Governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island invest in rural development

News release

Almost $700,000 dedicated to help tourism recover, attract new investments and diversify employment opportunities in PEI

August 28, 2020 – Charlottetown, PE – Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency – ACOA

Strong rural communities are essential to a thriving Canadian economy. This is why the federal government is working closely with its many partners to help attract investment, diversify the regional economy and create jobs. Through the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), the Government of Canada, along with the Province of Prince Edward Island (PEI), is helping to expand opportunities in rural communities and build an economy that is innovative, sustainable and inclusive.

Infrastructure and strategic planning to strengthen communities in PEI

The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque, together with the Honourable Jamie Fox, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities, today announced close to $700,000 in federal and provincial investments in two Central Development Corporation (CDC) projects to expand the tourism sector and diversify economic opportunities in rural PEI. MP Easter made the announcement on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA.

The first project will enable CDC to deliver the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Tourism Not-For-Profit Organizations (NGOs), supporting the recovery of rural tourism. The fund will provide tourism NGOs with working capital to stabilize and mitigate the economic impacts of the pandemic and shorten the recovery period for rural regions.

The second project will support the Community Capacity Fund. Administered by the CDC, the fund provides community strategic planning services to not-for-profit organizations, industry associations, municipalities, First Nations and social enterprises.

These investments support strategic initiatives in communities across PEI, which will help attract investment, increase tourism and diversify employment opportunities for rural Islanders. Improved infrastructure and access to expertise for skills development will also give businesses and employees the tools needed to build on the unique strengths and resources of the communities and showcase the best of the region.


“Atlantic Canada’s rural communities are the backbone of the region’s economy, home to so many people who are proud of where they’re from and what they do. As they work to recover from the impact of COVID-19, we stand with them. Our message is clear: we’ve been here for you with immediate measures, we’re here for you now as our economy reopens and we’ll get through this, together. We’re working with you to support good, local jobs and help Atlantic Canada’s economy come back strong.”

-       The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for ACOA

“This has been a challenging year for all Islanders. As we navigate this new path together, I continue to be impressed with the resilience, vision and optimism shown by our community leaders. In every corner of our province, there are resourceful Islanders creating employment in their communities and new memorable experiences for visitors. These federal investments support that great work that is essential to our recovery and prosperity.”

-       The Honourable Wayne Easter, Member of Parliament for Malpeque

“Our rural communities have been significantly impacted by this pandemic over the past months, and I want to thank Islanders for their steady resilience. Through this funding, not-for-profit tourism groups in rural areas will be able to continue to plan strategically, and operate safely during this pandemic. Our rural communities are of utmost importance on PEI, and I want to thank everyone involved, as well as Rural Development for their continued hard work to ensure these communities get the funding they need.”

-       The Honourable Jamie Fox, PEI Minister of Fisheries and Communities

“Central Development Corporation is proud to partner with the Government of Canada and the Province of PEI to administer these programs to help local organizations mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure they are in a positive position for a quick recovery.”

-       Barbara Weeks, Executive Director, Central Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • Central Development Corporation (CDC) is an economic development organization mandated to facilitate development in rural PEI.

  • The Government of Canada is providing CDC with a non-repayable contribution of $347,500 for the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Tourism Not-For-Profit Organizations, while the Government of Prince Edward Island is providing a $175,000 grant for the initiative. 

  • The Government of Canada is providing CDC with a non-repayable contribution of $96,250 to administer the Community Capacity Fund, while the Government of PEI is contributing $75,250.

  • Federal funding for both projects is provided through ACOA’s Innovative Communities Fund (ICF). Provincial funding is provided through Innovation PEI and the Department of Fisheries and Communities.

  • According to the Community Foundation of PEI’s “Building the Capacity of PEI’s Third Sector” report, not-for-profit community organizations play a significant role in Prince Edward Island's rural communities, employing more people than the aerospace, bioscience and information technology sectors combined.

Associated links


Alexander Cohen 

Press Secretary

Office of the Minister of Economic 

Development and Official Languages

Jana Parker Smith

Communications Manager

ACOA PEI & Tourism


Kip Ready

Senior Communications Officer

PEI Department of Fisheries and Communities


Barbara Weeks, MBA

Executive Director

Central Development Corporation


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