Archived — Minister Goodyear Visits Chatham–Kent to Discuss Future Plans for Jobs, Growth and Long-term Prosperity

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For immediate release
September 19, 2013

Chatham-Kent, Ontario — The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), along with Dave Van Kesteren, Member of Parliament for Chatham–Kent–Essex, visited the Chatham–Kent area today to discuss the role of FedDev Ontario in the region and to seek input on future Agency programs for southern Ontario.

"Our Government is focused on the priorities of Canadians, including creating jobs and the conditions for a strong, prosperous economy in southern Ontario," said Minister Goodyear. "I'm pleased to be here in Chatham–Kent with my colleague, MP Van Kesteren, to participate in a roundtable discussion to ensure we continue to create excellent programs that benefit the businesses and individuals in this community."

"I am proud to welcome Minister Goodyear to Chatham–Kent," said MP Van Kesteren. "Our conversations today focused on creating prosperity and a strong economic climate and I am glad that the Minister shares our vision for generating this success in our community and across southern Ontario."

At today's roundtable, stakeholders provided their views on potential areas of focus for FedDev Ontario programs including: support for innovation and commercialization, business growth, productivity and communities.

While in Chatham–Kent, Minister Goodyear and MP Van Kesteren toured GreenField Ethanol, which received $50,000 from La Cité collègiale through the Applied Research and Commercialization (ARC) initiative. GreenField Ethanol and La Cité collégiale are partnering to analyze the production process of its dry mill ethanol production plant to optimize its production process and further support the company in its efforts towards commercializing high-value co-products, such as dried distiller grains with solubles, generated as part of its main ethanol production process.

"Through FedDev Ontario's contribution under the ARC initiative, our work with La Cité collégiale has allowed us to examine, improve and maximize our production process. The Agency has played a significant role as our plant has surpassed 15 years of operation and produced nearly 3 billion litres of industrial and beverage alcohol since 1997," said Angelo Ligori, Plant Manager, GreenField Ethanol.

The Minister and MP finished up the day with a tour of the University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus to view the Bio Digester, which received up to $2.6 million through the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) Intake II. The Bio Digester creates renewable energy and serves as a research and training facility for the agricultural community.

"FedDev Ontario's funding for the "Centre for Agricultural Renewable Energy and Sustainability" (CARES) has been instrumental in rural community development in bio-energy and the bioeconomy," said Mr. Ken McEwan, Campus Director, University of Guelph Ridgetown Campus. "This project has advanced innovation and adoption of bio-energy in the agri-food sector by lowering risks, providing industry bench-marks and increasing scientific knowledge through the development of an applied research program. Many stakeholders have benefited from this project (i.e., producers, industry, etc.)."

Since its launch in 2009, the Agency has made significant progress in creating jobs and growing the economy. However, southern Ontario remains under considerable pressure, and more than ever our businesses and workers need to be more innovative and productive, and strive to access new markets.

Economic Action Plan 2013 demonstrated its continued commitment to workers, families and communities in southern Ontario with the renewal of FedDev Ontario.

Economic Action Plan 2013 provides $920 million for FedDev Ontario over five years, including $200 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Fund in Ontario, starting on April 1, 2014.

FedDev Ontario will also continue to promote business development, job creation and self-reliant communities in rural eastern Ontario by extending the Eastern Ontario Development Program for five years.

With renewed funding, FedDev Ontario will continue to act as a champion for the region supporting the development of a prosperous and globally competitive southern Ontario economy.

Details of new programming will be posted on the Agency's website at www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca as they become available, so stakeholders are encouraged to check back regularly.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
416-954-6652

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