City of Ottawa ups spending on its rural economy

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Ottawa's Experimental Farm.

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.

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