MANIWAKI, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Feb. 17, 2011) - Acting on behalf of the Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Member of Parliament for Pontiac, announces the awarding of $256,675 in non-repayable funding to Les Ours Blancs snowmobiling club through the Community Diversification program for two snow grooming machines and various trail improvements.

"The Vallée-de-la-Gatineau is an ideal location for snowmobiling. By supporting the Outaouais snowmobiling sector, the Government of Canada is fostering the growth of the industry while enhancing the region's tourism offering," noted Minister Cannon.

The Les Ours Blancs club is responsible for the upkeep of nearly 750 kilometres of snowmobile trails. Its territory is the geographical crossroads for three key regional destinations, namely the Outaouais, Laurentides and Abitibi-Témiscamingue regions. The purchase of new grooming machines, one of them entirely manufactured in Maniwaki, is essential for this organization to be able to ensure users safe and accessible trails that meet industry standards.

This financial assistance will also be used to carry out a variety of work, including upgrading the snowmobiling trails, installing culverts, repairing the surface of several bridges and digging ditches to facilitate drainage.

Tourism development is a priority for the Government of Canada, which earmarked $40 million in its economic action plan to support the Canadian Tourism Commission in its efforts to successfully promote the country's industry on national and international markets.

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Contact Information: Canada Economic Development
Francois Belisle
Canada Economic Development
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Benoit Fortin - Special Assistant, Communications