LONGUEUIL, QUEBEC – Canada’s government is investing up to $9.6 million (US$9.01 million) to help improve the long-term profitability of Levinoff-Colbex, Eastern Canada's largest culled-cattle slaughter plant in Quebec. This is the first project announced under Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's Slaughter Improvement Program, part of Canada's Economic Action Plan.

Levinoff-Colbex, a farmer-owned Quebec beef packer, has been conditionally approved for a loan to construct a new processing facility next to its existing slaughter house in St-Cyrille-de-Wendover. The loan is contingent on Levinoff-Colbex completing a significant financial restructure.

"It's imperative that Quebec farmers and farmers throughout Eastern Canada have access to slaughter facilities," said Jean-Pierre Blackburn, Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture). "I'm proud that the Government of Canada is again supporting Colbex, and I thank Colbex for making the commitment to restructure its finances to make this happen."

Employing 375 people, Levinoff-Colbex provides a key service to the cattle industry in Eastern Canada, serving as the only significant slaughter facility for cull cows for producers in Ontario, Quebec and the Atlantic Provinces, Mr. Blackburn relayed. The company slaughters and processes 150,000 cull cattle per year.

This federal government loan is in addition to a $10 million (US$9.4 million) loan already granted by Farm Credit Canada to the farmer owners of Levinoff-Colbex, in order to finance part of their initial investment. Today's announcement shows decidedly that the federal government continues to build on a strong history of support to Quebec's farmers.

The $50 million (US$46.9 million) Slaughter Improvement Program makes federal repayable contributions available to support sound business plans aimed at reducing costs, increasing revenues and improving operations of meat packing and processing operations in Canada.

Businesses can continue to submit applications under the Slaughter Improvement Program up until Oct. 30.

For more information on this program, visit www.agr.gc.ca/slaughterhouse.