The City of Ottawa’s Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee approved $150,000 of spending last week for the city’s rural wards in the year ahead.
The funding is part of a new Rural Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan intended to stimulate economic growth in the four wards of West Carleton-March, Cumberland, Osgoode and Rideau-Goulbourn.
Ottawa already has the largest rural economy among Canada’s major cities. According to city hall numbers, the rural economy contributes more than $1 billion to Ottawa’s gross domestic product (GDP) of $40 billion. Agriculture alone accounts for $400 million, $136.7 million of which is farm-gate sales.
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Rural economic activity includes agriculture, retail sales, construction, forestry and mining (aggregates), tourism, manufacturing, personal and business services, and transportation.
The city’s rural strategy has five priority areas:
- Supportive business environment
- Vibrant rural lifestyle
- Strengthened rural tourism
- Innovation in agriculture and agri-food production
- Advocating for rural priorities