Speech Article from  Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Archived - Economic Development Initiative and Eastern Ontario Development Program Funding Announcement for Prescott-Russell

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Speaking Points

Pierre Lemieux, Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell

Alfred, ON

April 14, 2015


Good morning ladies and gentlemen, friends and guests.

Thank you all for joining us. Thank you to John Candie and the Prescott-Russell CDC for hosting us this morning.

It is a pleasure to be here today in the presence of organizations that dedicate their time to ensuring businesses and Francophone entrepreneurs have the tools they need to grow and prosper.

As Member of Parliament for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, I'm pleased to deliver some great news on behalf of our Government.

I'm happy to report that under the leadership of our Prime Minister, Canada now boasts one of the best job creation records in the G7.

We are one of the world leaders in economic growth and we have been recognized globally as one of the best environments for investment.

Not only is our Government setting the right macro-economic conditions for businesses to grow and prosper, we are also making life more affordable for Canadian families. 

With our recent Family Tax Cut initiative, Canadians now have more money in their pockets to spend on priorities such as their families.

As Prime Minister Harper stated, "Our Government is fulfilling its promise to balance the federal budget and we are now in a position to help families balance theirs."

The same sentiments extend to our focus on economic growth. We remain dedicated to providing the right resources to individuals and businesses in this region to create jobs, stay competitive, and prosper long-term

Investments such as this one support the growth and prosperity of our communities, creating opportunities and jobs.

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.

They make up roughly 98 percent of all businesses in Canada, and employ close to 8 million people. That's over half of the private sector workforce. They also account for more than 30 percent of Canada's Gross Domestic Product. Simply put, small- and medium-sized businesses are big in Canada.

Our Government is committed to supporting the growth and diversification of the eastern and 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's Francophone population increased almost 50 percent between 1951 and 2006, and increased an additional 4.5 percent from 2006 to 2011. Ontario is now home to 611,500 Franco-Ontarians, of which over 476,000 live in southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario launched the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) in 2009 as part of 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.

Today I'm pleased to announce two investments to support the economic development efforts for this great region.

Prescott-Russell CDC is receiving over $934,665, under the EDI initiative, to support
the development of business mentoring, coaching and training activities of the Entrepreneurial Academy of Prescott & Russell, as well as providing access to capital to implement business ideas. 

I am also happy to announce that the Entrepreneurial Academy of Prescott & Russell will receive $250,000 from the EOCFDC Network, under the EODP collaborative projects stream, to further support the organization's mandate to propel innovation and growth in a number of important economic sectors. This specific investment will allow the Entrepreneurial Academy of Prescott & Russell to promote awareness and generate new opportunities for businesses and investors in this region, and fuel growth in existing industries.

[Pause for applause]

These investments will support the needs of our community's vibrant entrepreneurs by offering counselling, mentorship, business training and, of course, access to capital.

Through this funding, we are helping to provide Francophones, talented entrepreneurs and companies with great growth potential, with the tools they need to do business in Ontario, to keep and create new jobs right here at home.

And speaking of jobs, I am also pleased to note that this project is expected to create up to 423 full-time permanent positions and 195 temporary full-time jobs during the life of this project.

Congratulations again.


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