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The Government of Canada’s Economic Action Plan

The Economic Action Plan (EAP) is the Government of Canada’s plan to counter the effects of the global recession at home, while working with our international partners for a quick return to global economic growth and long term prosperity.

The EAP contains major targeted action across four broad priorities:

  • Further reducing the tax burden on Canadian individuals, families and businesses.
  • Smart stimulus spending that creates jobs.
  • Helping the Canadians that are hardest hit by the recession.
  • Strengthening the Financial System and Improving Access to Credit.

As of June 11, 2009, eighty per cent of EAP initiatives are already being implemented.

WD’s role under the EAP is to deliver the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) and Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program in Western Canada. These two initiatives support the Canada’s Economic Action Plan by creating jobs, upgrading community infrastructure and stimulating local economies across the West.

For more information, visit: http://www.actionplan.gc.ca/

Minister Yelich participated in eight round table discussions across Western Canada

Minister Yelich participated in eight round table discussions across Western Canada

Listening to Communities

Like most countries around the world, Canada is grappling with the impact of the global recession. Canadians are facing reduced availability of financing, declining demands for Canadian exports and reduced profits due to the sharp drop in commodity prices.

The global recession has also had a dramatic impact on the communities that rely on resource based industries – including forestry, mining, agriculture, fisheries, oil and gas – and communities that depend on the manufacturing industry.

In May 2009, Minister of State Lynne Yelich visited eight communities across Western Canada, holding roundtable discussions with representatives from local chambers of commerce, town councils, economic development organizations, industry and small business owners.

These roundtables are a chance to hear first hand how our western communities have been affected by the current global economic slowdown,” said Minister of State Yelich. “They are an opportunity to hear directly what the needs are of communities and how our Government can help as we face these challenging”.

Over the course of her tour, Minister Yelich learned about the specific impacts that the global recession has had on western communities and has opened up a dialogue to explore economic development opportunities that would provide short term stimulus and strengthen local economies over the long term.

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Strengthening Forestry Communities in Northern Saskatchewan

Vice Chief Eric Sylvestre, Meadow Lake Tribal Council; Minister of State Lynne Yelich; Chief Helen Ben, Meadow Lake Tribal Council; Mayor Darwin Obrigewitsch, Town of Meadow Lake; and, MP Rob Clarke at the NorSask sawmill in Meadow Lake.

Vice Chief Eric Sylvestre, Meadow Lake Tribal Council; Minister of State Lynne Yelich; Chief Helen Ben, Meadow Lake Tribal Council; Mayor Darwin Obrigewitsch, Town of Meadow Lake; and, MP Rob Clarke at the NorSask sawmill in Meadow Lake.

The forestry industry is a vital source of jobs and economic activity for communities across Northern Saskatchewan. As forestry-based communities across Canada adjust to the global recession, it is crucial we continue to invest in new projects and technologies that diversify local economies and strengthen the long term sustainability of traditional industries.

The forestry industry is a vital source of jobs and economic activity for communities across Northern Saskatchewan. As forestry-based communities across Canada adjust to the global recession, it is crucial we continue to invest in new projects and technologies that diversify local economies and strengthen the long term sustainability of traditional industries.

In May 2009, Minister of State Yelich travelled to Meadow Lake to announce $355,000 towards a project that will help diversify the local economy and sustain Northern Saskatchewan’s forestry industry. The WD investment will enable the Meadow Lake Tribal Council Resource Development Inc. (MLTC) to renovate its test facility and assist with the testing of new technology, processes and equipment for new wood products.

Our Government understands forestry communities are experiencing difficult times,” said Minister of State Yelich. “The Meadow Lake saw mill and wood harvesting operation are two of the most important economic contributors to the northern Saskatchewan economy. That’s why our Government is making this investment so we can help our communities that need it most during this global recession.

The development of new technologies and products will benefit MLTC by expanding potential revenue streams and increasing employment opportunities in the region. This funding also enables the MLTC to improve operational efficiencies and add environmentally-friendly products to its wood product line.

MLTC is very pleased to receive funding from WD in order to move forward on new technology initiatives,” said Tribal Chief Helen Ben. “The future of the forestry sector depends on new ideas and greater diversification. Our communities will benefit substantially if we can develop a prosperous future for forestry.

For example, the MLTC will partner with Cameco Corporation – a leading mining company with four mines in northern Saskatchewan – to develop a wood pellet heating system. Presently, Cameco uses propane to heat its facilities, which costs the company $45 million annually. The development and use of this technology would be better for the environment and could save Cameco approximately $30 million in heating costs per year.

Other products and technologies that may result from this investment include electrical generation from wood biomass; ethanol and biodiesel technologies; new composite construction products; cellulose-based textile products; and biopharmaceutical products.

