Gateway Gazette

Government Funding to Support Rural Prosperity

The Alberta government is making life better for Alberta families and helping communities create jobs and diversify their local economy through the Community and Regional Economic Support (CARES) program.

Several communities will benefit from accelerated innovation and economic diversification thanks to $53,000 CARES funding to Sustainability Resources Ltd. to support their Rural Prosperity Initiative.

Stony Plain MLA Erin Babcock made the announcement at the Drayton Valley Rural Innovation Forum on behalf of Economic Development and Trade Minister Deron Bilous.

“So much of Alberta’s economic strength and entrepreneurial drive is centered in our province’s smaller cities and towns. Every region of Alberta brings multiple strengths to our way of life, whether in energy, agriculture, forestry, mining, tourism, or in other areas. Last year, we launched the two-year CARES program to help communities with limited resources and common interests tackle economic development projects that they might not be able to individually. Through these projects local leaders are working together to grow and diversify our economy, and make life better for Alberta families.”

Deron Bilous, Minister of Economic Development and Trade

The Rural Prosperity Initiative is a program that provides rural communities with access to the resources they need to identify and accelerate regional water, waste and energy projects that reduce GHG emissions and consumption, while supporting sustainable solutions and renewable energy production that helps create jobs and diversify rural economies.

Since 2009, Sustainability Resources has engaged more than 75 communities across Alberta.

“Alberta’s rural communities have a critical role to play in building a strong, resilient economy all Albertans can count on. When rural Alberta communities do well, Alberta does well. I am excited to see this funding at work as we improve local capacity to undertake community sustainability plans and make them a reality.”

Erin Babcock, MLA for Stony Plain

The first CARES application intake ran from October 1 to November 30, and it received significant interest from regions across the province. The CARES program evaluated 88 applications from regions and communities for the first intake. In addition to the Sustainability Resources funding, $101,863 in funding has been announced for the Alberta Women Entrepreneurs’ PeerSpark program and approximately $175,000 has been announced for three projects in the Grande Prairie area.

These projects are among many throughout the province planned to receive support through the first intake of the CARES program. Successful projects in other regions will be announced at a later date.

The second intake will run from April 1, 2017 to May 31, 2017. Eligibility criteria and more information on how to apply are available at The CARES program is just one example of how the Government of Alberta is making the lives of Albertans better leading into Budget 2017.

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