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March 5, 2014

Community Stakeholders to Help Shape Rural Future

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The Government of Alberta will examine new ways to leverage current programs and services for continued growth and a strong rural economy.  An MLA task force will help engage key community stakeholders as part of the creation of a Rural Economic Development Action Plan – a blueprint for future rural sustainability and success.

“With an economic footprint estimated at more than $77 billion each year, rural Alberta is an important economic driver and a critical component of the Building Alberta Plan. Through the Action Plan, we will build on the success of our rural communities by embracing new ideas, creating linkages between existing resources and organizations, increasing Alberta’s rural economic development infrastructure capacity, and ultimately growing our provincial economy.”
- Verlyn Olson, Minister, Agriculture and Rural Development

Targeted stakeholder roundtable discussions will be held in March and April to discuss priorities, identify opportunities for growth and job creation, and look for ways to better coordinate current programs and services to enhance rural economic development.

The discussions will focus on five key themes:
•    Industry and business development
•    Financial and capital access
•    Workforce development
•    Regional coordination
•    Rural economic infrastructure capacity

“The Rural Economic Development Action Plan will help enhance economic growth in rural Alberta by working together with stakeholders to build a strong rural economy that benefits all Albertans. With smart planning and effective programs and services, we can help our rural communities become even more vibrant.”
- Hector Goudreau, MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley, Chair of Rural Caucus and MLA task force member

Along with Minister Olson and MLA Goudreau, the task force will include Jacquie Fenske, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville; Ken Lemke, MLA for Stony Plain; and Bridget Pastoor, MLA for Lethbridge-East.

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