A major concentration of irrigation and food production in southern Alberta is one example of why the provincial government was wise to put a six-month pause on renewable energy projects, according to the director of a landowner advocacy group.

Called “Canada’s Premier Food Corridor” (CPFC), the stretch of land along Highway 3 in southern Alberta is home to some of the country’s biggest agri-food ventures, including a recently announced $600-million expansion to McCain Foods potato processing facility in Coaldale—the largest single expansion in company history.

The majority of Alberta’s irrigated farmland is also along the agri-food corridor, and there are plans to add over 200,000 more acres of irrigated land to the roughly 900,000 acres already in production, as well as long-term plans to twin Highway 3.

It all adds up to a lot of money. According to the CPFC, the corridor produces some $8 billion of gross domestic product annually, and people in the region hope that number will grow.

Daryl Bennett of Taber, Alberta, believes it’s a prime example of why the renewable energy project moratorium was a good idea.

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