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New organization takes the lead on rural  Ontario issues
Two provincial organizations have merged to create the new Rural Ontario Institute, a not-for-profit organization formed to provide stronger support for key issues facing rural Ontario. The Centre for Rural Leadership (TCRL) and The Ontario Rural Council (TORC) will officially amalgamate on April 1, 2010 to form the Rural Ontario Institute, operating out of the Ontario AgriCentre in Guelph.

Unanimously approved by the boards of both TCRL and TORC, the new Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) has a mandate to provide rural leadership development and a mechanism to engage rural and multi-sector stakeholders for the purposes of informing and influencing rural policy development.

Three core services will be provided through the Rural Ontario Institute – leadership training, stakeholder engagement and third-party program delivery. The cornerstone Advanced Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) will be delivered through the new organization, as well as the newer Steps to Leadership development program. The Rural Ontario Institute will also offer efficient program delivery for third-party organizations and/or government ministries.
Ethanol plant delivers
The newly built Integrated Grain Processors Co-operative (IGPC) ethanol plant in Aylmer, Ontario has contributed to a net spending increase of approximately $275 million within the region from construction and an additonal $50 million annually, says a recent study.
The independent study, conducted by Doyletech of Ottawa, examined the economic impact of the plant and found that the construction of the ethanol plant has created jobs, increased local spending and benefited the municipal, provincial and federal government.
The federal government has seen the benefits of the plant through increased tax collections and lower EI?costs to the tune of $70 million dollars.
Going forward, the operation of IGPC is expected to deliver a total of 55 person-years of employment and a net annual economic increase in spending of over $53 million in the local community. All levels of government will also continue to benefit from the operation of the plant. The municipality can expect to benefit to the tune of $628,000 annually and the Provincial and Federal government can expect to see a $5 million benefit each. •
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