(Regina) Following the Government of Saskatchewan’s announcement to fulfill the original vision for the Diefenbaker water project, business leaders in and around Regina are recognizing the project’s enormous potential.

“Saskatchewan has the good fortune to possess an excellent water supply – one that has for the most part been underutilized,” Economic Development Regina (EDR) Chair Frank Hart said. “The Diefenbaker water project promises to provide a sustainable resource to build a stronger economy in Regina, particularly in our agriculture and food sector, where Regina has amazing room for growth.”

“Regina is already a great place to live, work and do business, and completing this project will add another major asset to what our city has to offer,” Mayor Michael Fougere said. “The Diefenbaker project, along with major investments like the Protein Industries Canada ‘Supercluster’ development, represent a major leap forward in EDR’s goal to develop our economy.”

The project will unlock opportunities not just for agricultural producers, but also for value-added processors, providing a key resource that will make Regina even more competitive when it comes to attracting and keeping businesses.

Governments at all levels have identified the agriculture and food sector as a key generator of economic growth in the coming years. EDR’s strategy to make Regina a food hub for Canada and the world supports the Government of Saskatchewan’s Growth Plan, which speaks to growing the agricultural economy, increasing exports and increasing Saskatchewan-based processing of our agricultural products. The project provides a boost to both plans and to the entire province.

“This is a legacy project for the province of Saskatchewan – one that protects the future livelihoods of our children and grandchildren. The economic spin-off to Regina, Moose Jaw and to rural communities across southern Saskatchewan will be significant,” Carpere Canada’s ‘Moose Jaw Industrial Park’ Project Manager and former Economic Development Officer for the South-Central Enterprise Region Deb Thorn said. “The project will attract major investment from ag-valued processors, which will in turn attract thousands of highly skilled workers and their families to our communities.”

EDR’s Board of Directors has approved a plan to develop Regina into an agriculture and food hub as a priority for 2020. The Greater Regina Area possesses a combination of assets that put it in a strong position to become a global force in food and ingredient processing. Those assets include world-class, innovative agricultural producers and equipment manufacturers, abundant high-quality land, a strong base in agri-business and excellent transportation and logistics infrastructure. Regina’s food hub strategy is part of a larger economic recovery and growth strategy that will be announced in the coming weeks.