Ag Canada cuts four positions at Lethbridge Research Centre

Four positions will be lost at Agriculture Canada’s Lethbridge Research Centre as a result of federal budget cuts.

Brian Freeze, research manager at the centre, said the reproductive physiology program will be cut, affecting two scientists.

That program studied beef cattle embryos and factors affecting fertility.

Also on the chopping block are a library position and the media graphics position, said Freeze.

More than 1,000 agriculture-related public servants are slated to lose their jobs across the country over the next several years as budget cuts take hold.

Agriculture Canada was directed in the last federal budget to reduce spending by 10 percent, or about $310 million, over the next two years. Several research facilities on the Prairies stand to sustain major program and job losses, among them the cereal research centre in Winnipeg.

An Agriculture Canada media relations supervisor said the department will continue to conduct research at more than 50 locations, including research centres, labs, farms and outreach offices.

“The work in all of our research centres will, however, reflect broader changes in our research priorities so we can focus our efforts in areas where we can have a greater impact,” Patrick Girard said in an e-mail.

He said the Lethbridge research centre will continue its wheat breeding program and other ongoing research activities. However, the department is expecting industry to take an active role in deciding what varieties have the best commercial potential.

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