Lethbridge organizations will be receiving over $11.2 million dollars in funding from the federal government. The money will go to groups such as the University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge College, the Alberta Sugar Beet Growers and the Lethbridge and District Exhibition.
Dan Vandal, minister for Prairies Economic Development Canada says the funding is for 18 projects to support tourism and economic development. He says the money should also help create 230 new jobs.
“It’s been in the cards probably for the last year. We have regular intakes and organizations make application for the different funding envelopes that we do have, and those applications are analyzed by public officials, and then they’re recommended for approval to our offices, the minister’s office. We do a second review, and then we approve. Usually we approve the recommendation.”
The Alberta Associate Minister of Red Tape Reduction, Grant Hunter, says this investment will be a real boost to the local economy.
“The partnership with the federal government in terms of what’s happening with the agriculture is absolutely critical. As I’ve said before, as our government has said before, we have a very big play going on right now in southern Alberta. The Agri-Food processing corridor between Lethbridge and Medicine Hat that we’re working on as a province is going to create massive growth in GDP, lots of growth in terms of jobs, good paying businesses, good paying jobs, new businesses that will come in.”
Examples of projects receiving support include:
- Lethbridge College is receiving over $2 million to establish an agriculture innovation centre for small- and medium-sized companies focused on agricultural technologies and agri-food products.
- The University of Lethbridge is receiving over $1.4 million to establish a centre of expertise to develop commercial applications for health management and monitoring, as well as $868,300 to establish a work integrated learning centre for Indigenous youth.
- Alberta Sugar Beet Growers in Taber is receiving over $242,000 to evaluate new market opportunities to grow Alberta’s sugar beet industry.
- Lethbridge & District Exhibition is receiving over $3.5 million to install and provide state-of-the art digitization of the Lethbridge Agri-Food and Trade Centre.
- The Galt Museum is receiving $75,000 to re-purpose an under-utilized space to create “Lethbridge Onscreen,” an outdoor audio/visual interpretive display to showcase local artwork and cultural exhibitions.
Officials also announced a new Prairies Can regional office in Lethbridge’s historic downtown post office.