Archived - Harper Government Supports Canada's Rural Communities

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April 30, 2014 – Rockland, Ontario – Department of Finance

Speaking at the Rural Economic Summit of Ontario on behalf of Minister of State (Finance) Kevin Sorenson, Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Member of Parliament for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell, today highlighted the importance of strong and vibrant rural communities in the Canadian economy. The Harper Government continues to put forward measures to support rural economies including investments for enhanced broadband and more trade and innovation for the agriculture industry.

For example, Economic Action Plan 2014 invested $305 million over five years to expand and enhance access to high-speed broadband networks to a target speed of 5 megabits per second for up to 280,000 Canadian households, which represents near universal access. Enhanced broadband helps small businesses operate and expand their ideas, sales and opportunities.

Mr. Lemieux also noted that the agriculture and agri-food sector in Canada accounts for over $100 billion in economic activity and provides jobs to over 2.1 million Canadians. The Harper Government continues to support agriculture in Canada through new trade agreements and the new Growing Forward 2 policy framework, which will provide more than $3 billion over five years for investments in innovation, competitiveness and market development.

Quick Facts

  • Between 2009 and 2012, the Broadband Canada program connected nearly 220,000 Canadian households to fast, reliable Internet service.
  • Through Economic Action Plan 2014, the Government of Canada aims to expand and enhance access for up to 280,000 households to reliable Internet service at 5 megabits per second.
  • Under Canada-European Union (EU) Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), Canada has gained full access to the EU market, the largest and most lucrative market in the world.
  • CETA will provide new market access opportunities for key Canadian agricultural exports: beef, pork and bison.
  • The Canada-Korea Free Trade Agreement will create thousands of new jobs in Canada in a wide range of sectors, including agricultural and agri-food products, and wood and forestry products.


"Strong and vibrant rural communities are key to having a strong national economy. The Harper Government is dedicated to setting the right conditions for rural communities, including farmers and small businesses, to compete in Canada and around the world. Together, we will take the steps needed to support our rural communities and keep our economy strong for the future."

- Kevin Sorenson, Minister of State (Finance)

"It is an honour to have my friend and colleague, Minister of State for Finance Kevin Sorenson, at the Rural Summit to highlight our Government's strong support and important initiatives to strengthen our local economies and to create jobs."

- Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Member of Parliament for Glengarry–Prescott–Russell

Additional Links

Media Contacts

Meagan Murdoch
Office of the Minister of State (Finance)

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

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