Monday, July 27, 2009

Liberal Investment Leadership Pays Off For Saskatchewan

Goodale Commentary:  Liberal Investment Leadership In BioTech And Alternative Fuels...



It was a real pleasure to be among several hundred people in Foam Lake last week to celebrate the opening of Milligan Bio-Tech – a world-class facility for processing canola into bio-diesel fuel and other innovative by-products.


This is agricultural diversification and value-added development at its best.


It was nearly 15 years ago that a group of visionary farmers in the Foam Lake Marketing Club first considered the idea of a bio-diesel plant in their area.  It was a way to create a new market for canola – especially off-grade supplies, not suitable for food products.


Bio-diesel is a renewable source of energy that’s environmentally-friendly and increases Canada’s range of clean energy alternatives.


It was a long road for the Milligan company, pursuing all the necessary science and research, product development work, the design and engineering of their plant, their marketing plan, and of course financing.  But they now have the capacity to produce 10 million litres of bio-diesel per year.  By 2012, they’re planning for 150 million litres.


I’ve been an out-spoken advocate for bio-fuels for a very long time – especially bio-diesel and cellulosic ethanol.


Through three portfolios in the federal Cabinet (Agriculture, Natural Resources and Finance) stretching back to 1993, it was my pleasure to lead the push for federal government support for this fledgling industry.


Successive Liberal governments provided pioneering investments in the scientific research, production incentives, and measures to stimulate consumption. 


Along the way, we forged strong partnerships with producer groups and universities.  We also created new federal institutions – like the Sustainable Development Technology Foundation (SDTF) – to ensure on-going progress into the future. 


I’m happy to say that SDTF was established when I was Natural Resources Minister.  Last week, it paid-off (again) for Saskatchewan, making a crucial investment of $7 million in the exciting future of Milligan Bio-Tech.

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