March 25, 2004 - by Barry Hendry, The Bancroft Times 

When Hastings, Frontenac, Lennox & Addington Member of Parliament Larry McCormick arrived in Bancroft last Friday for a meeting with town officials, Bob Cloes of the Community Futures Development Corporation surprised him with an award.  “We have selected you the 'Most Valuable Player' of our CFDC team, Larry,” Cloes told the MP.  “You have been a valuable asset to us as our voice in Ottawa.”
McCormick returned the compliment by noting, “You’ve done a great deal for our area, Bob.  I really do appreciate this.  One thing I want to say to the people of this area, is (after the election and considering the new riding boundaries) I will still be living next door.  I will still be able to help in Ottawa.”
Cloes told The Times, “People don’t give Larry all the credit he deserves; we wanted to show our appreciation.  It’s the first time we have offered this award.  Larry has always made time for us and our communities’ needs.  When we tried to get more investment dollars here after the G-P Flakeboard shut down, he worked hard on our behalf, but there was good reason why we couldn’t get that.  Regardless, he still went to bat for us.  We just asked him to speak to the kids in our Leadership Conference and he was there.”
McCormick noted the CFDC’s contribution with, “I started studying Community Futures in ’94 under Lloyd Axworthy.  I do believe in CFDCs.  If they are investing in the community, that is leveraging not just other investment, but also commitment.”
Cloes noted the MP’s long support of rural Canada with his past chairing of the Rural Caucus and Eastern Ontario Caucus.  On the MP’s busy agenda was budget day on March 24, which also included his meeting with MPs and the Eastern Ontario Wardens’ Caucus, which included Hastings County Warden Peter Kooistra.
McCormick recalled a recent meeting in Smiths Falls, noting, “When Bob (Cloes) made his presentation to the Prime Minister there, he proposed what the CFDC wants to do.  And now, with the Wardens, I think CFDCs will be part of that program.”
The Wardens will be proposing its Action Plan for Government with 33 specific recommendations aimed at improving the economic health of the region.
In its March 22 statement, the wardens said, “Paul Macklin, the Chair of the Eastern Ontario Liberal Caucus, and Larry McCormick have been instrumental in developing strong working relationship with the Wardens’ group, and we are appreciative of their help in bringing this week’s meeting together.”
Koistra said, referring to the Smiths Falls meeting, “The Prime Minister promised to bring us back to Ottawa, to try and move this and other issues forward.  Well, he delivered in short order.”
To be tabled on March 24, is the proposal to create a new federal economic development program called ”FedEast”, modeled after other programs like FedNor, which assists economic programs for northern Ontario.