Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
February 11, 2019
Autism Society to Establish Clean Technology Greenhouse
As part of their social enterprise activities, the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador (ASNL) is partnering with Trades NL and Iron & Earth East to design and build a year-round greenhouse that will use clean technology to produce sustainable food products. To facilitate this project, the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $50,785 and the Government of Canada is providing a non-repayable contribution of $60,000.
ASNL will build a new greenhouse that will operate from natural sunlight during the standard growing season and generate heat and light using solar photovoltaic modules during winter. The greenhouse will be built on site in St. John’s at the Elaine Dobbin Centre for Autism and will enable ASNL to produce larger volumes of healthy food to be used at its social enterprise restaurant – the Pantry Café & Catering.
In addition to providing skills training for people living with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), this initiative will also create two full-time and four seasonal jobs for individuals with ASD and one other full-time position. The greenhouse will become an important addition to the society’s social enterprise skills and employment program, Good Roots Gardening and improve the organization’s overall long-term sustainability.
The Honourable Al Hawkins, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, on behalf of the Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore, Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation, and Nick Whalen, Member of Parliament for St. John’s East, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) made the announcement during a tour of the social enterprise today.
Supporting social enterprise and clean technology helps create new jobs, strengthens and diversifies our communities and fosters environmental sustainability.
Provincial support for this project delivers on commitments of The Way Forward to strengthen the province’s economic foundation and deliver better services and better outcomes for residents. The Way Forward outlines all actions the Provincial Government is taking to achieve a strong, diversified province with a high standard of living, and can be viewed at thewayforward.gov.nl.ca.
“Our government is committed to supporting social enterprise activity and partnership development in our province. This initiative between Autism NL, Trades NL and Iron & Earth East aligns with our government’s Social Enterprise Action Plan, by supporting collaboration between social enterprises and the private sector while serving as a model for sustainable development and energy conservation.”
Honourable Christopher Mitchelmore
Minister of Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
“The Government of Canada believes that public investment is an important catalyst that spurs economic growth, job creation and broad-based prosperity. We are pleased to partner with non-profit organizations in important projects like this one with the ASNL, which will provide those living with ASD with meaningful employment, help make our communities stronger and grow our economy for the benefit of all Canadians.”
Honourable Navdeep Bains
Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for ACOA
“The social enterprise sector is important to economic development and community diversification and I commend the ASNL for its leadership in this key aspect of our economy. I am delighted that our government is investing in this exciting social enterprise project, which will see the ASNL build the first efficient greenhouse of its kind in the province and enable the society to expand upon the great work it does to improve the lives of those with ASD, while also having a positive economic impact on the province.”
Member of Parliament for St. John’s East
“Autism Society NL’s ‘365 Greenhouse Project’ has been a community effort in every way. The greenhouse will be a place people can visit to see renewable energy in action. Services and supports for adults on the spectrum are very limited. Our focus with Good Roots Gardening, our newest social enterprise, is giving participants a better chance to be more actively engaged in the community. Support from ACOA and the Province will help grow employment, on-the-job training, goal-setting and teamwork. These adults will be set up for success in the world of work.”
Chief Executive Officer, Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
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Tourism, Culture, Industry and Innovation
Director of Communications
Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador
709-772-2803, Ext. 221
2019 02 11 2:35 p.m.