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Delivering for Communities

Senator Nancy Greene Raine; Dave Haywood-Farmer, BC Cattlemen’s Assoc.; Minister Yelich, BC Minister Bill Bennett; MP Cathy McLeod; and MLA Terry Lake following the announcement July 2009

Senator Nancy Greene Raine; Dave Haywood-Farmer, BC Cattlemen’s Assoc.; Minister Yelich, BC Minister Bill Bennett; MP Cathy McLeod; and MLA Terry Lake following the announcement July 2009

The Community Adjustment Fund

Investing in B.C.’s Ranching Industry

With the downsizing of the ranching industry and forestry sector challenges, many workers from rural communities are unable to find alternate employment. A recent federal and provincial investment under the Job Opportunities Program will help put resource workers back to work while enhancing British Columbia’s ranching industry.

What is the Community Adjustment Fund?

A part of Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) is a two-year, $1-billion national program that will provide an economic stimulus by supporting projects that create jobs and maintain employment in rural communities.

The fund will provide $306-million over two years to support the most affected western Canadian communities, such as those that are heavily reliant on resource-based industries. Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD) is delivering the fund in the four western provinces.

To date, WD has invested more than $127.6 million towards 124 CAF projects across the West.

The British Columbia Cattlemen’s Association will receive more than $5.5 million to deliver several different range fencing-related components on crown land, including fence line protection and replacing aging fences.

Projects like this will ensure that jobs are created quickly, that families and workers are able to find economic security and provide the region with much needed fencing to protect both cattle and people,” said Minister of State Yelich.

It is estimated that 130 fencing and fence protection projects will be completed with this funding. This project will create jobs, strengthen local economies and provide much-needed fences along crown land to protect both cattle and people.

This project is in keeping with the goals of the federal and provincial governments, as detailed in Canada’s Economic Action Plan and British Columbia’s Ranching Task Force, which are both working to create and maintain jobs for a strong, vibrant and sustainable economy.

The Government of Canada has contributed a total of $30 million toward the Province of British Columbia’s Job Opportunities Program, which will support projects that meet all the federal requirements for funding under the Community Adjustment Fund.

Investing in Alberta’s Forestry Industry

Canada’s Economic Action Plan includes several measures that focus on strengthening Canada’s competitiveness and productivity. The Community Adjustment Fund – or CAF as it is known – is one of these measures.

On June 5, 2009, Minister of State Yelich announced the first CAF investment of $15 million to support Alberta forestry workers affected by the recession. The Province of Alberta also made an equal investment of $15 million towards a project that enables the Forest Resource Improvement Association of Alberta (FRIAA) to implement FireSmart projects across Alberta.

Minister Yelich and Minister Ambrose along with Provincial Forestry Warehouse staff examine the equipment that will be used by workers employed through the FireSmart program.

Minister Yelich and Minister Ambrose along with Provincial Forestry Warehouse staff examine the equipment that will be used by workers employed through the FireSmart program.

There is no doubt that the current global recession is affecting our families, our communities, and our country. Taking action on the economy is this Government’s number one priority,” said Minister of State Yelich. “Through the Economic Action Plan, we are helping strengthen all communities, to remain strong, healthy and resilient for generations to come.

The $30 million investment provides immediate economic stimulus for Alberta communities, reduces the risk of wildfire, and supports forestry management. Over a two-year period, projects under FireSmart are expected to create 3,000 seasonal or 1,149 full-time one year positions.

Investing in Saskatchewan’s Agriculture Industry

With record low rain levels in Saskatchewan, farmers have not able to rely on rainfall to ensure the healthy growth of their crops. A recent investment under the Community Adjustment Fund will help communities weather future droughts and provide stimulus during the current economic crisis.

Our investment is about helping our producers during these challenging times,” said Member of Parliament David Anderson. “Investments such as this are creating and protecting jobs, while addressing the challenges the agriculture sector faces.

Funding for the irrigation projects will support hiring contractors to design and construct the distribution works and install pipelines and associated materials for water delivery. The individual Irrigation Districts will oversee the purchase and installation of power grids and pumps to service their respective project areas. Together, these projects will result in 32 long-term sustainable jobs in the agriculture industry plus 118 long-term jobs associated with supporting and servicing the industry.

The Riverhurst Irrigation District Inc. and Luck Lake Irrigation District, Inc. will help strengthen economic opportunities in the communities of Riverhurst, Central Butte, Lucky Lake and Birsay, and the Rural Municipalities of Maple Bush, Enfield, Coteau and Canaan.

Federal funding of over $3.3 million is being provided under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF). The Saskatchewan Ministry of Agriculture is contributing an additional $370,000.

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CAF is on board to invest in Manitoba short-line railway

Railcars will soon be running along the railway west of Morden, helping southern Manitoba agricultural producers save on transport costs.

Federal funding of $1 million under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) is supporting the Boundary Trail Railway Company (BTRC) in establishing a short-line railway operation in the communities of Morden, Manitou, Darlingford, La Rivière, and the Rural Municipalities of Stanley and Pembina that will provide rail transport service for the region’s agricultural producers and other businesses on the section of track between Morden and Binney Siding just west of Manitou.

