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Government of Canada supports new business opportunities in northern Saskatchewan’s forestry sector

Press Release

From: Western Economic Diversification Canada

July 24, 2019 – Air Ronge, Saskatchewan – Western Economic Diversification Canada

The Government of Canada is committed to supporting the creation of new community-led business opportunities for Indigenous Peoples and northerners.

Today, the Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD), announced $975,000 in Regional Innovation Ecosystem (RIE) funding to Keewatin Community Development Association (KCDA) to scale-up and increase the production of the non-timber forest sector in northern Saskatchewan. Non-timber forest products include plants, fungi and plant products harvested from the boreal forest for food, teas or nutritional supplements.

This funding will help KCDA create 50 new jobs in production and sales as well as help them purchase equipment, and develop marketing plans and materials.

This announcement highlights one of the 17 investments in Saskatchewan, Minister Ralph Goodale announced today, providing more than $20 million to help Saskatchewan businesses and non-profit organizations promote innovation, commercialization, and economic growth.

Canada’s Innovation and Skills Plan is building an economy in which Canadians have access to high-quality jobs and businesses are equipped to participate in the rapidly evolving and competitive global marketplace.


“Through these investments, our government is building a stronger western Canadian economy, growing emerging sectors, and creating well-paying jobs for all Canadians. This project also recognizes how Indigenous knowledge and respect for the land can lead to new opportunities for people in northern Saskatchewan and across Canada.”

– The Honourable Kirsty Duncan, Minister of Science and Sport

“This funding from Western Economic Diversification Canada will help us to do the research and development necessary to starting a viable, sustainable, and ethical non-timber forest product industry. Our aim is to create opportunities for northerners to earn income and diversify our regional economy.”

– Randy Johns, CEO, Keewatin Community Development Association

Associated links


Rhonda Laing
Director, Policy, Planning and External Relations
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
[email protected]


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