Rural Economic Development

Increased investments in the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund and Eastern Ontario Development Fund will to create jobs and growth

Ontario’s rural communities are important to Ontario’s economic prosperity.

In 2014, you elected us to build Ontario up. Since then, the Ontario Liberal government has invested in regional economic development to boost growth and create and retain good jobs in rural Ontario. It has made historic investments in roads, bridges, water systems and other critical infrastructure. It has also invested in broadband connectivity to help families stay in touch, connect businesses and help rural communities attract investment.

But we are hearing from people that we need to do more. While Ontario’s economy is doing well, regional variations continue to exist. Too many rural communities still lack high-speed broadband service.

That’s why the Ontario Liberals will increase investments in rural Ontario economies and enhance digital and other infrastructure. Our plan:

  • Will invest an additional $100 million in the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund over the next 10 years, creating and retaining nearly 20,000 jobs and attracting more than $800 million in investments
  • Invests up to $26 million in a Main Street Revitalization Initiative to help rural communities attract tourism and other job-creating businesses
  • Will increase Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund investments to $300 million by 2018-19 to build and renew road, bridge, water and wastewater infrastructure
  • Invests an additional $500 million over three years to expand broadband in rural and northern communities
  • Expands access to natural gas
  • Reduces electricity rates in eligible rural communities by up to 50 per cent, through the Fair Hydro Plan

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