McGuinty Government Helps Open New Markets For Farmers

    $5.9-Million Investment In Renewable Auto Technologies
    Will Help Build Prosperity In Rural Ontario

    QUEEN'S PARK, ON, March 8 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is
strengthening Ontario's agri-food sector by investing in cutting-edge research
that will find new ways to use farm and forest products in the auto sector,
Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty announced
    "By investing in innovative technologies, we can turn homegrown ideas
into homegrown jobs," said Premier McGuinty. "These initiatives will help make
Ontario a world leader in bio-based automotive manufacturing and help us
protect our environment for generations to come."
    The McGuinty government is investing over $5.9 million in the Ontario
BioCar Initiative, a research project to turn Ontario's harvest - such as
wheat, corn, soybeans and forest biomass - into viable materials for the auto
industry. The government is also investing $255,000 in the Ontario BioAuto
Council to help move these emerging technologies into the marketplace and
attract jobs and investment.
    "The key to success is how fast and how economically we can make these
materials match the performance of the existing plastics, composites and
metals," explained Mohini Sain, who will lead the BioCar project at the
University of Guelph, where he is an adjunct professor. "This research will
make sure Ontario stays on the forefront of this emerging area."
    "We will ensure Ontario is positioned to capture a substantial share of
what is projected to be a $50-billion global market for bioplastics by the
year 2015," said Ontario BioAuto Council Executive Director Terry Daynard.
    "Ontario farmers are among the most creative and innovative in the
world," said Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Leona Dombrowsky.
"By supporting bio-based research, we can help farmers pursue exciting new
markets, create jobs and build prosperity in our rural communities."   
Investing in innovative research and commercialization is the latest example
of how the McGuinty government is working on the side of rural communities to
strengthen Ontario's economy.

    Other initiatives include:

    -   Investing over $910 million in farm income stabilization and support

    -   Creating a $520-million Ontario Ethanol Growth Fund to support the
        construction of ethanol plants that will build opportunity and create
        jobs in rural communities

    -   Investing $188 million through Move Ontario to repair and upgrade
        rural roads and bridges

    -   Investing $40 million annually in agri-food research and innovation.

    "To succeed in today's economy, we need to develop new ideas and turn
those ideas into exciting new products and services that we can market to the
world," said Premier McGuinty. "By investing in research and innovation, and
the skills and knowledge of our people, we can ensure Ontario remains the
place to be for years to come."

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Premier's Media Office, (416) 314-8975

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