The federal government is planning to invest $48 million to renew the Eastern Ontario Development Program, a program run by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
Gary Goodyear, the Minister of State for FedDev Ontario, made the announcement on Friday morning.
The money, which will be distributed by local community futures development corporations, will go to business and community development projects over the next five years.
“Our Government understands that small- and medium-sized enterprises, entrepreneurs and economic development organizations, play a crucial role in job creation and Canada’s competitiveness,” said Guy Lauzon, the Member of Parliament for Stormont–Dundas–South Glengarry, who was present for the announcement.
Since 2009, FedDev Ontario has invested over $80 million in economic development projects.
Supporters of the program argue that FedDev is one of the best ways to distribute government money to businesses because in many cases it requires companies to raise private money as well.
Those who oppose the program argue that the government is spending money to fund projects that would have been financed by the private sector anyways and that government is traditionally bad at picking winners and losers.
See also: FedDev paying dividends for local firms.