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Rural Ontario’s Population Growth During COVID-19: Fad or Trend?

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Assessing the economic development implications of the pandemic on Ontario's rural communities, from population growth to housing and more.

About this event

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a significant increase in rural migration, demand for rural housing and rural house prices. The trend is not unique to Ontario and there are reports of similar trends occurring across Canada and the United States. This workshop will provide an opportunity for participants to discuss and better understand these trends and their economic development implications.

Representatives from The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, StrategyCorp and Dufferin County will kick-off the workshop with presentations, followed by a discussion on the economic development impacts of the pandemic, with a focus on population and housing trends.

A facilitated discussion with participants will follow to explore and share details on how these trends are impacting different rural areas, including but not limited to housing affordability/housing adequacy, human capital attraction/retention, business development, infrastructure development and municipal service delivery, etc.

Panelists: (full bios coming soon)

John Anania is an economist with over 25-years of work experience as a researcher and forecaster. He began his career as an economist in the Canadian Projection Group at the Bank of Canada before moving to positions at the Conference Board of Canada and the Royal Bank where, as Assistant Chief Economist, he managed a team producing the Bank’s global economic and financial market outlooks. His home position is Manager of the Economic Forecasting Unit at the Ontario Ministry of Finance where for the last 6-years he has overseen the production of the Budget and internal Staff forecasts. He is currently on a 12-month assignment as Acting Manager of the Economic Analysis Unit at OMAFRA.

Mitchell Davidson is the Executive Director of the StrategyCorp Institute of Public Policy and Economy, a venture designed to contribute to thought leadership on important public policy issues in Ontario and Canada.

In this role, Mitchell has authored numerous policy white papers and articles and also hosts the Institute’s bi-weekly podcast, Intended Consequences. ​

White paper: OERA - Small Towns, Big Opportunities: Unlocking Growth in Ontario’s Rural and Northern Communities

Cody Joudry is the newly appointed Director of Development & Tourism at Dufferin County and has nearly 15 years of experience in municipal government. Much of Cody’s career has been dedicated to understanding and developing solutions to challenges in rural communities, including those around housing, workforce, broadband, agriculture, tourism, and municipal amalgamation. Cody is passionate about building connections and developing strategies to address foundational issues and create meaningful change through simple and elegant solutions.

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Organizer Rural Ontario Institute

Organizer of Rural Ontario’s Population Growth During COVID-19: Fad or Trend?

The Rural Ontario Institute (ROI) is a non-profit organization committed to developing leaders and facilitating collaboration on issues facing rural and northern Ontario. 

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