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Supporting Jobs and Growth in Rural Ontario

News Release

Supporting Jobs and Growth in Rural Ontario

Province Helping to Attract Investment and Create Jobs

Ministry of Rural Affairs

Ontario is helping rural communities, organizations and businesses create jobs and attract investment with renewed support from the Rural Economic Development (RED) program.

The province has already invested more than $167 million in over 400 projects through the RED program since 2003, generating more than $1.2 billion in local economic activity and creating more than 35,000 jobs. The continuation of the program will help:

  • Strengthen the capacity of rural communities and regions to undertake economic development activities, such as market research and business expansion plans
  • Create  more competitive and diverse rural and regional economies
  • Attract investment, increase competitiveness and encourage greater collaboration among rural communities and businesses

Strengthening rural communities is part of the Ontario government's plan to create jobs, boost the economy and build a more fair and prosperous society.

Quick Facts

  • Eligible applicants include municipalities; not-for-profit organizations; industry, economic development and regionally-focused associations; businesses and corporations; First Nations, Metis, and Inuit communities; and broader public sector organizations, such as school boards, colleges and universities.
  • The province is also supporting regional economic development through programs such as the Eastern Ontario Development Fund, the Southwestern Ontario Development Fund, and the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.
  • In its 2013 Budget, Ontario announced a new $100 million infrastructure fund to help small, rural and northern communities address roads, bridges and other critical infrastructure. Consultations on the fund took place across the province this summer and are now complete.

Additional Resources


Jeff Leal

“For rural Ontario to prosper and grow, we must continue supporting innovative and competitive local businesses. With the help of the RED program, rural communities will be better positioned to attract investment, create jobs and sustain a highly skilled workforce.”

Jeff Leal

Minister of Rural Affairs

“Ontario’s future prosperity depends on the success of our rural communities. The RED program supports our shared interest in creating stronger, more competitive rural economies, and in creating new jobs for today and tomorrow.”

Ron Eddy

Chair, Rural Ontario Municipal Association

Media Contacts



Government Jobs and Employment Rural and North