15 Feb 17

February 15, 2017

Toasting success in Ontario

Mathieu Jérome, Russell Mayor Pierre Leroux, Ontario Minister of Economic Development Brad Duguid, Pierre André Roy, MPP Grant Crack, Liette Darveau, and Richard Ménard raise a glass at the Étienne Brûlé Brewery in Embrun on Wed., Feb. 8, as part of Duguid’s tour. Vetter photo

Economic Development Minister visits GPR

Candice Vetter

Villager Staff

EMBRUN — Ontario Minister of Economic Development, Brad Duguid, along with GPR MPP Grant Crack, visited Glengarry-Prescott-Russell on Wed., Feb. 8, with some stops at local food and brew establishments.

He started by meeting with the mayor, councillors and staff at the Russell Township Hall, then checked out both Embrun’s breweries, Tuque de Broue and Étienne Brûlé Brewery. The small entourage then moved on to the TIF Group location in Hwy. 417 Industrial Park, then over to enjoy Poutine Week at the St. Albert Cheese Factory, where Duguid met with the mayors of the townships in GPR.

“I love visiting small businesses and meeting owners,” he said in a brief interview at Étienne Brûlé Brewery. “About 98 per cent of businesses in Ontario are small businesses, so it’s very important to support them.” Some of the places visited that day included ones which had received some funding through the Eastern Ontario Development Fund. He said it was crucial to ensure prosperity is shared throughout the province.

He also had encouraging words. “When it comes to Ontario’s overall economy, there’s no question that we’re leading the country and the G7 countries. Ontario has the number one foreign direct investment, and has the lowest unemployment rate in eight years.”

When asked why many residents of Eastern Ontario say they are expected to take the landfills, cement plants, and wind turbines, but appear to be shut out of the provincial process, he said that was one of the purposes of his trip, to hear the concerns of municipal governments and to “…reach out to folks who, despite the growing economy, are still not feeling it.”