Premier Wynne to visit St. Albert cheese co-op

OTTAWA ; The big cheese is coming to the big cheese.

Ontario Premier Kathleen Wynne is expected to make a funding announcement on Monday at the St. Albert Cheese Co-operative in St. Albert, about 45 minutes east of Ottawa.

A devastating fire tore through the factory in February 2012, leaving cheese curd lovers and an entire town in mourning.

The factory, which opened in 1894, employed about 120 people from the francophone village as well as the surrounding rural areas.

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The co-op began its $25 million rebuilding effort last summer.

Wynne, who also serves as agriculture and food minister, is a big booster of the agri-food sector.

She challenged the sector last fall to double its growth rate and create 120,000 new jobs in Ontario by 2020.

A source told the Citizen that the premier is expected to announce provincial funding to help in the rebuild effort at St. Albert, which in turn will create an unspecified number of jobs.

Wynne will also visit the Bruyère Village seniors residence with Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely and meet with Janet Gray, the chair of the Canadian Association of Retired Peoples Ottawa chapter.

Wynne and Finance Minister Charles Sousa in recent months have been talking up a made-in-Ontario solution for retirement security.

© Ottawa Citizen