Alberta's rural communities will be able to further diversity and develop their region's rural economy, thanks to a federal investment of more than $4.5 million, provided by Western Economic Diversification Canada.
The Honourable Rona Ambrose, President of the Queen's Privy Council for Canada, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs and Minister of Western Economic Diversification, announced the funding today during a videoconference with Community Futures Alberta and the 27 member Community Futures (CF) organizations.
"Today's investment will enable rural Alberta communities to take advantage of local opportunities to further diversify and develop their economies," said Minister Ambrose. "The Government of Canada is proud to support rural communities in leveraging their collective strengths and resources to create a stronger and more sustainable western Canadian economy."
The Community Futures Rural Diversification Initiative will provide funds to CF offices for rural diversification projects that include activities such as promoting new technologies, products and services; adding value to traditional industries; developing new markets; and supporting initiatives that enhance productivity for industry.
Local CF offices will identify and develop the projects and will be eligible to receive the funds through Community Futures Alberta, which provides support and leadership to the 27-member CF offices. Forty per cent of funding for each project will come from other sources to allow for industry and community partnership in the initiative.
In expressing appreciation to the Government of Canada and Western Economic Diversification, Harry Prummel, Chair of Community Futures Alberta said that "today's announcement will further enhance the capacity of Alberta Community Futures organizations to continue to work on a grass-roots basis to identify and develop projects that will have potential to make a significant impact on our local rural communities."
CF offices take a grassroots approach to community and economic development outside major cities. Each of the 90 CFs across Western Canada delivers a variety of services, ranging from strategic economic planning, technical and advisory services, loans to small- and medium-sized businesses, self-employment assistance programs and services targeted to youth and entrepreneurs with disabilities.
CFs, funded by WD, are non-profit organizations guided by a volunteer board of directors and staffed with business professionals who work with local communities and their agencies and organizations to develop long-term community economic development strategies and plans, and promote the region and its economic opportunities.
Western Economic Diversification Canada is a department of the Government of Canada that works in partnership with various provinces, industry associations and communities to encourage diversification of the western economy, as well as to represent the interests of the West in national decision-making.
For additional information contact:
Manager, Communication, Consultation and Marketing
Western Economic Diversification Canada
Telephone: (780) 495-6892
Cell: (780) 991-7432
Community Futures Alberta
Phone: (403) 851-9995
WD Toll-Free Number:1 888 338-WEST (9378)
Web Site: WD is online at Western Economic Diversification Canada.
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