The Atlantic Canada Opportunity Agency's programs will remain funded, despite cuts to the organization's budget, says minister of state for ACOA Rob Moore.
Moore was in Charlottetown Friday where he was the guest speaker at a Greater Charlottetown Area Chamber of Commerce luncheon.
When he spoke to the media after his speech, Moore said ACOA's main programs are still fully funded and have been consistent over the last few years despite budget cuts.
"ACOA went through the same process that other agencies and departments did to look at ways that they can do things better, to streamline and there were some savings found there but no cuts whatsoever to the products and the support that goes into our region," he said.
The agency's funding has been shrinking and this year it faced a cut of more than $20 million.
During his speech, Moore talked about remaining on the leading edge of innovation by making targeted investments in science and innovation.
Those investments in innovative companies are helping to keep Canada "ahead of the curve," he said.
"They increase business productivity and lead to the commercialization of products that we can sell to the world, which will help us to grow our economy."
Moore also took the opportunity to pitch the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) with Europe and touted its benefits for P.E.I.
In speaking to the media, Moore said P.E.I. is an exporting province and the CETA will give the province access to a big market without tariffs.
"This is going to mean opportunities for exporters and all Islanders." He also addressed concerns about potential impacts of the trade agreement on the dairy industry, which he said will still be protected by a supply management system, other than an increase to cheese imports.
"The pillars of supply management remain in effect and our dairy industry's supported."