Bill 11, the Attracting Investment and Creating Jobs Act, was passed earlier this week by the provincial legislature. Introduced by the minority provincial Liberal government, it passed with votes from the Liberals and the provincial New Democratic Party (NDP).
The Bill makes the Eastern Ontario Development Fund (EODF) permanent and creates a new Southwestern Ontario Development Fund.
The Kingston Economic Development Corporation (KEDCO) has assisted 17 local companies to benefit directly from EODF investment since it was established in 2008, comprised of $9.2M of grants leveraging $88M in private sector investment.
“The Kingston Economic Development Corporation strongly believes EODF is essential to supporting local economic development and we are proud the Government of Ontario has recognized the value and importance of these funds to promote development in eastern Ontario,” said Jeff Garrah, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development Corporation. “Today’s decision to make the EODF fund permanent helps ensure Kingston businesses remain competitive.
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Over 200 new jobs were created in Kingston through the EODF and more than 1,300 existing jobs were retained as a result of their investment. Its success – helping to create or retain more than 13,200 jobs across the province – will now be applied in southwestern Ontario to further increase job creation in that area.
Mayor Mark Gerretsen welcomed news of the announcement, crediting the Eastern Ontario Development Fund for helping several local businesses tap into government resources to grow and expand their companies and create jobs in Kingston.
Photo: Marcus Jeffrey