Government Supporting Innovative Meat Processing at Hamilton's Maple Leaf Foods

March 20, 2014 – Hamilton, Ontario – Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale announced today a $5 million investment to Maple Leaf Foods to purchase and install new meat processing technology that will improve the company’s operating and production efficiencies while enhancing food safety and supporting product innovation.

David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, said government support for a plant like Maple Leaf is a good investment for the government.

"Ontario's food processing industry is the largest in Canada and top-three in North America. We’re proud to partner with Maple Leaf Foods in strengthening the food processing industry here in the Hamilton area. It's good news for local jobs and economic growth and it's also great news for Ontario's farmers since the industry is the number one purchaser of the food they grow."

Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture, says that the investment reflects the government’s priorities when it comes to investment in innovation.

"Innovation continues to be a priority for our government, and making strategic investments like this in one of Canada’s largest food processors will boost the competiveness of the meat sector and create employment opportunities for years to come."

Maple Leaf Foods will purchase a fully-automated process that significantly improves food safety and includes built-in features to facilitate product traceability. The system is also expected to improve the shape, texture, consistency and shelf-life of deli meat products while reducing sodium content. This strategic investment will boost the competiveness of the meat sector and create opportunities for Canadian pork producers for years to come.

Quick facts

  • Upon completion of the project,      Maple Leaf Foods’s Hamilton plant will have the capacity to produce 82      million kilograms of deli products annually.
  • The AgriInnovation Program is      a five-year, up to $698 million initiative under the Growing Forward      2 policy framework. The Program’s Enabling Commercialization and      Adoption Stream provides repayable funding to agri-businesses and      cooperatives to facilitate the commercial demonstration, commercialization      and adoption of innovative agri-based products, technologies, processes or      services.
  • The Government continues to      pursue the most aggressive trade agenda in Canadian history, and recently      signed the Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement. This agreement will expand      market access opportunities for Canadian exports of beef and pork.
  • Maple Leaf Foods is Canada’s      largest processor of value-added meat, meals, and baked goods.      Headquartered in Toronto, Ontario, the company employs approximately      19,500 people in operations throughout Canada, the United States, Europe      and Asia.
  • The Armor Inox Thermix System,      the first of its kind in Canada, employs a fully-automated process that      includes built-in features for product traceability.

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Development of Young Musicians

February 18, 2013 – David Sweet, MP, on behalf of the Honourable James Moore, Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages, today announced an investment from the Government of Canada in the Brott Music Festival for its National Academy Orchestra arts training program.

Supporting McMaster Graduate Students

December 19, 2012 - Up to 86 recent graduates and graduate students in McMaster University's faculties of science and engineering will receive valuable internships with southern Ontario businesses thanks to a new Government of Canada investment of $1,133,000. The investment was announced today by David Sweet, Member of Parliament for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

"Our government is committed to creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for southern Ontario," said MP Sweet. "This investment will help McMaster's young scientists and engineers to get the professional experience, mentorship and business skills they need as they develop into the next generation of leaders in business and innovation."

The investment is being provided through FedDev Ontario's Graduate Enterprise Internship (GEI), which provides funding for not-for-profit organizations and post-secondary institutions to arrange internship and mentoring opportunities for recent graduates and graduate students of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs with small- and medium-sized enterprises.

"The FedDev GEI program will create an important bridge for recent graduates from the Faculty of Science who wish to enter the workforce," said Dr. Peter Sutherland, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Science, McMaster University. "The internship model will allow our students an opportunity to complement their academic training with relevant work experience and it will give employers access to new talent with cutting edge skills."

McMaster University's science and engineering faculties place approximately 700 students in co-operative education work terms each year. FedDev Ontario's investment will allow the university to place up to an additional 86 recent graduates and graduate students in the fields of science and engineering at small- and medium-sized businesses in the region, providing them with access to job opportunities in their fields.

"We are proud of what our McMaster graduates bring to the marketplace," said Art Heidebrecht, Acting Dean of the Faculty of Engineering. "We are very grateful to the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario. The Graduate Enterprise Internship program will kick-start the professional careers of young McMaster graduates in science and engineering, and will help build the next generation of leaders in innovation."

For more information on the Graduate Enterprise Internship and McMaster University, please refer to the backgrounder.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit or call 1-866-593-5505

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