MIL-OSI Canada: Statement from Minister Hutchings on progress in support of Canadians

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Source: Government of Canada News

Ministers, Indigenous leaders and rural experts come together on rural economic development 

May 31, 2024 – Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario 

Today, the Honourable Gudie Hutchings, Minister of Rural Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency, alongside her co-chair, the Honourable Lisa M. Thompson, Ontario’s Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, concluded a successful three-day federal-provincial-territorial (FPT) meeting in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The meeting included provincial and territorial ministers, Indigenous leaders, experts and on-the-ground practitioners responsible for rural economic development.

Following the meeting, Minister Hutchings issued the following statement:

“Canada’s small, rural and remote communities, whether western farms, Atlantic coastal fishing villages, isolated northern hamlets or any of the many small towns across this great country, are critical to our nation’s success. Our government is determined to make sure rural Canada reaches its full potential, recognizing unique challenges while taking advantage of the considerable opportunities. We also know that more can be done. That is why our government is working closely with provinces, territories and Indigenous partners to make significant investments in rural Canada and ensure our programs and policies reflect rural realities.

“Building on the success of our first-ever meeting last year, federal, provincial and territorial ministers responsible for rural economic development; representatives of national Indigenous organizations; expert speakers; and on-the-ground practitioners gathered for dedicated discussions on all things rural. Coming out of this FPT meeting, it is clear that small communities are important pillars of regional economies and the Canadian economy as a whole.

“Our team is focused on developing a forward-looking vision that can help us collectively prepare for the diverse challenges and opportunities found in rural Canada. There is strong agreement that amidst an evolving economic landscape and challenges posed by global events, including climate change and quickly changing technology, we have to work together to make sure all communities have what they need to grow.

“This week’s meeting was an opportunity to share experiences and best practices and to hear from a diverse range of voices on how to seize the potential for economic development and revitalization in rural communities across Canada. We discussed Indigenous economic development and partnerships, rural workforce development, opportunities for climate resilience, rural tourism, and approaches to help ensure rural perspectives are included in decision making by every order of government. Canada’s Minister of Tourism joined our meeting on Friday to underscore the importance of tourism to rural communities and highlight federal support for the tourism sector.

“This week also marks the first anniversary of the launch of our website, which helps rural residents, business owners, community leaders and Indigenous people learn about the programs, services, and benefits available to them. It also features stories from rural communities across Canada that have benefitted from Government of Canada programs and services, including improved access to high-speed Internet. Today 93.5% of Canadian households are connected and the Government of Canada is on track to exceed its goal of providing high-speed Internet access to 98% of Canadian households by 2026 and 100% by 2030.

“When rural, remote and Indigenous communities succeed, Canada succeeds. Thanks to all those who participated in this week’s FPT meeting, both in person and virtually, and to our co-host, the Government of Ontario and the co-chair, the Honourable Lisa Thompson.

Associated links

  • is a source for rural Canadians to find resources and information on Government of Canada programs focused on their needs.

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