Statement by Economic Development, Trade and Employment Minister on the Heinz Facility Continuing Operations
Today, Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Economic Development, Trade and Employment, issued the following statement on the Heinz manufacturing facility in Leamington:
"I am very pleased with the joint announcement by Heinz and Highbury Canco Corporation (Canco) that the Leamington facility will continue operations. Heinz has indicated that it has signed a letter of intent with Canco, a Canadian company, to acquire the facility and for Canco to act as a co-packer for Heinz.
I want to congratulate Heinz and Canco for their decision to reinvest in the Leamington facility. This is good news for workers, local farmers, non-food suppliers and distributors, and for the Leamington area. It is a testament to the world-class agri-food industry in Leamington and the workers, families, businesses and leadership that support it. It is important to acknowledge, in particular, the significant efforts of Teresa Piruzza, the MPP for Windsor West, as well as Mayor Paterson, local councillors and officials, and the Windsor-Essex Economic Development Corporation throughout this process.
I am also very pleased that our government played a leading role in bringing these two companies together to ensure a brighter future for the Leamington facility. Immediately following Heinz's announcement, we took action to connect quality potential investors with Heinz, always working with the local Leamington and area leadership. I am pleased that Canco has stepped forward and embraced the opportunity they see in Leamington. I have met with representatives from Canco and am optimistic of their ability to restore good, sustainable jobs to Leamington and further grow the local agri-food economy.
We will also continue to ensure that Leamington and its greater community have the ability to take advantage of regional economic development programs and other provincial supports.
Ontario has a strong agri-food sector, and our government will continue to recognize its significant contribution to our economy. This is why, for example, we recently provided $3 million to help longstanding local family company Thomas Canning build a new state-of-the-art fruit and vegetable processing facility in Maidstone, Essex County, to support local farmers and create 40 new full-time jobs.
The Premier and I will continue to raise the profile of this sector to bring more jobs to our communities. We will work with Ontario's agri-food industry and manufacturers to help it grow and seize new market opportunities at home and globally.
Helping businesses stay competitive and grow in Ontario is part of the government's economic plan that is creating jobs for today and tomorrow. The comprehensive plan and its priorities focus on Ontario's greatest strength - its people and strategic partnerships."