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Ontario launching new round of Rural Economic Development program


February 1, 2022
By Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs

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The Ontario government is launching a new intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) program on Feb. 7, investing in projects that boost economic opportunities in rural and Indigenous communities, create jobs and strengthen the labour force.

Details of the intake were announced on Jan. 25 by Lisa Thompson, Ontario minister of agriculture, food and rural affairs, at the 2022 Rural Ontario Municipal Association’s virtual annual conference.

“This targeted RED intake focuses on initiatives that will attract new residents and workers to rural communities across the province, while also creating opportunities for youth, workers and job seekers, and supporting innovative initiatives that position local businesses on a successful path forward,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

This funding will support initiatives that address barriers to economic development and position rural communities for economic growth and job creation, such as:

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  • Marketing and outreach campaigns to grow rural Ontario’s workforce;
  • Connecting youth and apprentices to job opportunities and placements; and
  • Creating dedicated spaces, such as innovation hubs and youth centres, to develop partnerships and foster innovation.

Thompson also announced up to $3.8 million in funding for 61 projects that have been selected through the previous RED intake. Funding from this intake is being used to help diversify local economies, retain skilled workers, and attract opportunities, workers, and investment to rural communities.