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The True North Salmon facility in St. George. Image: Submitted/Cooke Inc.

True North Salmon receives $6.7M loan for St. George plant expansion

By Brad Perry Dec 5, 2023 | 5:30 AM

A southwestern New Brunswick aquaculture company is undertaking a massive expansion.

True North Salmon plans to double the size of its salmon processing plant in St. George.

It is getting a total of $6.7 million in repayable loans from the federal and provincial governments.

“This new and improved equipment will allow True North Salmon to continue delivering the high-quality salmon products that Cooke Aquaculture has become known for, while also ensuring good jobs remain in our coastal communities,” federal Fisheries Minister Diane Lebouthillier said in a news release.

The provincial government is providing $2 million through the Atlantic Fisheries Fund for the purchase of equipment, while Ottawa is providing an additional $4.7 million

Glenn Cooke, the CEO of Cooke Aquaculture, said the funding will allow the St. George plant to become a state-of-the-art facility.

“This expansion project is the cornerstone of our company’s overall investment plans in Atlantic Canada, and the new advanced equipment is designed to keep our operation streamlined,” Cooke said in the release.

Joel Richardson, vice-president of public relations for Cooke Inc., said the nearly $55-million expansion began in 2021 and is the most significant Canadian plant expansion in the company’s 38-year history.

“The plant is a key driver of economic and social development and is helping stimulate new housing construction and creating more long-term employment for the community,” said Richardson.

New Brunswick’s primary aquaculture sector contributed $71.8 million to provincial GDP and generated 415 full-year equivalent jobs in 2022, according to the province.