Parliament David Anderson (Cypress Hills – Grasslands) and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Natural Resources and for the Canadian Wheat Board, made the announcement today on behalf of Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz.

"This smart investment will strengthen our laboratories, create jobs for the region, and benefit local farmers," said Mr. Anderson. "SPARC is an incredible asset to Southwest Saskatchewan, where decades of world-class work has directly impacted the bottom line for our producers. Local farmers know how important these investments are."


SPARC is one of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) network of 19 research centres. Located at Swift Current, Saskatchewan, the research centre conducts major agricultural research on the dryland regions of Canada's Prairies. Almost all the durum wheat and nearly half of the spring wheat grown in western Canada traces its origins to research from the Centre.

In Budget 2009, Canada's Economic Action Plan, the federal government committed to an accelerated investment program to provide $250 million, during 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.

"This funding will help replace aging greenhouse facilities with a safer, more energy efficient structure," said Mr. Anderson. "Our scientists and researchers will have safer and more modern work environments, enhancing research and development and resulting in better health and safety outcomes for Canadians."

And from Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, the Government of Canada announced it will create jobs and drive research by delivering $5.4 million for the Crops and Livestock Research Centre. Federal Agriculture Minister Gerry Ritz and Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Gail Shea today announced the funding that will create 57 construction jobs and expand the research centre's greenhouse facilities.

"Our government is creating jobs by building research facilities that will keep our farmers at the cutting edge," said Minister Ritz. "The new facility will support research into plant breeding and the health benefits of agricultural products that will lead to more profit for farmers and even better products for Canadians."

"This is an important investment in our community," said Minister Shea, who also serves as Regional Minister for P.E.I. and Member of Parliament for Egmont. "The immediate economic benefit will be the jobs created during the construction phase, but the longer term benefits will come from the agricultural research being done at this facility."

At the Harrington field research site, a large greenhouse and a headerhouse (a large, open work area next to the greenhouse) will replace the ageing greenhouses now in Charlottetown. The new facility will enhance the research capabilities of scientists doing work with insect populations, plant breeding, health research on plants, and other groundbreaking work in the bioscience sector.

This investment in the future of the research centre comes during a milestone year. 2009 marks the 100th anniversary of the Crops and Livestock Research Centre, 100 years of science in support of agriculture here in PEI and across the country.

To learn more about Canada's Economic Action Plan, please visit

For more information about the Crops and Livestock Research Centre, please visit the Science and Innovation section of the AAFC website


Stories continue below