Mr. Speaker, this past summer I was excited to represent the hon. Minister of Agriculture in presenting a $261,000 grant for a new innovative program occurring in my riding of Okanagan--Coquihalla.
The funding helped support a new food packaging technology developed in partnership with the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre. This technology can greatly extend the shelf life of fresh fruit and produce. A longer shelf life also means more economical shipping options will soon be available to fruit growers throughout the Okanagan Valley.
Why is that exciting? On February 9, our Prime Minister was in China and I was pleased to learn that a new trade agreement was signed that will open up the Chinese market to many Canadian foods, including cherries. In my riding, we not only make some of the greatest wines but we also grow some of the world's best cherries.
This is great news for my riding and a great example of how our government supports innovation and technology in the agricultural sector. This leadership creates jobs and helps grow our local economies.