NORMANDIN, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - March 17, 2011) - The Honourable Denis Lebel, Minister of State for Canada Economic Development, today announced the granting of $24,494 in non-repayable funding to the organization Les Jardins Maria-Chapdelaine Inc. Awarded under the Community Diversification program, this financial assistance will enable the non-profit organization to acquire production equipment.

"The Government of Canada considers important to ensure that firms and organizations, like Les Jardins Maria-Chapdelaine, have the tools they need to develop new value-added products, and thus help diversify the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean economy," noted Minister of State Lebel.

Installed in the new Maria-Chapdelaine food processing centre inaugurated today in Normandin, this new equipment will be used for the production of blueberry soda and the development of small and medium-sized regional agri-food enterprises as part of testing and experimentation projects on small indigenous fruit products.

With this collaborative initiative, the proponent expects to create two full-time jobs. The mission of Jardins Maria-Chapdelaine is to build the development capacity of native fruit species (wild blueberries saskatoons, sea-buckthorns, etc.). The organization offers guidance services and works to bring private companies and community stakeholders together.

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Contact Information: Canada Economic Development
Eleonore Cote
418-668-5928 / Cell. : 418-321-0295
Canada Economic Development
Office of the Honourable Denis Lebel
Benoit Fortin - Special Assistant, Communications