Promoting Innovation Across Industries in Western PEI

Minister Chris Palmer (2nd left) joins (r-l) President and CEO of New Leaf Essentials Chris Chivilo, MP for Egmont Bobby Morrissey, VP of Standard Aero Jeff Poirier, Minister Paul Biggar and CEO of Slemon Park Corporation, Shawn McCarvill

Slemon Park in Western PEI is home to a growing community of innovative businesses that span from advanced manufacturing and aerospace to agriculture and food. Slemon Park Corporation, the development agency responsible for the area, continues to create new growth opportunities bringing high skill jobs to the area and providing modern infrastructure for multi-national companies. With strategic investment and planning, companies in Atlantic Canada can be competitive in export markets around the world.

That is why the Government of Canada is providing more than $1.1 million through ACOA’s Business Development Program (BDP) in support to two organizations in Western PEI, including:

  • A conditionally repayable contribution of $500,000 to Slemon Park Corporation to upgrade test cell equipment in its commercial leasing space, supporting growth in PEI’s aerospace industry.
  • A repayable contribution of $630,500 to New Leaf Essentials (East) Ltd. to install new equipment in its pulse (legume) cleaning facility to create more value-added products for the pet food market.

The Province of PEI is providing $500,000 in repayable financing to support the facility upgrades in Slemon Park and a non-repayable contribution of $39,213 to support the automation expansion project with New Leaf Essentials.

Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), and the Honourable Chris Palmer, PEI Minister of Economic Development and Tourism, today joined representatives from Slemon Park Corporation and New Leaf Essentials to make the announcement. 

The Government of Canada is making smart investments that will create good, middle-class jobs in our country. It is helping small and medium-sized businesses to start-up, expand or modernize and supporting not-for-profit organizations to fuel business growth. Support for this project is one way the Government of Canada is working to achieve its Atlantic Growth Strategy outcome of long-term economic prosperity in the region.


“Slemon Park Corporation is a vital economic asset to Western PEI. Through years of strategic planning, this renewed business community has brought industry leading companies and sustainable employment to the area. I am continually impressed by the innovation and quality of work demonstrated by the park’s tenant companies, such as New Leaf Essentials. I am pleased that the Government of Canada is supporting this company’s vision to find new product markets for Island grown resources.” 

-Bobby Morrissey, Member of Parliament for Egmont

“Slemon Park is one of our province’s most important economic drivers with close to 1100 employees working at 28 companies. It is essential that we ensure our facilities meet the needs of our clients. These upgrades will provide major improvements at both WA Grains and Standard Aero that will help ensure the success of those companies into the future.”

- The Honourable Chris Palmer, PEI Minister for Economic Development and Tourism

“The Test Cell upgrade we are doing will allow our anchor tenant, StandardAero Summerside, to service and test a new turbo-prop engine series, the PT6A-68. StandardAero Summerside serves a global market as the turbo-prop MRO center of excellence for StandardAero.”

- Shawn McCarvill, President, Slemon Park Corporation

“The ACOA loan has allowed us to expand into the value added markets for PEI farm products, our short and long term goal. We will now be able to offer de-hulled and pearled barley, and pea splits as food products as well as for pet food ingredients for our pet food manufacturing customers. ACOA has been very accommodating and a pleasure to work with through this whole process.” 

-  Chris Chivilo, President/CEO, W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions and New Leaf Essentials

Quick Facts

  • Slemon Park Corporation (SPC) is an economic development organization with a focus on aerospace, advanced manufacturing, training and real estate development on Prince Edward Island.
  • New Leaf Essentials (East) Ltd. was incorporated in PEI in 2017 and is a wholly owned subsidiary of W.A. Grain Holdings Inc. The company currently has contracts with approximately 100 farmers in Atlantic Canada.
  • The BDP primarily assists Atlantic Canadian entrepreneurs who want to start a business, increase productivity or improve operations. Investments under the BDP address any gap that may arise if an application does not fit within ACOA’s Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI) program. 
  • The Business Development Program continues to build on the objectives of the Innovation and Skills Plan, a multi-year strategy to create well-paying jobs for the middle class and those working hard to join it.


Jana Parker Smith
Communications Manager
Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency

Andrew Sprague
Senior Communications Officer
Department of Economic Development and Tourism

Shawn McCarvill
Slemon Park Corporation

Chris Chivilo
W.A. Grain & Pulse Solutions and New Leaf Essentials

General Inquiries

Department of Economic Growth, Tourism and Culture
3rd Floor North, Shaw Building
105 Rochford Street
PO Box 2000
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5540
Fax: 902-894-0342