October 26, 2006

OTTAWA, Ontario, October 20, 2006 – The Honourable Tony Clement, Minister of Health and Minister for FedNor, is pleased to highlight the important contribution Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) are making to rural and Northern communities in Ontario.  On Friday, October 20, more than 760 volunteers and 264 staff of these small, not-for-profit organizations throughout Ontario will celebrate CFDC Day.

“Small businesses are at the heart of our rural communities, and CFDCs are right there helping them on the road to success,” said Minister Clement.  “Canada’s New Government is proud of its partnership with these dedicated, community-minded organizations.”

There are 61 CFDCs in Ontario funded by Industry Canada’s Community Futures Program, through FedNor.  They deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support economic development and small business growth. CFDCs employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors made up of local residents who represent the community.

In Ontario, there are more than 336,000 small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.  These account for 97 per cent of all Ontario businesses and nearly 50 per cent of the total workforce.  According to Statistics Canada, the small business sector was responsible for the creation of about half of all new jobs in Ontario in 2005.

CFDCs are helping to create the right conditions for businesses to grow and prosper across rural Ontario,” added Minister Clement.  “For more than 20 years, CFDCs have been bringing community leaders together to develop local solutions that will address local priorities.”

Throughout the week, communities across rural and Northern Ontario have been celebrating the significant role small and medium-sized businesses and CFDCs play in stimulating economic development and small business growth.  Small Business Week, an initiative of the Business Development Bank of Canada, runs October 15-21, 2006.

To find out more about Ontario CFDCs, visit:


For more information, please contact:

Erik Waddell
Press Secretary, Office of the Honourable Tony Clement

Robert Naud
Senior Communications Officer, FedNor
613-954-3691 or 1-877-333-6673