ARAC approves new rural economic development strategy

OTTAWA – The Agriculture and Rural Affairs committee (ARAC) approved a new Rural Economic Development Strategy and Action Plan to stimulate economic growth in the Ccty’s four rural wards: West Carleton-March, Cumberland, Osgoode and Rideau-Goulbourn.

“The rural economy contributes more than $1 billion to Ottawa’s gross domestic product (GDP),” city staff released in a statement yesterday. “The new strategy would commit the city to a series of actions aimed at strengthening this important part of our local economy.”

The strategy includes five priority areas, with actions for each:

Supportive business environment, which would help rural businesses learn about and access available supports, and identify gaps in rural programs and services

Vibrant rural lifestyle, which would aim to improve quality of life for rural residents and their ability to respond to economic and social challenges

Strengthened rural tourism, which would promote rural Ottawa as a visitor destination that offers a unique experience, separate from what visitors and residents can find in the urban core

Innovation in agriculture and agri-food production, which would help local food producers take advantage of innovations in food production to keep them competitive and economically viable

Advocating for rural priorities, which would ensure the City continues to seek solutions to emerging rural needs, especially if coordination with provincial or federal governments is needed

To support the action plan and help create good jobs in our rural communities, the city would invest $150,000 in 2020,” city staff said.

ARAC also approved Official Plan and zoning amendments to permit an age-in-place seniors community at 6139 and 6143 Perth St. in the Village of Richmond. The applicant revised plans for the site, building on work started by a previous owner that went bankrupt partway through development. In addition to completing a partially built retirement home, the applicant proposes several low-rise apartments, which would make an appropriate addition to an age-in-place community.