PETERBOROUGH, ON, Dec. 17, 2019 /CNW/ - The Government of Canada recognizes the critical role that rural and northern communities play in our country's economic and social well-being, which is why it supports investments that will grow local economies, improve social inclusiveness, and safeguard the health and environment of rural communities.
Today, the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development and Member of Parliament for Peterborough-Kawartha, discussed the federal government's efforts to advance Rural Economic Development during a roundtable discussion hosted by the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce.
Representatives from Peterborough Kawartha Economic Development, Community Futures Peterborough, Peterborough County Federation of Agriculture, Kawartha Manufactures Association, the Innovation Cluster, Fleming College and Trent University were among those in attendance at the roundtable.
Minister Monsef outlined the federal government's Rural Economic Development Strategy which highlights people, places and partnerships as keys to sustainable rural economic development. The strategy leverages ongoing federal investments and provides a vision for the future, identifying practical steps to take in the short term, serving as a foundation to guide further work. The strategy was developed to address the issues that rural Canadians identified, such as broadband connectivity, housing access and affordability, community infrastructure, and attracting and retaining labour.
Minister Monsef also discussed Canada's Connectivity Strategy- the government's plan to connect all Canadians with access to affordable, high-speed Internet no matter where they live, and to improve mobile cellular access along highways and major roads. Better connectivity will provide rural Canadians with better access to health, education, and government services.
"Rural Canadians face unique challenges – as well as opportunities for growth and innovation. We also know that rural leaders know what's best for their communities. That is why we are working in partnership with rural, remote and Indigenous communities to help build economic growth and sustainability in the years to come. So that they can start new businesses, develop new skills, and stay connected to each other and markets around the world."
The Honourable Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
"Rural Economic Development is an important pillar of our local economy. To have our local MP as the new Minister is a great opportunity to have our voice and perspective heard at the Cabinet table. We appreciate Minister Monsef's willingness to meet with us early on in her mandate to gain a strong understanding of the issues facing rural communities."
Stuart Harrison, President and CEO of the Greater Peterborough Chamber of Commerce
- Through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, the Government of Canada is investing more than $180 billion over 12 years in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada's rural and northern communities.
- $2 billion of this funding is supporting infrastructure projects that meet the unique needs of rural and northern communities like facilities to support food security, local access roads and enhanced broadband connectivity.
- On June 27, 2019, the Government of Canada launched two new strategies: Canada's Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet, and Canada's first Rural Economic Development Strategy, which will spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for rural Canadians across the country.
- Central to Canada's Connectivity Strategy are historic new investments that are mobilizing up to $6 billion toward universal connectivity. They include a top-up to the Connect to Innovate Program, a new Universal Broadband Fund, and investments from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.
- In Budget 2019 the Government of Canada created a top-up to the Gas Tax Fund of $2.2 billion, which will flow directly to municipal governments across the country to get their infrastructure priorities underway.
Rural Opportunity, National Prosperity: An Economic Development Strategy for Rural Canada [https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/rural/strat-eng.html]
High-Speed Access for All: Canada's Connectivity Strategy [http://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/h_00002.html]
Rural Economic Development Website: https://www.infrastructure.gc.ca/rural/index-eng.html
Get Connected Web Portal: https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/139.nsf/eng/h_00000.html
Budget 2019, Investing in the Middle Class: https://www.budget.gc.ca/2019/home-accueil-en.html
Investing in Canada: Canada's Long-Term Infrastructure Plan:
Investing in Canada Plan Project Map:
SOURCE Infrastructure Canada
For further information: Émilie Simard, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development, 613-864-7690, [email protected]; Media Relations, Infrastructure Canada, 613-960-9251, Toll free: 1-877-250-7154, Email: [email protected]