PRESS RELEASE | SAINT-LIBOIRE, AUGUST 27 2019
ALUS Montérégie announces $160,000 in funding from Quebec’s Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH).
ALUS Canada congratulates the Montérégie UPA Federation for receiving $320,000 in provincial funding, including $160,000 for the ALUS Montérégie program, from the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing (MAMH)’s Fonds d’appui au rayonnement des régions (FARR) program.
This new FARR funding will allow the ALUS Montérégie program to hire a full-time staffer for two years, with the mandate of revitalizing the current program, actively searching for local financial partners and providing better support for local ALUS participants.
“We recognize the ecological awareness and the creativity that is evident in this region of Quebec, and we support your efforts to improve the environment,” said Chantal Soucy, MNA for Saint-Hyacinthe and second vice-president of the National Assembly, on behalf of the Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing, Andrée Laforest.
“Ultimately, the entire community will benefit from the efforts of agricultural producers and other stakeholders in these projects,” she continued. “It is something to be proud of.”
At a press conference in Saint-Liboire, the Montérégie UPA Federation and ALUS Canada thanked the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, as well as the Table de concertation des préfets de la Montérégie, for providing financial assistance through FARR.
“As agri-environmental leaders for more than 15 years, we know that the 12,000 farmers we represent appreciate the importance of reducing their environmental footprint in order to improve water quality and biodiversity in our communities,” said Christian St-Jacques, President of the Federation of the UPA Montérégie and ALUS Montérégie PAC Chair.
“Congratulations to the ALUS Montérégie program for this generous provincial government grant,” said Lynn Bishop, Vice President, Finance and Operations at ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative.
“Integration is one of the basic principles that underpins the success of the ALUS program: our 25 local partners are encouraged to connect with environmental organizations, agricultural groups and existing conservation programs, including federal and provincial government programs. Working together, we will continue to ensure the sustainability of agriculture, wildlife and natural spaces for the benefit of all.”
MNA Soucy was accompanied by Patrick Bousez, a member of the FARR project selection committee and Chair of the Table de concertation des préfets de la Montérégie.
“With this support, FARR intends to recognize the efforts of the agricultural sector in carrying out initiatives aimed at improving water quality and biodiversity,” said Bousez.
“Sustainable agriculture generates real ecological goods and services that benefit the entire community. We therefore wish to encourage agricultural producers who agree to give up part of their land to reduce their environmental footprint, by providing annual payments through the ALUS program.”
Francine Morin, Prefect of the Maskoutains MRC, also expressed enthusiasm for the announcement:
“The funding announced today will appeal to a large number of agricultural producers, and have a strong positive impact on our environment,” she said.
“I congratulate the UPA for this initiative, which we hope will be a huge success.”
ABOUT ALUS IN QUEBEC
ALUS Montérégie is an innovative program created by the Montérégie UPA Federation and ALUS Canada in 2016. ALUS Canada has now* invested more than $235,000 to help establish the program and develop ALUS projects in Quebec. There are 40 farmers already participating, who now devote 33 hectares (81.5 acres) to ALUS projects, providing ecosystem services that benefit everyone in 9 MRCs and 29 municipalities. The program is open to all producers in the Montérégie who want to improve water quality, restore natural habitats and protect local diversity. (*as of April 1, 2019.)
To learn more about the ALUS Montérégie program: https://alus.ca/alus_community/alus-in-monteregie/
ABOUT THE MONTÉRÉGIE UPA FEDERATION
The Montérégie UPA Federation represents 6,880 farms that generate 30% of Quebec’s agricultural gross domestic product and 25% of agricultural jobs in Quebec. Through its leadership, the Federation contributes actively to the sustainability of agriculture and the prosperity of all agricultural producers in its territory.
For more information: Joëlle Jetté, Communications Coordinator, Fédération de l’UPA de la Montérégie : T. 450 774-9154, poste 6227 / jjette [@] upa.qc.ca | upamonteregie.ca
ABOUT ALUS CANADA, A WESTON FAMILY INITIATIVE
ALUS Canada, A Weston Family Initiative, is a recognized leader in sustainability that is revolutionizing the way Canadians support the environment. ALUS is a national program helping farmers and ranchers produce cleaner air, cleaner water, more biodiversity and other ecosystem services in their communities. Specifically, ALUS helps farmers and ranchers enhance wetlands, plant windbreaks, improve riparian buffer zones, create wildlife habitat and establish other types of beneficial projects. As of April 1, 2019:
- ALUS Canada is present in six provinces: Quebec, PEI, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
- ALUS Canada has disbursed nearly $8.1 M in funding to ALUS communities across Canada, an investment that is multiplied by farmers, ranchers and communities on the ground.
- Nearly 750 Canadian farmers and ranchers participate in the program and receive annual payments to maintain their ALUS projects.
- More than 9,700 hectares (nearly 24,000 acres) are currently enrolled in the ALUS program, producing ecosystem services that benefit the community.
- ALUS is now active in 25 Canadian communities, and the program is expanding rapidly.