Government of Canada Invests in Clean Water Technology

LONDON, WATERLOO and TORONTO, ONTARIO, August 23, 2011 — Southern Ontario families will benefit from a new system to develop, test and demonstrate clean water technologies for local, national and global markets thanks to a federal investment in a new partnership, the Southern Ontario Water Consortium. The announcement was made by the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), while speaking at the 2011 Association of Municipalities of Ontario Annual Conference and Trade Show. Peter Braid, Member of Parliament for Kitchener-Waterloo and Peter Kent, Minister of the Environment and Member of Parliament for Thornhill, also made announcements in Waterloo and Toronto.

"One of the most important issues for communities around the world is access to clean drinking water and the safe treatment of wastewater," said Minister Goodyear. "This investment will strengthen southern Ontario's position as a world leader in clean water technologies, create new jobs in our region, while offering solutions for communities across the globe that lack easy access to clean water."

Through the Southern Ontario Water Consortium, universities, private sector companies, municipalities and not-for-profit organizations will work together to develop, test, and pilot market-driven water technologies that are in high demand both regionally and around the world. The FedDev Ontario contribution will go toward the purchase and installation of equipment related to setting up the water system components spanning the London, Waterloo, Guelph, Hamilton and Toronto areas.

The project responds to private sector needs for access to actual water environments on a watershed level, and leading edge research expertise to advance water-related technologies and help bring them to the marketplace. It is anticipated that this project will lead to the creation of many high quality jobs, resulting from the expansion of current water companies, the creation of new companies, the attraction of companies from outside the region, and the expansion of public sector jobs in the water industry.
"The federal government's commitment to invest in the Southern Ontario Water Consortium will make our region world-class in clean water technology," said Ed Holder, Member of Parliament for London West. "This is great news for London and all of southern Ontario. It means jobs and the attraction of research and capital into our area."
"This collaboration of water technology expertise is a unique network and tremendous asset to the region. The Southern Ontario Water Consortium will provide enormous benefits to the environment, the economy, and Canadians overall," said Dr. D. George Dixon, Vice-President, University Research and Professor of Biology at University of Waterloo, on behalf of the Southern Ontario Water Consortium.
"This project helps put Ontario in a leadership position in this critical area as urbanization, population growth and climate change continue to challenge global water supplies," said Pat Horgan, vice-president, IBM, who is the major private sector partner in this project. "Ontario now has a bold opportunity to use the most innovative Internet-scale technologies to examine an entire watershed and learn how to better automate and more efficiently manage this precious resource, which is critical to every citizen and our economic growth."

The funding is provided under FedDev Ontario's Technology Development Program, designed to encourage the public and private sectors to collaborate on the development of large-scale, advanced technologies that will result in new market opportunities for southern Ontario.
FedDev Ontario was created as part of Canada's Economic Action Plan to support businesses and communities in southern Ontario. Now in its third year of operation, the Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to support businesses and other organizations through partnerships and investments in skills and training; innovation; research and development; and increased productivity. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

Contact(s) information:

Gary Toft
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-943-7599

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

Carrie Bendzsa
Manager, External Communications
IBM Canada Ltd
Phone:613-356-5917 Mobile: 613-796-3880 carrie.bendzsa@ca.ibm.com