Federal funding was the last piece of the puzzle. We are confident that, with the Federal Government’s substantial funding announced today, BTRC is positioned to make a strong contribution not only for local producers, but in the economies of the communities served by the rail line,” said Kevin Friesen, President of BTRC.

The communities will benefit significantly from this project, as it will reduce transportation costs of hauling fees for farmers, thus increasing the profitability of local farm businesses. This project will create and/or sustain full and part-time employment opportunities; generate multiple commercial construction projects in several communities; create new commercial tax revenues and retain existing railway tax revenues for local governments; increase demand of materials and supplies from local businesses; enhance the profile of the local area for industries looking to locate in rural communities; and retain corporate revenues in the local community.

Up to 250 grain cars are expected to be on the line by year-end.

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RInC at work in the West

RInC funds makes a splash in Edmonton

Construction and redevelopment of Edmonton’s oldest pool started in August 2009 to make the outdoor facility modern and accessible for people of all ages.

Federal funding of $1 million under the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program will create jobs and ensure that the Queen Elizabeth Pool will continue to serve Edmontonians as it has for the last 80 years

"This funding will enable us to not only build the pool, but also add many other important features that would not have otherwise been possible," said John Stobbe, President of the Friends of the Queen Elizabeth Pool Society. "The citizens of Edmonton will once again have a first class outdoor swimming facility that will be the new pride in Edmonton's River Valley."

The RInC investment supports the construction of a six-lane pool that will accommodate diving and other activities. Additional features will include easy and accessible entry for children and seniors, diving boards, a spray park and picnic area, and mechanical and filtration systems.

The new pool is expected to open in summer 2011.

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RInC funding brings generations together in New Westminster

What is the Recreational Infrastructure Canada Program (RInC)?

The Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program provides $500 million nationally for projects to rehabilitate recreational facilities across Canada that can be completed by March 31, 2011.

The program is designed to provide economic stimulus and help mitigate the impacts of the global economic recession by increasing the total amount of construction activity related to recreational infrastructure. Through the rehabilitation of recreational infrastructure, this program also encourages participation in physical activity and community building.

Western Economic Diversification Canada is responsible for delivering the program in Western Canada, with the first allocation totaling almost $54 million. The remaining funding, over the next two years, will be allocated based on the number of applications submitted to the Department. Projects will be selected on the basis of merit and construction readiness.

For over 50 years the Century House Centre for Active Living in New Westminster, British Columbia has been providing leisure services to older adults in the area. Now, thanks to a federal investment of over $900,000 under the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program, the City of New Westminster will be able to upgrade and expand the centre to better serve the community.

The project will see new washrooms and site amenities added to the adjacent sports field, and overall services and utilities upgraded to accommodate new, expanded uses. A 4,000 sq. ft. addition will provide the opportunity to introduce new multi-generational activities at the Centre. Construction is expected to get underway this fall with occupancy set for 2010.

RInC funds skate into Young arena

This winter upgrades to the Young Centennial Rink will create jobs and ensure the community has access to "Our arena is a vital part of our community," said Village of Young Mayor Robert Speiser. "Without the help from the Federal and Provincial Governments, we would not be able to begin operations this winter."

Upgrades to the arena include installation of emergency lighting, electrical components, radiant heat, plumbing repairs and a fire suppression system to improve public safety for users and extend the life of the facility. This project will create two short-term jobs.

Total cost of the arena improvements is estimated at $15,863. Federal funding is provided under the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program. Both the Province of Saskatchewan and the Village of Young will also contribute one third of the project's eligible costs.

RInC funds touchdown in Winnipeg

An old field gains new life as the East Side Eagles Football Club move forward with the replacement of its artificial field turf.

The club will replace its current artificial turf. This rehabilitation will improve local recreational facilities for the residents of Winnipeg.

Minister Yelich and residents of Young celebrate RInC upgrades to Young Arena.

Minister Yelich and residents of Young celebrate RInC upgrades to Young Arena.

"The East Side Eagles Football Club is thankful for the support we are receiving for our field project," said Ian Brown, President of the East Side Eagles Football Club. "The benefits of this investment to the amateur sport community in the province, including the 37,000 plus participants that use our facility each year will be seen for years to come."

The total cost of the project is $568,000. Federal funding of $212,000 is provided through the Recreational Infrastructure Canada (RInC) program. The Province of Manitoba is contributing $50,000.

WD is already rolling out funding under this program, investing $42 million towards 254 RInC projects in communities across Western Canada.

For example, to date RInC program funding in the West has helped improve:

  • More than 100 arenas
  • Over 40 Multi-purpose facilities
  • More than 30 parks, fitness trails and bike paths
  • In excess of 20 sports fields
  • Over 15 swimming pools
  • And more than 30 other facilities, such as curling rinks, gymnasiums and tennis, basketball, volleyball or other sport-specific courts.