The government of Ontario is renewing its Rural Economic Development (RED) program, which is designed to attract investment, create jobs and boost economic growth in rural communities. Under the renewed program, $5 million dollars will be available in funding every year. Applications are now open for Indigenous communities and municipal governments.
Province Renewing Rural Economic Development Program
Apply to the Rural Economic Development Program
The government of Ontario has announced a new natural gas grant program, that will provide $100 million in funding to expand natural gas into communities that do not currently have service. However, despite announcing this program at the Rural Ontario Municipal Association (ROMA) Conference yesterday, it will not begin to accept applications until the spring of 2017. The program will replace a previously-announced, but yet-to-be-implemented, natural gas loan program that would have allocated $200 million for same purpose.
News Release: Expanding Natural Gas to More Communities Across Ontario
The federal government’s new Connect to Innovate program is offering funding to bring high-speed Internet to rural and remote communities across Canada. The program, operated by Innovation, Science, and Economic Development Canada, is planning to invest up to $500 million in broadband projects across the country. Project funding will focus on building new backbone infrastructure in communities to provide connections to public sector institutions, like schools, hospitals and libraries, as well as providing funding for “last-mile” infrastructure projects to households and businesses. Applications will open on January 16th, 2017 and close on March 13th.
Find out more about this program here.
The government of Ontario has opened applications for grants under the Celebrate Ontario 2017 program. Grants are awarded to programs, events or initiatives that attract tourism.
Successful applicants will demonstrate how a grant will help their program or initiative to:
- Increase attendance or geographic reach
- Increase tourist visits or spending
- Improve the quality and sustainability of their event
- Strengthen Ontario’s tourism brand across national and international markets
- Facilitate overnight stays by visitors
- Attract new visitors from in or out of province
The deadline for applications is Tuesday, November 8, 2016 at 5:00 p.m.
Find more information here.
Speaking at the Association of Municipalities Ontario (AMO) Conference in Windsor today Premier Wynne announced that the province of Ontario will soon begin the process of identifying municipal and first nations projects to be funded under the first phase of two federal government infrastructure funds:
Government of Ontario: Ontario Intake for Federal Infrastructure Funds to Begin in Early September
The government is now accepting applications for the Ontario 150 Program, which is providing funding to municipalities and community organizations for projects “that will create social and cultural legacies through initiatives that support celebration, engagement and innovation in Ontario.” There are three grant-based funding streams:
- The Community Capital Program — a $25 million fund to renovate, repair and retrofit existing community and cultural infrastructure to increase access, improve safety and maximize community use (application period opens July 18 and closes September 14, 2016);
- The Partnership Program — a $5 million program to support new partnerships and collaborations that engage, enable and empower youth as the next generation of Ontario leaders (application period opens July 6 and closes September 30, 2016);
- And the Community Celebration Program —a $7 million fund to help communities celebrate this historic year (application period opens July 6 and closes September 2, 2016).
Applications for all three streams are open until the beginning of September, you can find more information here.
The government is now accepting applications for the next round of Connect Links program funding. $25 million in funding is available for projects starting in Spring 2017. Funding covers up to 90 percent of (eligible) costs for design, construction, renewal, rehabilitation, and replacement of connecting links infrastructure, up to a maximum of $3 million. Applications are due on October 21, 2016.
The following municipalities are eligible for funding:
|Town of Aylmer
||City of Guelph
||City of Owen Sound
|Town of Bancroft
||County of Haldimand
||City of Pembroke
|City of Barrie
||Town of Halton Hills
||Prince Edward County
|City of Belleville
||Township of Havelock-Belmont-Methuen
||Municipality of Powassan
|Township of Black River – Matheson
||Town of Hawkesbury
||Town of Rainy River
|Town of Blind River
||Town of Hearst
||Town of Renfrew
|The Blue Mountains
||Township of Hornepayne
||Town of Saugeen Shores
|Township of Bonnechere Valley
||Municipality of Huron East
||City of Sault Ste. Marie
|City of Brantford
||Town of Innisfil
||Town of Shelburne
|Village of Burk’s Falls
||Town of Kapuskasing
||Town of Smooth Rock Falls
||City of Kawartha Lakes
||Municipality of South Bruce
|Municipality of Central Huron
||Town of Kirkland Lake
||Town of South Bruce Peninsula
|Municipality of Centre Hastings
||Municipality of Lambton Shores
||Municipality of South Huron
|Township of Centre Wellington
||Township of Lucan Biddulph
||City of Stratford
|Township of Champlain
||Separated Town of Smiths Falls
|Municipality of Chatham-Kent
||Township of Madawaska Valley
||Town of Thessalon
|Township of Clearview
||Municipality of Marmora and Lake
||Town of Tillsonburg
|Town of Collingwood
||Town of Mattawa
||City of Timmins
|City of Cornwall
||Municipality of Meaford
||Municipality of Tweed
|City of Dryden
||Town of Minto
||Municipality of Wawa
|Municipality of Dysart et al
||Town of New Tecumseth
||Township of Wellington North
|City of Elliot Lake
||Municipality of West Grey
|Town of Espanola
||Municipality of West Nipissing
|Town of Fort Frances
||Town of Northeastern Manitoulin & the Islands
||Municipality of West Perth
|Municipality of Grey Highlands
||City of North Bay
||City of Windsor
|Town of Goderich
||Municipality of North Perth
Find more information here.
The federal government has released more details about infrastructure funding previously announced in its budget. Outlined in letters to provincial cabinet ministers, the highlights include:
- The Federal Public Transit Fund: $1.49 billion will be distributed, based on ridership numbers
- The Federal Clean Water and Wastewater Fund: $570 million will be disbursed to help rehabilitate and update water and wastewater systems
- Changes to the New Building Canada Fund to ensure that the remain funds are spent within the next two years.
- The New Building Canada Fund is also being modified to add tourism and recreational infrastructure to the types of projects that qualify
Infrastructure Canada: How to Apply for Funding Under the New Building Canada Fund
AMO, Federal Infrastructure Minister Provides Funding Details
The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) is accepting applications from municipalities, First Nations and Métis communities, schools, colleges and universities, conservation authorities, incorporated not-for-profit organizations, and incorporated community groups for community-based projects funded by the Ontario Community Environment Fund (OCEF).
$325,000 has been made available for projects under the OCEF for 2016, with the funding coming from penalties levied when a business spills a contaminant or does not comply with Ontario’s environmental rules.
Funding is allocated to projects across 19 watershed areas in the province, focusing on:
- Community-based environmental remediation and restoration
- Research, education and outreach activities related to spill prevention and environmental remediation and restoration
- Measures to build capacity to prevent or manage spills
Ontario Community Environment Fund
The province is now accepting applications for its new $15 million connecting links program. The funding is designed to help municipalities pay for construction and maintenance of roads that connect rural communities to provincial highways. Find more information here.