Ontario Liberals Commit to Creating $80-million Eastern Ontario Development Fund;



    Change that's Working For Eastern Ontario Families

    KINGSTON, ON, Aug. 17 /CNW/ - A new Eastern Ontario Development Fund to
help promote economic growth will be a key feature in the McGuinty Liberal's
upcoming election platform, John Gerretsen, MPP for Kingston and the Islands
announced today.
    The Eastern Ontario Economic Development Fund will invest $80 million
over four years ($20 million annually) in the region.
    "Together, we're working to build a stronger Eastern Ontario. After years
of neglect and cuts under the Conservatives, the McGuinty Liberals have made
significant investments in our region. This Eastern Ontario Development Fund
will ensure stable support for years to come," said Gerretsen. "This fund will
bring more jobs to Eastern Ontario."
    The Eastern Ontario Development Fund will build on the McGuinty
government's significant investments in the region, including more than
$300-million through a variety of programs and initiatives to maintain and
build infrastructure and attract economic growth. Since 2003, significant
funding has flowed into Eastern Ontario through: the Move Ontario fund, Rural
Economic Development (RED) Program, Ontario Small Town & Rural Development
(OSTAR) plan, the Ontario Municipal Partnership Fund (OMPF); Ontario Strategic
Infrastructure Financing Authority (OSIFA), among others.
    Only the McGuinty Liberals are committed to investing in Eastern
Ontario's economy, to ensure future success, more local jobs and strengthened
local economy. This announcement is a direct result of policy and platform
consultations that have occurred amongst Ontario Liberal caucus and
candidates. "This was really a team effort by all Eastern Ontario Candidates,
who strongly advocated for this fund through our Party's Platform development
process," commented John Gerretsen.
    While the McGuinty Liberals have made investing in Eastern Ontario a
priority, the former Conservative government cancelled programs including the
Eastern Ontario Development Corporation, even as Norm Sterling and Bob
Runciman sat around the cabinet table.
    The proposed Eastern Ontario Economic Development Fund would invest twice
as much as John Tory's Federal Conservative counter-parts have promised for
Eastern Ontario - $20 million annually versus the federal $10 million.
    "I'm proud to be running with a Liberal team that understands the needs
of Eastern Ontario," said John Gerretsen. "The Eastern Ontario Development
fund is going to highlight the talent in the region and be a tremendous
benefit to families. Under the McGuinty Liberals we're seeing vital
investments in our schools, our health care and our economy. We need to
continue to move forward. We can't afford to go back."





For further information:

For further information: Ben Chin, Ontario Liberal Party, (416)
358-6291

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