Rural and Northern communities are the backbone of Ontario and key to the province’s economy.

Rural and Northern communities are the backbone of Ontario and key to the province’s economy.

Our government held virtual meetings with hundreds of municipal officials over the past few days at the 2022 ROMA conference to discuss key priorities for rural municipalities, including economic growth, public health, resource development, increasing housing supply and supports for the province’s most vulnerable.

During the conference, we announced investments that will help to accelerate the creation of new housing, support modern and efficient public infrastructure and boost economic development, all of which are critical to building a strong economic recovery for rural Ontario. These include:

Launching a new intake of the Rural Economic Development (RED) program to help build rural Ontario by investing in projects that boost economic opportunities and create jobs in rural and Indigenous communities.

$28 million to support 322 projects through the Municipal Modernization Program to help small and rural municipalities find better, more efficient ways to deliver local services for residents and businesses.

As part of our commitment in 2021 Ontario Economic Outlook and Fiscal Review: Build Ontario to support and protect the people who work and live in rural Ontario, we’re also investing $1 billion over the next five years through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to help build and repair local roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure, and ensure small, rural and northern communities have the resources they need to build stronger, healthier and more resilient communities.

We will continue working with ROMA and our municipal partners to protect the progress we’ve made against COVID-19 and lay the groundwork for strong, thriving communities in every corner of the province.