January 21, 2005

KESWICK, Ontario, January 21, 2005 — The Honourable Andy Mitchell, Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food, on behalf of the Honourable Joe Comuzzi, Minister of State (FedNor), today announced Government of Canada support to the South Lake Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) toward development of a technological infrastructure network.  The CFDC is partnering with South Shore Community Broadband to conduct a feasibility study to identify the overall demand for broadband Internet in its service area.

“The Government of Canada is committed to enhancing the telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit of our rural communities,” said Minister Mitchell.  “Projects like this help ensure that the technology is there for residents and businesses to interact, transact, learn and reach their economic potential.”

There are 61 CFDCs in rural and Northern Ontario funded by Industry Canada’s Community Futures Program through FedNor.  CFDCs are designed to develop and implement long-term, community-based economic development initiatives.  They employ local staff and are governed by a volunteer-based board of directors, made up of local residents representative of the community.

In the last five years, through their investment and counselling activities, CFDCs in Ontario invested more than $196 million to help the small business sector create or maintain 22 288 jobs.

Industry Canada is providing the South Lake CFDC with $64 400 through its Innovation and Knowledge-Based Economy Initiative in support of this project.

“This project has been identified as serving a clear need in the ongoing growth of the local economy,” said Buchan Etherington, Chair of the South Lake CFDC.  “As a result, we can foster the development of new businesses and support the growth of existing ones.”

Through this initiative, 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 March 2004 federal budget and is therefore built into the existing fiscal framework.

To find out more about Ontario’s CFDCs, visit us at:  http//


For more information, please contact:

Graeme Wilkes
Director of Communications, Office of the Honourable Joe Comuzzi
(613) 947-5850

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