Last Wednesday, MPP Steve Clark reported to the Ontario Legislature on the success of the North Grenville Rural Summit. His remarks were as follows:
“On Saturday, I attended the North Grenville Rural Summit, which put the spotlight on eastern Ontario entrepreneurs and innovators. It was great to spend time with people creating jobs and bringing investment to our rural communities.
I wish every Ontarian living in an urban centre could have been in Kemptville with me on Saturday. What an incredible opportunity for them to understand that rural Ontario is more than just the blur they see from the car window as they travel from one city to the next.
They could see how agribusinesses are succeeding, despite challenges, like increasing red tape, local infrastructure needs, high energy prices and access to skilled workers. Their perseverance and determination are incredible, and I’m thankful they had the opportunity to share their stories so we could learn more on how we can better support them.
The summit was the dream of North Grenville councillor Jim Bertram, a true champion of rural Ontario. Jim recognized that our rural communities and the businesses sustaining them are too often taken for granted, and he wanted to do something positive to change that. Unfortunately, Jim is battling an illness and couldn’t be there on Saturday. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family, and we wish him a speedy recovery.
We all know farmers feed cities. But with the right support from a government that appreciates them, our farmers and rural entrepreneurs can help make Ontario grow.
I want to thank Jim for his vision. I hope that the summit becomes an annual event in North Grenville.”
On his Facebook page, Steve repeated his appreciation of the organising committee that had put on the event: “I commend everyone who worked so hard to organize the event, but in particular I want to say thanks to Municipality of North Grenville Councillor Jim Bertram. As I said in my Member’s Statement, Jim is a tremendous champion for rural Ontario and the summit was part of his vision to showcase how critical the agri-business sector is to our economy, both here in Leeds-Grenville and across the province.”