Tens of thousands of dollars from the Rural Economic Development program will be flowing to the Haliburton Highlands through three initiatives MPP Laurie Scott said during an announcement on Friday Nov. 9.
Abbey Retreat Centre which offers programming for people with cancer and their caregivers will be receiving up to $55300 for a commercial kitchen upgrade renovations of the lower garage and training for leadership Scott said at the event which was held at the retreat centre near West Guilford.
The Township of Minden Hills will receive up to $33500 to prepare a community improvement plan identifying priorities for revitalization of the downtown; and the Haliburton Highlands Chamber of Commerce and County of Haliburton will receive up to $5000 for the creation of a marketing video.
Minden Hills Mayor Brent Devolin thanked the provincial government and told Scott he hoped this announcement was the first of many.
Funding for Minden Hills will create a plan that addresses development likely to do with improving housing. Following the presentation Devolin said he’d like to see policy that gives incentives for development that improves the downtown.
“It’s always nice to have help” with funding he said.
Abbey Retreat Centre board chairperson Joy Davey said her board was delighted. “This has been a dream two and a half years in the making” she said.
The chamber of commerce’s new board president Andrea Strano said they were grateful and excited to get started on the video which will be designed to recruit young people and young families to relocate to the Highlands. The video is to feature the four municipalities in the county and sell the lifestyle of the area to prospective new community members.
Representatives from Minden Hills took the opportunity on Friday to ask Scott some questions about the direction her party would be taking rural Ontario.
Scott said the PCs’ cabinet had many MPPs from rural areas and that an economic statement out this week would highlight initiatives helpful to municipalities. She mentioned broadband investment and said the government had listened to the concerns of rural Ontario.
Devolin said re-establishing local planning authority to municipalities would go a long way.
Scott made the funding announcement on behalf of Ernie Hardeman minister of agriculture food and rural affairs.
A press release sent out following the announcement included several quotes from Scott and Hardeman stressing the government’s commitment to growth business and rural Ontario.