Harper Government Helps Communities Attract Global Investors, Which Creates Good Jobs and Economic Growth

International Trade Minister Ed Fast announces funding for 86 communities and local organizations and highlights Canada’s investment advantages

October 1, 2012 - The Honourable Ed Fast, Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, today announced that the Harper government is providing $3 million in funding to 86 communities and local organizations across Canada to help them attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment. He was accompanied by Karen Leibovici, President of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM), and Bruce Lazenby, President and CEO of Invest Ottawa.

“Our government is focused on what matters to Canadians: jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Minister Fast. “Attracting foreign investment is key to these efforts, and our government will continue to take steps to ensure Canada remains an investment destination of choice. From the lowest overall tax rate on new business investment in the G-7 to what the World Economic Forum has said for the past five years is the world’s soundest banking system, our government continues to create the conditions needed to attract the global investors who create jobs and new sources of economic growth and prosperity in communities across Canada.”

The funding is provided under the Invest Canada-Community Initiatives (ICCI) program, which helps communities, organizations and economic development agencies across the country attract, retain and expand foreign direct investment. The program supports municipalities, non-profit organizations and public-private groups at the local level and works through partnerships and cost-sharing arrangements.

Invest Ottawa, an Ottawa-based recipient, applauded the Government of Canada’s support for helping municipalities and community-based organizations attract international investment.

“The ICCI program has allowed Invest Ottawa to develop a robust foreign direct investment initiative, which is key to helping create local jobs and prosperity,” said Mr. Lazenby. “We have also added the necessary resources to develop strategies and relationships to accelerate activity in our priority markets and sectors. As a direct result of this program, we have been able to attract serious investment leads from fast-growing and emerging markets.”

“Just as local and federal governments worked together to rebuild Canada’s economy after the global economic crisis, we must work together to attract jobs and investment, and create opportunities around the world,” said Ms. Leibovici. “Whether it’s rebuilding our economic infrastructure with the new federal long-term infrastructure plan or attracting foreign investment to local communities through the ICCI program, finding ways to coordinate the work of all orders of government will be a key driver in Canada’s long-term economic competitiveness into the future.”

Minister Fast also said that working with local economic development organizations and municipalities to attract international investment is just the latest example of the strong partnership the federal government has built with cities and communities across Canada, many of which are represented by the FCM.

“From securing Canada’s economic recovery during the global recession and building a new long-term infrastructure plan, to ensuring that Canada’s pro-trade plan benefits communities in every region of the country, our government has built a relationship that we are proud of with the FCM—the voice of municipal governments across Canada,” said Minister Fast. “We are committed to continuing to build on this successful partnership to create jobs and prosperity for our shared constituents and ensuring we do all we can to secure Canada’s long-term economic success.”

Since 2006, the ICCI program (formerly known as the Community Investment Support Program) has helped grow Canada’s economy by supporting 394 municipalities and community organizations through 863 projects in every region of Canada.

To learn more about Invest Canada - Community Initiatives, please consult Invest Canada - Community Initiatives (ICCI).

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For further information, media representatives may contact:

Rudy Husny
Press Secretary
Office of the Honourable Ed Fast
Minister of International Trade and Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway
613-992-7332

Trade Media Relations Office
Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
613-996-2000
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