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IW Business Bulletin – July 15, 2022

Investment into bison industry

July 13 saw the Government of Canada announce a new investment into Canada’s bison industry. The announcement was made by the Hon. Marie-Claude Bibeau, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food at the International Bison Convention in Saskatoon.

The government will provide up to $133,611 over two years to support economic growth for Canada’s bison industry under the AgriMarketing Program. The Canadian Bison Association “will be provided with the necessary resources to increase its efforts to expand and grow market access in Europe and to increase exports of Canadian bison to the United States.”

“This investment is very important in assisting the bison industry in rebuilding European markets as well as supporting strategies to ensure growth in exports to the United States. A significant portion of the increase in consumer awareness and exports globally can be attributed to the ongoing funding received through the AgriMarketing Program,” said Terry Kremeniuk, executive director of the Canadian Bison Association

National Trade Corridors Fund invests in Saskatchewan railways

Canada’s Minister of Transport, Hon. Omar Alghabra, announced $18.3 million in funding for four rail projects in Saskatchewan on July 14.

The investment includes:

  • $1 million for a preliminary design to relocate railroad crossings in Regina, with the City of Regina contributing the remaining amount for a total investment of $2.4 million.
  • $13.5 million for a railway grade stabilization project on the Canadian Pacific Rail Interchange near Eston, Sask.. Last Mountain Railway will contribute an equal amount for a total investment of $27 million.
  • $1.6 million for a new pre-interchange yard on the Canadian Pacific Railway Interchange near Assiniboia, Sask. Great Western Railway will contribute an equal amount for a total investment of $3.2 million.
  • $2.2 million to build 12,000 feet of additional track at the interchange between the Stewart Southern Railway and Canadian Pacific in Lajord, Sask. Purely Canada Foods will contribute the remaining funding toward the project for a total investment of over $6.5 million.

“Our government is investing in projects that will strengthen the efficiency of supply chains from the southern Saskatchewan trade area by improving capacity to support growth in volume of goods shipped to overseas markets, and eliminating bottlenecks between road and rail transportation. This will ensure Canada stays competitive in international markets and strengthen our economy for Canadians at home,” said Hon. Omar Alghabra, Minister of Transport.

Royal Helium receives shareholder approval from Imperial Helium

Royal Helium Ltd. announced July 12 that Imperial Helium Ltd. received approval from its holders of common shares and preferred shares at the Imperial special meeting held to consider the previously announced acquisition of Imperial by Royal Helium. Imperial will now be seeking a final order of the British Columbia Supreme Court under Section 291 of the Business Corporations Act (British Columbia). When the final order is obtained, the closing of the acquisition is scheduled for late July. Under the terms of the Arrangement, Royal will acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of Imperial in exchange for 0.614 of a Royal common share for each Imperial share that is outstanding.

“The addition of Imperial and its Steveville and Steveville East assets to Royal’s significant project portfolio of helium properties in Saskatchewan is highly opportunistic for Royal Helium. With the current spike in the prices for helium, Royal will be putting the two Steveville wells along with Royal’s Climax wells on production as soon as possible,” said Andrew Davidson, president and CEO at Royal Helium. “Two separate processing facilities for Saskatchewan and Alberta will be commissioned with delivery and completion anticipated for Q1 of next year. We are pleased that we were able to complete this transaction at this opportune time and that Imperial’s shareholders saw the tremendous value in Royal’s leadership, assets and business plan.”

Money for EVs in Saskatchewan and Manitoba

Terry Duguid, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Environment and Climate Change, on behalf of the Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Minister of Natural Resources, announced a total investment of over $2.5 million to support the installation of up to 400 EV chargers in Saskatchewan and Manitoba on July 12.

The funding, through Natural Resources Canada’s Zero-Emission Vehicle Infrastructure Program (ZEVIP), will be managed by Eco-West Canada and the Manitoba Motor Dealers Association. Both organizations will select recipients through a transparent process and then EV chargers will be installed in public places, multi-unit residential buildings, on streets, at workplaces or at facilities for servicing light-duty vehicle fleets by the end of 2023.

Energy project funding for Indigenous communities and businesses

On July 11, Hon. Jonathan Wilkinson, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced nearly $10 million in funding for five energy projects in Saskatchewan. The project funding includes:

  • $4,374,600 for Meadow Lake Tribal Council (MLTC) Program Services to build capacity and develop a regional approach to renewable energy, energy efficiency and conservation, by and for Indigenous communities.
  • $2,000,000 to Mee-Toos Forest Products Ltd., a subsidiary of the Peter Ballantyne Group of Companies, for a bioheat project to replace existing propane heating systems at two schools in Pelican Narrows and Deschambault Lake.
  • $1,604,554 to MLTC Solar Energy deployment of an 816-kilowatt solar farm in the regional municipality of Tecumseh in southern Saskatchewan, owned by the nine First Nations of the MLTC.
    $975,000 to the First Nations Power Authority (FNPA) for a Community Energy Planning capacity-building project for Saskatchewan Indigenous communities that do not receive natural gas service from SaskEnergy.
  • $840,000 to the University of Saskatchewan to create a master’s of sustainability in security degree

“FNPA is delighted to work with those First Nations in Saskatchewan that currently do not have natural gas as an option for heating their homes. Our experienced team of qualified professionals will be working directly with 15 communities to deliver community energy plans working in close collaboration with SaskPower and SaskEnergy over the next two years to review various cleaner energy options,” said Guy Lonechild, CEO at FNPA.

Coming soon: Information Services Corporation (ISC) will release its Q2 financial results on Wednesday, August 3, 2022.

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