Ontario government to invest in bio-resource research

Ontario government to invest in bio-resource research

The vice-president of a Toronto-based company representing players in the biotechnology industry is hailing a recent announcement by the province to inject $5.9 million into Ontario’s biotechnology sector as a “win-win situation.”

Denise Dewar of CropLife Canada says the March 8 announcement from Premier and Minister of Research and Innovation Dalton McGuinty – which promises to use the money to research the use of agricultural products in the automobile sector – spells a step forward for the plant-science industry.

Dewar says the announcement will benefit all involved with biotechnology.

“It becomes a win-win situation,” Dewar says. “It’s win-win for farmers, win-win for the environment and win-win for Canadians.”

Bio-materials – which include corn, grains, soybeans and plant material – have several uses, Dewar points out.

“We can manufacture everything from clothing to car parts using plant materials,” she says. “We will go from non-degradable to degradable if we use plant material.”

Dewar stresses the impact a move from petroleum-based products to plant-based products could have on Ontario farmers, many of whom have struggled over the years.

“If we can diversify the marketplaces for agricultural products, then that helps the farmers’ bottom line,” she says.

In a press release, Premier Dalton McGuinty says biotechnological research in the province will make Ontario a big name in plant-science industry.

“By investing in innovative technologies, we can turn homegrown ideas into homegrown jobs,” he states. “These initiatives will help make Ontario a world leader in bio-based automotive manufacturing and help us protect our environment for generations to come.”

Dewar says that before any significant impact from increased biotechnology will be felt by Canadians, federal and provincial governments will need to continue investing in research.

“We’re talking about a shift from an industrial-based economy to a bio-based economy,” she says.

Dewar says further testing needs to be done on plant products to ensure viability. With Canada now a player in the production of environmentally-friendly ethanol, Dewar says she would like to see the product made more available to Canadians.

“What we need to see now are some of the service stations popping up,” she says.

Writer Bio

Deron Hamel's picture
Deron Hamel

Deron joined Axiom News in March 2007, having previously worked as a news reporter for print, online and wire services. He serves as Axiom News’ long-term care pod lead, after several years of writing stories and editorials for our clients in that sector. An award-winning advocacy journalist, Deron has seen first-hand the strengths long-term care brings to the greater health-care sector and through his work he seeks to share successes and best practices.

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