Archived — Government of Canada Funding Promotes Economic Growth in Southern Ontario Francophone Communities

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For immediate release
March 6, 2012

Ottawa, Ontario — Royal Galipeau, Member of Parliament for Ottawa-Orleans, on behalf of the Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced an investment of $1.5 million to support activities that will benefit people and businesses located in various francophone communities across southern Ontario.

"The Government of Canada is committed to creating jobs and growth in southern Ontario, and to ensuring that francophone communities can continue to prosper," said MP Galipeau. "The funding announced today will support three provincial organizations that are working to improve the economic foundation in official language minority communities in the region."

Under the Economic Development Initiative, l'Assemblée de la francophonie de l'Ontario (AFO) will receive up to $500,000 to support a youth internship program for southern Ontario, which will allow at least 10 not-for-profit organizations and six businesses to hire an intern.

"AFO is very pleased to be linked to this initiative. The Jeunes stagiaires program will be coordinated by our Centre d'information en ressources financières and it will be instrumental in helping young francophones integrate into the workplace. This initiative also aligns well with the implementation of the Community Strategic Plan of French Ontario," said Peter Hominuk, Director General at AFO.

La Fondation franco-ontarienne will receive up to $500,000 to support the creation of a micro-credit investment fund for francophone entrepreneurs in southern Ontario. The fund will help create an estimated 300 new businesses over the next seven years.

"The Fondation franco-ontarienne is very pleased to receive this 49th endowment funding," said Claude B. Gingras, President of the Fondation franco-ontarienne. "The micro-credit investment fund will allow the Franco-Ontarian business community to actively participate in the economic development of southern Ontario."

The Réseau de développement économique et d'employabilité de l'Ontario (RDÉE Ontario) will receive up to $500,000 to support the hiring of four staff that will provide professional guidance and training for small- and medium-sized businesses within the francophone communities of southern Ontario.

"The RDÉE Ontario is pleased and proud to lead this innovative and unique project for francophones in Ontario," said Nicole Sauvé, Director General of the RDÉE Ontario. "This project, named Affaires et Alliances, is designed to support and respond to the specific needs of the entrepreneurial community through professional coaching for small- and medium-sized businesses."

The Economic Development Initiative is part of the "Roadmap for Canada's Linguistic Duality 2008-2013: Acting for the Future", the Government of Canada's official languages strategy. The initiative is delivered by FedDev Ontario in southern Ontario.

As part of this initiative, the government is providing funding to promote the development of new expertise through innovation, diversification of economic activities, partnerships and increased support to small- and medium-sized businesses in southern Ontario francophone communities.

Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region's businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.feddevontario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.

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For more information, contact:

Stephanie Thomas
Special Assistant – Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear
613-960-7728

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario
519-571-6879

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