October 28, 2004
OTTAWA, Ontario - The Honourable Joe Comuzzi, Minister of State (FedNor), today, set the record straight on program details as they pertain to the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).
“Contrary to comments made by opposition members yesterday, the Government of Canada is not creating a new level of bureaucracy to administer the new funding for Eastern Ontario.  EODF is the name of the program being delivered to the Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) ,” said Minister Comuzzi.  “The Eastern Ontario Development Fund will be managed by FedNor essentially in the same manner as FedNor manages all of its other programs.  The EODF is an important initiative for the Government of Canada, since it responds to a need identified by Eastern Ontario communities.  It provides funds to Eastern Ontario communities, following extensive consultation with local wardens, mayors, and representatives from Eastern Ontario CFDCs.”

The EODF is a $10-million Government of Canada initiative announced last May, that will:  promote rural socio-economic development in Eastern Ontario; lead to a more competitive and diversified regional economy; and contribute to the successful development of businesses, job opportunities and sustainable, self-reliant communities.

The EODF will be managed by Industry Canada through FedNor, a Government of Canada regional economic development organization that has been administering the Community Futures Program for all of Ontario since 1995.

Following the EODF announcement in May, Industry Canada/FedNor has been working closely with CFDC representatives to develop terms of reference, administrative processes, and support documentation that respond to local priorities, as well as Government of Canada due diligence requirements.

FedNor has an excellent track record of managing regional economic development initiatives in Ontario,” commented Minister Comuzzi.  “It will provide the type of due diligence and administrative integrity Canadians expect from their government.”

The program details of the EODF were released on Monday, October 25, 2004, in Cobourg, Ontario.  The EODF will support five key areas, namely:  business development; access to capital; skills development; retention and attraction of youth; and technological enhancements.

“We are extremely pleased with the partnership we struck with the 15 Eastern Ontario CFDCs to help deliver the EODF,” added Minister Comuzzi.  “CFDCs have the experience, local knowledge and infrastructure needed to help convert the EODF into economic development opportunities in Eastern Ontario. ”

CFDCs are designed to develop and implement long-term, community-based economic development initiatives.  They employ local staff members and are each 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 business counselling activities, Ontario CFDCs have invested more than $196 million to help the small business sector create or maintain 22,288 jobs.

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 CFDCs, visit:  http://cfdc-

For more information, please contact:
Scott Turbett
Special Assistant, Office of the Honourable Joe Comuzzi
(613) 947-5850

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