Rural Economic Development

Update

On August 13, 2021, Canada's Rural Economic Development Strategy: Progress Report August 2021 was released.

Rural communities have unique needs, challenges and opportunities. These include access to better community infrastructure such as improved roads and bridges; cleaner drinking water; affordable housing; and faster, more reliable Internet service—all of which can make a big difference in the quality of life of rural Canadians.

The Government of Canada is making significant investments that are creating opportunities for growth and diversification to ensure that rural Canada continues to thrive. The Rural Economic Development Strategy outlines a whole-of-government approach to meeting the economic, social development and sustainability needs of rural Canada, including connectivity, climate change and adaptation, infrastructure, skills and labour, housing, and tourism.

As COVID-19 continues to have an unprecedented impact, the Government of Canada is taking strong action to help all Canadians, including rural Canadians, no matter where they live.

Programs and initiatives for rural communities

Canada’s blue economy

Coastal scene with jagged rocky islands

Canada has an opportunity to harness its ocean growth potential by building back better—and bluer.


 

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Economic development

Ripe tomatoes at an outdoor market

Rural communities are crucial to the economic success of Canada, contributing 30% of the country’s GDP. Supporting businesses and creating strong and dynamic local economies are key to prosperity in rural communities.

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Connectivity / broadband

Bundle of optical fibres

All Canadians, no matter where they live, need high-speed Internet to connect with family, keep up at school, run a business and access essential services.
 

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Climate change and adaptation

Cracked and bulging pavement on a bike path

Climate change is having a profound effect on rural communities, especially those in the North.

 

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Infrastructure

Small rail bridge over a river

Strong and modern infrastructure is essential for Canada’s competitiveness and the long-term prosperity of Canadians, whether they live in large cities or small communities.

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Skills and labour

Arborist working high up in a tree

In addition to having a higher unemployment rate than the national average, rural Canada also faces significant labour shortages, particularly of skilled workers.

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Housing

Row of houses on a street

Regardless of where they live, access to affordable and attainable housing is important to Canadians.

 

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Tourism

Hiker walking across a wooden bridge near a wooded area in autumn

Tourism is a growing industry with high potential, supporting 1.8 million jobs. In fact, 56% of tourism jobs are in rural areas.
 

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Immigration

Canadian flag waving in the wind

Economic immigration is helping rural communities across Canada attract and retain skilled workers to fill labour shortages and support the country’s economic sectors.

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Minister of Rural Economic Development

Centre for Rural Economic Development

The Centre for Rural Economic Development works collaboratively with rural leaders and stakeholders across Canada on community economic development issues. Visit the Centre for Rural Economic Development web page to learn more.

We want to hear from you

We continue to collect innovative ideas and research about additional ways to create opportunities and improve the quality of life in rural communities across Canada. Contact us.

Benefits in rural communities

Raysolar Renewable Energy, MB

Manitoba's Raysolar on renewable energy

Through its renewable energy systems, Raysolar is bringing opportunities to rural communities in Canada and around the world.

#WDfunded  #GrowWest

Photo of Ray Panbrum of Raysolar, who says: What we're doing in renewable energy as an English-speaking and French-speaking business is very, very unique.

Text version

Manitoba's Raysolar on renewable energy

"What we're doing in renewable energy as an English-speaking and French-speaking business is very, very unique."

– Ray Panbrum of Raysolar

#RuralOpportunity

Cowessess First Nation, SK

Regina’s Cowessess First Nation on renewable energy

Cowessess First Nation of Regina is creating rural opportunity with Canada’s first hybrid renewable energy system.

#WDfunded  #GrowWest

Photo of Lionel Sparvier, Councillor of Cowessess First Nation, who says: This is not just something that benefits Cowessess, but the whole world needs to start thinking green if we want our children yet unborn to enjoy the same quality of life that we enjoy today.

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Regina's cowessess first nation on renewable energy

"This is not just something that benefits Cowessess but the whole world needs to start thinking green if we want our children yet unborn to enjoy the same quality of life that we enjoy today."

– Lionel Sparvier, Councillor of Cowessess First Nation

#RuralOpportunity

White River, ON

Laying groundwork for growth in White River

The Northern Ontario community of White River has created a nurse practitioner–led clinic to better support its residents.

Nurse practitioner taking a patient's blood pressure. With quote from Tina Forsyth, Chief Administrative Officer, White River: This community investment is very important for us. We're on an economic upswing and we really needed help in welcoming new business and people to the community.

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Laying Groundwork for Growth in White River

"This community investment is very important for us…we're on an economic upswing and we really needed help in welcoming new business and people to the community."

– Tina Forsyth, Chief Administrative Officer, White River

#RuralOpportunity

G. E. Barbour, NB

On women in manufacturing and entrepreneurship

Specializing in tea, nut butters, and spice, this New Brunswick-based company is enjoying the taste of success!

Photo of Sylvia MacVey, President and CEO of G.E. Barbour, who says: The opportunities that women bring with them are real and should be part of any company's success plan.

Text version

On women in manufacturing and entrepreneurship

"The opportunities that women bring with them are real and should be part of any company's success plan."

– Sylvia MacVey, President and CEO of G.E. Barbour

#RuralOpportunity

 

Rural news