Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Economic Development Initiative Funding Announcement for the Réseau de Développement économique et d'employabilité de l'Ontario (RDÉE Ontario)

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Speaking Points

Bernard Trottier, Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore

Toronto, ON

July 23, 2015

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests.

RDÉE Ontario is dedicated to diversifying and strengthening the economy of all francophone communities in Ontario and ensuring that Francophone businesses and organizations have the tools they need to grow and prosper.

One of the best parts of being a Member of Parliament is seeing the great work done by organizations and businesses in my community. As a Francophone living in Toronto, I'm truly honoured to be here today, during Toronto's Franco-Fête, to make an announcement that will have a positive impact on the Francophone community in Ontario.

Through Economic Action Plan 2015, our Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Harper remains committed to supporting what matters to Canadians: job creation and prosperous communities.

That is why we have cut taxes for job-creating businesses; invested in research and development; expanded markets for Canadian businesses abroad; committed unprecedented support for job-creating infrastructure; and established the framework for the responsible development of our natural resources.

Transforming ideas into high value goods and services means more opportunities for businesses to develop and grow—creating jobs, growth, and long-term prosperity.

Our Government understands that small- and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and economic development organizations, play a crucial role in job creation and strengthening Canada's competitiveness.


Our Government is committed to supporting the growth and diversification of the southern Ontario economy, through investments in the people and ideas that will help Francophone businesses and organizations succeed, grow and continue to play an important role in bringing economic prosperity to our region.

Official language minority communities are diverse and vibrant, with many institutions and associations in the fields of education, culture, health, justice, the economy and communications.

In Ontario, we have the largest Francophone population in the country outside of Québec.

Ontario is now home to 611,500 Franco-Ontarians, of which over 476,000 live in southern Ontario.

Through FedDev Ontario, our Government launched the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) in 2009 as part of the Governments efforts to strengthen linguistic duality across the country. EDI is a key economic development initiative for official language minority communities under the Government of Canada's Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages 2013–2018.

This initiative is one of many that our Government is delivering to support our communities and businesses, making them more prosperous.

This brings me to why we are all here.

Our Government is proud to support Francophone organizations like RDÉE Ontario.

RDÉE Ontario's mission is to promote economic development and employability in order to ensure the vitality and sustainability of all Francophone communities in Ontario. Your organization plays an important role in the growth of Francophone communities and facilitates Francophone economic development, community capacity building, and the creation of sustainable employment.

RDÉE Ontario is part of a network of organizations serving Francophones and Acadian minority communities across Canada under the umbrella of RDÉE Canada.

So ladies and gentlemen, without further delay, I am pleased to announce on behalf of the Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Honourable Gary Goodyear, that our Government is providing up to $47,000 for RDÉE Ontario to create an Ontario Francophone Agri-food Network. This project will strengthen the economic base, the sustainability, and the competitiveness of small- and medium-sized enterprises in Official Language Minorities.

The goal of the Ontario Francophone Agri-food Network will be to offer services throughout Ontario that will support and sustain Francophone businesses in the agri-food sector to increase their competitiveness, and promote diversification. 

With the Ontario Francophone Agri-food Network, RDÉE Ontario will strengthen its capacity and knowledge to serve the agri-food sector, expand services to clients, and increase its profile and presence within Ontario's Francophone community.

Once established, the Ontario Francophone Agri-food Network will provide marketing and promotion services for Francophone small- and medium-sized businesses in the agri-food sector. It will also encourage and promote collaborations, partnerships; and the diversification of small- and medium-sized businesses by offering its members services such as coaching, and the opportunity to participate in tradeshows, economic missions and expositions.

Providing Francophones with the tools they need to do business in Ontario helps to keep and create new jobs right here at home.

Congratulations again.

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