Ontario Investing in Rural Economic Growth and Job Creation

Published on July 23, 2020

Rural Economic Development program will provide $3.3 million in cost-shared funding


News Release

WILLOW BEACH - The Ontario government is committing $3.3 million in cost-share funding to 58 projects through the updated Rural Economic Development Program (RED) to help rural and Indigenous communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers, invest in local infrastructure and create jobs.

Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs joined Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transortation and Francophone Affairs and MPP for York-Simcoe in Willow Beach to announce the first recipient from the program.

"Supporting local jobs and removing barriers to investment and economic growth in rural communities is more important than ever," said Minister Hardeman. "As the economy reopens, our investments in the Rural Economic Development program will have a very real impact for communities across rural Ontario."

One local project that will receive funding through the RED program is the Ontario Water Centre. An investment of $150,000 will help support their Young Agripreneurs Program (YAP) that provides hands-on experience to young people interested in pursuing careers in regenerative agriculture.

This initiative is one of 58 successful projects receiving funding from the first intake of the updated RED program. Project applications to the RED program were subjected to a streamlined process starting last year to reduce the burden for applicants.

"Through today's investment, our government is creating jobs and driving economic growth at a time when needed most in rural Ontario," said MPP Mulroney. "By investing in today's youth and career development through great local organizations like the Ontario Water Centre, we're ensuring young people can stay and work in their own communities."

Supporting renewal, growth and economic recovery in rural and Indigenous communities is part of the government's plan to get every region of Ontario back on track so they can create jobs, opportunity and prosperity for everyone.

Quick Facts

  • Municipalities, not-for-profit entities, Ontario Indigenous communities / organizations or local services boards are eligible for the Rural Economic Development program and costs are shared according to which of the two streams under which the project may fall.
  • The RED program offers two project streams:
    • Economic Diversification and Competitiveness: Projects that remove barriers to business and job growth, attract investment, attract or retain a skilled workforce, strengthen sector and regional partnerships and diversify regional economies.
    • Strategic Economic Infrastructure: Minor capital projects that advance economic development and investment opportunities.
  • For the Economic Diversification and Competitiveness Stream, the province will contribute up to 50 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $150,000 while for the Strategic Economic Infrastructure Stream, the province invests up to 30 per cent of eligible project costs to a maximum of $250,000.

Additional Resources