Showing posts from December, 2011

Southwestern Ontario Development Fund: Challenges and decisions ahead (part 1)

Consultations—or at least “pre-consultations”—began last Friday for the Ontario government’s proposed Southwestern Ontario Development Fund (SWODF) to promote economic development in the region, modelled after a similar fund for Eastern Ontario created in 2008.

If passed by the legislature, the fund would provide $20 million a year to projects in Southwestern Ontario—an area that hasn’t been defined yet—with the goal of attracting and retaining investment, creating and retaining jobs, and promoting innovation, collaboration and cluster development.

Dalton McGuinty announced SWODF while on a tour of Digital Extremes in London and the bill was introduced the following day by Brad Duguid, Minister of Economic Development and Innovation (MEDI). Along with creating the new fund, the bill would also make permanent the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF), which is currently a four-year program scheduled to end next year.

It’s only been a week since Bill 11—the Attracting Investment and Crea…