July 15, 2005

PEMBROKE, Ontario, July 15, 2005 - The Honourable Mauril Bélanger, Minister for Internal Trade, Deputy Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Member of Parliament for Ottawa–Vanier, today provided more details on how the Renfrew County Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) will share in the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).

During the first phase of the EODF, the Government of Canada invested $10 million to promote economic development in Eastern Ontario.  An additional $8.2 million was provided under Budget 2005, announced in February of this year.

“The Government of Canada understands the challenges facing rural Eastern Ontario communities and is committed to providing the tools they need to grow and prosper,” said Minister Bélanger.  “Since the launch of the Program, the EODF has generated tremendous interest from our local partners, resulting in more than 650 funded projects to benefit Eastern Ontario communities.”

“Renfrew County will benefit directly from the economic development and jobs created by the EODF,” added Minister Bélanger.  “This new funding will bring to more than $1 million the total EODF funding accessed by the Renfrew County CFDC since the launch of the Program.”

The EODF is a Government of Canada initiative announced in the spring of 2004.  It was created following extensive consultation with Eastern Ontario CFDCs and community and municipal leaders.  The EODF promotes socio-economic development in rural Eastern Ontario, contributes to the successful development of business and job opportunities and sustainable self-reliant communities, and will lead to a competitive and diversified regional economy.  Again this year, the program will support five key economic development priorities, namely business development, access to capital, skills development, retention and attraction of youth, and
technological enhancements.

The 15 CFDCs located throughout rural Eastern Ontario were selected to deliver the EODF based on an extensive network of community partners, a proven track record in community economic development, and an established infrastructure made up of some 47 staff members and more than 200 volunteers.

CFDCs deliver a wide variety of programs and services to support community economic development and small business growth.  They employ local staff and are each governed by a volunteer board of directors, made up of local residents representative of the community.  In the last five years, Ontario CFDCs, through their investment and business counselling activities, invested more than $229 million to help the small business sector create or maintain 26,418 jobs.

“With this new funding, the Renfrew County CFDC can continue to work with its local partners to address economic development issues specific to the region such as skills development and youth retention,” said Ted Barron, Chair of the Renfrew County CFDC.  “We look forward to another successful round of EODF initiatives to benefit our communities. ”

The delivery of the EODF will continue to be managed by FedNor, a Government of Canada regional economic development organization responsible for the Community Futures Program in Ontario.

Through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund and its investment in CFDCs, the Government of Canada is acting on its commitment to support economic growth and diversification in rural communities.

Funding for this initiative was provided for in the February 2005 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

To find out more about Ontario CFDCs, visit:


For more information, please contact:

Graeme Wilkes
Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of State (FedNor)
(613) 947-5850

Orli Namian
Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Mauril Bélanger
(613) 299-6422

Robert Naud
Senior Communications Officer, Industry Canada/FedNor
(613) 954-3691 or 1 877 333-6673