Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark has launched a petition in an effort to help keep the pressure on Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid to hold an urgent briefing on the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).
Kemptville - November 25, 2011 - Leeds-Grenville MPP Steve Clark has launched a petition in an effort to help keep the pressure on Economic Development and Innovation Minister Brad Duguid to hold an urgent briefing on the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF).
Clark unveiled the petition at an Economic Development Summit in Kemptville on Friday, November 25 and asked attendees to sign it as a show of support for the program.
Although Clark wrote to Minister Duguid earlier this month to request a briefing for the 12 Eastern Ontario MPPs (nine PC and three Liberal members) whose ridings are eligible for the program, he has yet to receive a response.
“I’m launching this petition, which I plan to introduce at Queen’s Park next week, to turn up the heat on Minister Duguid and convince him of the urgent need to bring us together,” Clark said during his remarks at the summit, which was organized by the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville.
“I need your signatures to help me send that message.”
Clark is requesting the briefing to give MPPs an opportunity to speak directly to the Minister and his staff about what works and doesn’t work with the program, which reports indicate has between $30 million and $40 million left in the fund.
“There have been successes. But clearly with that much left in the fund, there’s a reason those eligible for the program either haven’t applied or have had their applications rejected,” stressed Clark. “This is an opportunity to re-evaluate the program to ensure it is meeting its mandate: to create and retain jobs in Eastern Ontario.”
Adding urgency to the request for the meeting is the recent indications from the government that the four-year program might not be renewed.
“I want us as a group of MPPs to come together in a non-partisan way and say directly to Minister Duguid on behalf of the communities we represent that it’s critical for the EODF program to be extended beyond its scheduled sunset in March 2012,” said Clark.
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