Alberta looking at rural growth options

The Alberta government will conduct a series of meetings in rural areas of the province to determine how best to support economic growth there.

The Alberta government will conduct a series of meetings in rural areas of the province to determine how best to support economic growth there.

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Verlyn Olson announced on Tuesday that a task force consisting of him and four other MLAs will take part in eight roundtable meetings in late March and early April.

More than 500 individuals and organizations representing economic development entities, industry, agriculture, communities, aboriginal groups, tourism and non-governmental groups are expected to be invited, he said.

Olson said the meetings will focus on five themes: industry and business development, financial and capital access, workforce development, regional co-ordination, and rural economic infrastructure capacity.

“We want to ensure that we have the right government programs and services in place, and that they’re working together to maximize benefits for our communities,” he said during a news conference. “It will help us focus on a clear set of shared priorities with our community partners.”

Olson said feedback from the meetings will help his government develop a rural economic development action 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.”

Rural Alberta is already a big contributor to the Canadian economy, noted Olson, with the Conference Board of Canada estimating its impact at more than $77 billion annually.

Other members of the MLA task force are Hector Goudreau, MLA for Dunvegan-Central Peace-Notley; Jacquie Fenske, MLA for Fort Saskatchewan-Vegreville; Ken Lemke, MLA for Stony Plain; and Bridget Pastoor, MLA for Lethbridge-East. All are members of the Progressive Conservative caucus.

Just Posted

Bentley family left without a home grateful for community support

Central Albertans are coming together to support a Bentley family left homeless… Continue reading

‘My nightmare began again’: Close call as bus carrying Humboldt crash survivor rear-ended

CALGARY — A terrifying ordeal for Humboldt Broncos survivor Ryan Straschnitzki this… Continue reading

Annual pace of housing starts picked up in November, tops expectations

OTTAWA — Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp. says the annual pace of… Continue reading

China pressures US, Canada ahead of Huawei hearing

BEIJING — China raised the pressure on the United States and Canada… Continue reading

Equalization formula a hot topic as finance ministers meet

OTTAWA — For the first time in a decade Ontario will not… Continue reading

WATCH: Red Deer and District Kennel Club Dog Show at Westerner Park

The Red Deer and District Kennel Club is holding a dog show… Continue reading

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read