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Investing in rural Ottawa

Investing in rural Ottawa

The city’s ag committee approved spending for rural wards

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer
Farms.com

Some of Ottawa’s rural communities will receive support from the city.

The municipal agriculture and rural affairs committee approved $150,000 of funding for four wards: West Carleton-March, Cumberland, Osgoode and Rideau-Goulbourn.

The money is part of Ottawa’s new Rural Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan, which is designed to promote economic growth in those four wards.

The investment will help support the plan and create jobs in rural communities.

The plan has five targeted areas:

  • a supportive business environment
  • a vibrant rural lifestyle
  • strengthened rural tourism
  • innovation in agriculture and agri-food production
  • advocating for rural priorities

Ottawa’s rural wards contribute significantly to the city’s overall success.

Of the city’s $40 billion GDP, the rural economy contributes more than $1 billion to that figure, the city of Ottawa says.

Investing in ways to bring people to rural Ottawa could help those parts of the city thrive, said Ivan Petersen, a dairy and cash crop producer from Osgoode.

“Maybe there’s something we can do to bring kids from the city in to visit or work on farms,” he told Farms.com. “Even if it’s just to give them an opportunity to learn about agriculture, you’re at least bringing them out to the rural communities.”

Other rural residents would like to see some of the money directed towards infrastructure.

Having bridges in good shape can help the whole community, said Michel Dignard, a cash crop producer from Russell.

“There are a few bridges that aren’t in (good) condition right now and if (the city) is able to direct some money there, it would go a long way for the ag community,” he told Farms.com.

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