Rural & Northern Communities
As Ontario becomes more and more dominated by the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) in terms of population share, economic activity and political influence, it is easy to understand why rural areas and the north often feel neglected.
The province must recognize that even though these areas are changing in terms of demographics and economic opportunities, they are not disappearing. The right set of investments and maintaining their public services can allow them to make a significant contribution to the provincial economy and improve the quality of life of the 20 per cent of the provincial population that lives there.
The modernization of farming and resource development has resulted in fewer employment opportunities. But with education, training, and support for innovative new employers, we will open new opportunities in areas such as education, health care, retail, and tourism.
Rural and northern communities are not just part of our heritage. They must be an important part of our future.
Nearly three million Ontarians live in rural or northern communities.
Change is needed now.
Closing public facilities such as schools, ServiceOntario Centres, LCBOs, and post offices deprives rural and northern communities of important community hubs and good-paying jobs.
Traditional farming and resource based jobs are in decline but centralizing education and training facilities in urban centres severely limits workers’ ability to develop new skills and find jobs in their home areas.
Inadequate funding leaves smaller rural communities with basic sewer and water systems that are out of compliance with current environmental regulations.
A better Ontario means #BetterCommunities. Let’s #VoteBetter.
Call a moratorium on the closure of schools, ServiceOntario Centres, LCBOs and post offices.
Invest in education and training, and innovative, job-creating small businesses.
Commit to the infrastructure investment needed to make rural communities healthy, and new northern resource development a reality.
Establish a Ministry of Rural and Northern Communities to support and advocate for these communities.
Reopen the University of Guelph’s agricultural campuses in Kemptville and Alfred, which perform vital training and research for farmers across Ontario.