The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) commissioned and recently released six Foresight Papers addressing a variety of issues related to rural development. This is an issue that the Ontario Federation of Agriculture (OFA) is currently pursuing as Ontario heads towards an election in spring 2018. We need to ensure that investment in rural development and growth is part of the election platforms.
The introductory paper, in particular addresses broad public policy issues affecting rural economic development. Growth Beyond Cities: Place-Based Rural Development Policy in Ontario was written by Agricultural Economics Professor David Freshwater. The paper explores the need for spatially-based policies and provides suggestions for stakeholders, governments and non-profits that will foster growth and development in Ontario’s rural communities.