Ontario grants $1 million to cheese maker

Ontario grants $1 million to cheese maker

March 10th,2014 :The provincial government is doing its share to increase the 'stink' in a new St. Albert Cheese factory.

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture is cutting a $1 million cheque to the co-operative, which lost its landmark cheese-making facility to a fire in February 2013.

“St. Albert Cheese has been a cornerstone of this community for the past 120 years, and I’m proud to support this important project," said Premier Kathleen Wynne, who doubles as agriculture minister.

"Through hard work and determination, I know St. Albert will once again be a vital part of the region’s economy and provide good jobs for local families.”

The $1 million infusion will enhance the rebirth of the cheese plant, adding 10 new jobs to the 100 that are expected to reestablished in late spring.

The factory rebuild began last September and once complete will be 30% larger than the former structure.

"Last year was a tough year for the co-op, and we were devastated when we lost everything in the fire," said Eric Lafontaine, general director, for co-operative.

"Support from the Government of Ontario will help us become a more successful facility, keeping local jobs in our community.”

The 10 new positions will purchase new equipment and install a computerized production line, helping to annually process 50 million litres of local milk.

In addition to the plant, there will be an observation decks, retail store and restaurant.

Local MPP Grant Crack said the investment acknowledges the importance of St. Albert Cheese, at 120 years old, is one of the oldest businesses in eastern Ontario.

"St. Albert Cheese is such an important part of our community, and with government support we will be able to bring back jobs and economic opportunities to the region," Crack said.

"This investment is not only good for the company, but for Ontario’s agri-food sector as a whole."