$200,000 transition spending from province to institute

A provincial government program will help the new Rural Ontario Institute make a transition from the am­algamation of The Centre for Rural Leadership (TCRL) and The Ontario Rural Council (TORC).


Grants totaling $200,000 were announced by the Min­ister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs Carol Mitchell in Toronto on Feb. 23.

“We’re absolutely thrilled with this new funding and sincerely thank … Mitchell for delivering the great News,” said Rob Black, executive director of The Centre for Rural Leadership. “This type of financial support is a great en­dorsement by the provincial government of the important role the new organization will play in the health of rural Ontario. We look forward to developing a close working relationship with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.”

This provincial announce­ment includes $160,000 for the transition to the Rural Ontario Institute, and an additional $40,000 spending in the Ad­vanced Agricultural Leadership Program – a program of The Centre for Rural Leadership that will continue under the Rural Ontario Institute.

“For many years, the two organizations have been cata­lysts for leadership and pro­gress in rural Ontario,” said Mitchell. “Now that they have decided to join together, the positive effect of their work will be even greater, and we are pleased to continue supporting the newly amalgamated Insti­tute.”

The Rural Ontario Institute will officially begin operations on April 1 with a mandate to provide rural leadership devel­opment and a mechanism to en­gage rural and sector stake­holders for informing and in­flu­encing rural policy develop­ment. Three core services will be provided – leadership train­ing, stakeholder engagement, and third-party program deliv­ery.

“These resources will en­sure the Rural Ontario Institute has a tremendously strong start, right out of the gate,” said Harold Flaming, executive director of The Ontario Rural Council.

“We expect initiatives focusing on stakeholder en­gage­­ment covering a wide range of emerging rural issues and opportunities to benefit from this critical investment in the Rural Ontario Institute.

“Partnerships with univer­sities and other organizations will be enhanced as a means of more effectively articulating the rural voice on issues impacting rural Ontario,” Flaming said.

The Rural Ontario Institute will soon be announcing its 12-member board of directors, chief executive officer, and staff members.

The Centre for Rural Leadership (TCRL) offers programming to develop and support current and emerging leaders through a continuum of programs and resources to strengthen and diversify rural communities and the bio­re­source sector.

Programs in­clude the long-running Advan­c­ed Agricultural Leadership Program (AALP) and the Steps to Leadership series, launched in 2008. TCRL also supports and delivers a variety of personal and organization de­vel­opment train­ing workshops.

The Ontario Rural Council (TORC) was formed in 1998 as a member driven, multi sector provincial rural organization with a mandate to act as a catalyst for rural dialogue, collaboration and advocacy. As a vehicle for rural engagement, TORC offers a vital venue for the province’s collective rural voice.

It is the aim of TORC to broaden the understanding of the rural perspective and work toward ensuring the collective rural voice is heard by the province’s policy and decision makers.