Minister Goodale announces support for Saskatchewan economy

News release

Federal investments help Saskatchewan businesses and organizations improve productivity, implement innovative processes, and increase efficiencies

August 26, 2019 – Regina, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada
 
Saskatchewan companies and organizations are contributing to the growth of Western Canada’s economy and the Government of Canada is supporting them as they develop new products and services, and create opportunities for western Canadians.

Today, the Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness, and Member of Parliament for Wascana, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada, announced $28,637,138 in funding for 22 companies and organizations in Saskatchewan.

Funding is provided under the national Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program, through the Business Scale-up and Productivity stream (BSP), Regional Innovation Ecosystems (RIE) funding, and the Steel and Aluminum Initiative. REGI is delivered by Canada’s regional development agencies to fuel economic growth through innovation and create more well-paying jobs for Canadians. Investments under BSP help businesses to accelerate their growth and assist them in scaling-up, and enhancing their productivity and competitiveness in domestic and global markets. RIE funding supports businesses through the innovation continuum by helping to foster an entrepreneurial environment conducive to innovation, growth, and competiveness.The Steel and Aluminum Initiative provides support to Canadian small- and medium-sized businesses within the steel and aluminum supply chains, investing in innovative projects to enhance productivity and firm competitiveness.

Among the recipients speaking at today’s event were:

  • Dot Technology Corp received $5,000,000 in repayable BSP funding to support the commercialization, sales, and service of its new autonomous vehicle capable of carrying a variety of Dot-ready farm implements to perform fieldwork. Dot’s unique technology has the potential to revolutionize fieldwork, with applications beginning in the agricultural tractor and implement industry, as well as future possible impacts on the mining and construction industries.
  • Hi-Tec Profiles received $1,000,000 in Steel and Aluminum Initiative funding to purchase and install high efficiency automated laser and plasma steel processing equipment. This new equipment will enable Hi-Tec Profiles to expand its capacity by up to 300 tonnes of additional steel and aluminum per month while significantly lowering energy consumption per tonne. Hi-Tec Profiles expects to add 6-10 additional operational and technical staff once the equipment is fully installed and implemented.
  • Avena Foods Limited received $1,826,398 in repayable BSP funding to establish a gluten-free oat processing facility in Rowatt, Saskatchewan. This facility will allow Avena to prepare product in their own controlled gluten-free environment and facilitate processing of organic gluten-free products, which will help to reduce production costs, improve efficiencies, and lower the risk of potential gluten contamination.

Quotes

“Our government supports western Canadian companies, innovators, and researchers that are important to regional economies across Canada. Investments like these support new technologies, economic growth, and the creation of good middle-class jobs.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada

“Saskatchewan is becoming an important centre for innovation, both in its traditional sectors like agriculture and resources, and in new fields like autonomous vehicles. These investments by the Government of Canada will support the development and commercialization of new technologies, expand the digital technology economy, and help steel and aluminum businesses protect and create jobs in our province.”

- The Honourable Ralph Goodale, Minister of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness and Member of Parliament for Regina-Wascana

“The WD program is an important resource and tool for Dot Technology Corp. It allows us to fast track a cutting edge Saskatchewan technology development on the path to global scale up and commercialization.”

- Jeff Bourassa, CFO, Dot Technology

“Avena Foods Limited is grateful to receive the repayable loan from Western Economic Diversification Canada. It is critical financing for the construction of an oat processing facility to serve our gluten-free oat mill. This will enable Avena to reduce production costs, allow greater control over the quality of our ingredients, and enable us to offer better service and marketing options to the farmers who sell their grain into this premium market.”

- Gord Flaten, CEO, Avena Foods Limited

“Like all large consumers of steel and aluminum, Hi-Tec Profiles has been negatively impacted by price instability and uncertainty in the market over the past several years. With the support of the Steel and Aluminum Initiative and a significant capital investment of our own, Hi-Tec Profiles looks forward to this new equipment and further transforming our production processes and ensuring that our customers can continue to compete in the Canadian and world markets. Our investments will allow us to expedite our transition to technology focused manufacturing jobs that prepare our company for the future.”

- Trent Meyer, President, Hi-Tec Profiles

Quick facts

  • Regional development agencies, such as Western Economic Diversification Canada, are one of Canada’s four flagship platforms supporting innovation, along with the Industrial Research Assistance Program, the Strategic Innovation Fund, and the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service.

  • The Regional Economic Growth through Innovation program builds on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan by providing regionally tailored, nationally consistent support for business productivity and scale-up, and helping to enhance regional technology clusters and innovation ecosystems.

Related products

Contacts

Rhonda Laing
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
306-975-5944
rhonda.laing@canada.ca

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