Rural revival: rural economic development in Alberta gets a five-year plan

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The Alberta government has launched a five-year Economic Development in Rural Alberta focused on key issues for rural Alberta. The plan includes economic development-enabling infrastructure, rural business supports and entrepreneurship, support for labour force and skills development, marketing and promoting rural tourism, and rural economic development capacity building.

In the audio below, Nate Horner, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry, explains the program’s beginnings and the goals aimed to be achieved within the province’s new plan.

Designing the program began over a year ago, he says, with discussions between rural Albertan businesses and the provincial government. He says the plan is rooted in ensuring rural Albertans get the opportunity to participate in the province’s ongoing economic revival. The plan has been developed with consideration and understanding for how complicated economic development is in rural communities. Horner states this plan is a pledge from the government to collaborate and consider rural Alberta when making policy.

The main changes made by this plan include increasing investment in graduating more veterinarians, a broadband strategy, irrigation expansion, film and television tax credits, and more to come with the upcoming budget for 2023.  Horner says they will use data from population, GDP growth, tourism growth, and agri-food growth to determine the growth and success of rural economics.

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