Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls on April 20, 2018. Blackburn News file photo.Chatham-Kent-Essex MPP Rick Nicholls on April 20, 2018. Blackburn News file photo.

Provincial initiative grants Southwestern communities economic funding

Three communities in Southwestern Ontario have received a big boost to their economic plans in the form of funding from the provincial government.

Rick Nicholls, MPP for Chatham-Kent Leamington, made the announcement on Friday on how the Rural Economic Development (RED) Program will help boost the local economy.

"As the 'government for the people' it was my honour to represent the Minister of Agriculture [Ernie] Hardeman today," Nicholls said. "Our government announced three rural areas to receive funding for their economic strategic plans."

Those communities include Lasalle, which will get just over $37,000 and Essex, which will receive $25,000. According to Nicholls, both will use the money to boost tourism in the areas.

The MPP said the third was Southern First Nation Secretariate, which includes Moraviantown and Walpole Island, and received almost $74,000.

"It is to help them with their economic leakage strategic plan," Nicholls said.

According to the MPP, the RED Program is designed to help create jobs in the province and show the rest of the country, and internationally, that Ontario is "open for business."

Nicholls said this plan was needed to help communities plan and market their areas in order to grow. The MPP added all three recipients applied for funding through from the RED Program and presented economic plans. Nicholls said he looks forward to seeing other communities come forward with there own strategies and is sure more funding will be given out in the near future.

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