Premier Ford reaffirms commitment to making rural Ontario open for business

PC leader Doug Ford addresses a Cornwall audience during an election campaign stop in April. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

ONTARIO — The Ford government emphasized yesterday that it is “making sure rural communities are open for business by cutting red tape and making it easier to create and protect good-paying jobs.”   

Premier Doug Ford, speaking at the 2019 Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) conference, an annual event that brings together rural Ontario municipal leaders to discuss priorities and ways to strengthen their communities, delivered that message.

“For too long, rural Ontario has been ignored. Our hardworking farmers have been ignored,” said Ford. “Ontario’s economy relies on agriculture. Our natural resources and forestry industries are major economic drivers. We need to do everything in our power to get our farmers and rural businesses the support they need to grow and create more local jobs.”

Ford highlighted the actions the government is taking to lighten regulatory burdens in more than a dozen sectors, and the positive effects these actions will have on the industries many rural communities rely on, including natural resources and agriculture. These actions will lower business costs, make it easier for farmers to run their businesses and make Ontario more competitive.

He addressed a long-standing request from municipalities and announced that the Ontario government intends to consult on joint and several liability. The government will look at evidence and develop solutions that make sense for the people.

The premier also committed to delivering better health care to rural communities. The government is investing $175 million in infrastructure upgrades at 128 hospitals across Ontario, in places like Renfrew, Sarnia and Espanola.

“We promised to support our rural businesses and communities, and we’re keeping our promise,” said Ford. “We’re lowering electricity costs, we’re slashing red tape and we’re getting out of the way of businesses so they can focus on growing and creating jobs.”

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