Government of Canada and Northern Development Invest in Northeast Livestock Industry

December 15, 2009

Dawson Creek, BC – The Dawson Creek Exhibition Association plans to rebuild the Northeast Regional Auction Mart with funding support from the Northern Development Initiative Trust and the Government of Canada’s Community Adjustment Fund.   The auction facility, which started operation in 1957 and services the whole northeast region of British Columbia, was destroyed by fire in 2004.  The rebuilding project will provide a key agricultural service to ranchers in northeast BC.

The Government of Canada, through the Community Adjustment Fund, provided $100,000 toward the project as part of the $10 million in non-repayable contributions to the Northern Development Initiative Trust to support the most affected communities in central and northern BC, helping to reduce the short-term impacts of the economic downturn.  “Our Government is taking action to ensure communities have the opportunity to succeed during this economic downturn,” said Minister Jay Hill, Member of Parliament for Prince George – Peace River and Leader of the Government in the House of Commons. “This project will help our region emerge from this challenging time prosperous, and stronger than ever.”

“I am pleased to take part in this important announcement relative to the rebuilding of the auction facility.  Agriculture has and will continue to be a very big player in the Peace River economy and having a first class auction facility is a must for our farmers and ranchers,” said MLA Blair Lekstrom, Peace River South and Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources.  “I want to commend the people behind this project and I look forward to the day we all take part in its official opening.”

Northern Development is providing a $507,800 loan through the Economic Diversification Infrastructure program toward the $1,022,800 rebuilding project, which includes the Exhibition Association’s purchase of the site just two years ago.

“Northern Development is pleased to provide funding to support the rebuilding of the Northeast Regional Auction Mart,” stated Northern Development Chair Evan Saugstad.  “Ranchers in Taylor, Fort St. John, Chetwynd and our rural areas will benefit from the new facility, and the loan repayment will allow Northern Development funds to be deployed into other economic development projects in northeast BC in the future.”

The Dawson Creek Exhibition Association had been operating on an interim basis in a stock barn at the fall fair grounds.   “During the four years that the facility was not available, northeast ranchers were forced to ship their cattle to Alberta for the nearest scales yard which caused additional transportation costs, more stress, and more “shrink” on their animals,” stated Dawson Creek Exhibition Association President Connie Patterson.  “Once the construction work is completed, over 30,000 head per year will be marketed through this facility.”

The project will result in the creation and maintenance of four full-time and twenty part-time jobs as well as several jobs during the construction phase, scheduled for completion in the spring of 2010.

Media Contacts:

Janine North
Chief Executive Officer
Northern Development Initiative Trust
Telephone:   250.561.2525

About Canada’s Economic Action Plan

Canada’s Economic Action Plan will provide a total of $1 billion over two years to communities throughout Canada, including $306 million across Western Canada under the Community Adjustment Fund (CAF). The fund will help reduce the short-term impacts of restructuring in communities across Canada heavily reliant on resource-based industries, including forestry, mining, agriculture, and fisheries, as well as communities that depend on the manufacturing sector.

To learn more about Canada’s Economic Action Plan, visit

About Northern Development Initiative Trust

Northern Development Initiative Trust is an independent regional economic development corporation focused on stimulating economic growth and job creation in central and northern British Columbia. Over $85.8 million in funding has been committed to 471 projects with a total project value of over $842 million.

To learn more about Northern Development Initiative Trust, visit: