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Alberta Modernizing Irrigation Districts Act

The Alberta government is looking to attract investment by expanding its irrigation base.
 
The province currently has more than 1.7 million acres under irrigation, the industry contributes about $3.6 billion a year to Alberta's gross domestic product.
 
The government wants to modernize Bill 54, the Irrigation Districts Amendment Act, to allow irrigation districts to borrow funds for large-scale expansions of their projects.
 
Devin Dreeshen, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry says Bill C54 will help finalize the $815 million investment to modernize irrigation. 
 
"This legislation will pave the way for even more agriculture investments across the province, increasing our competitiveness and driving Alberta's economic recovery."
 
He notes our farmers and ranchers are growing safe, high-quality food, not just for Alberta families but for families all around the world.
 
Alberta, the Canadian Infrastructure Bank (CIB) and eight irrigation districts have agreed to a cost-share agreement.
 
Under that agreement 20 per cent of the funding is coming from the province's eight irrigation districts, 30 per cent from the Province and 50 per cent from the CIB which will be repaid by the irrigation districts.
 
Jason Hale, Chair of the Eastern Irrigation District says Alberta's irrigation districts are economic drivers that work hard to support farmers that put food on all of our tables.
 
"Modernizing the Irrigation Districts Act would ensure that irrigation districts have the tools needed to support future expansions while also strengthening board governance."
 
The proposed legislation clarifies that enhancements to irrigation works are not a commercial activity, providing clarity about what provisions of the act apply when securing financing.
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