Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

October 13, 2009 13:36 ET

OECD Annual Rural Development Conference: Experts From Throughout the World Meet in Quebec City

QUEBEC CITY, QUEBEC--(Marketwire – Oct. 13, 2009) The Deputy Secretary-General of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Mr. Aart de Geus, the Minister of National Revenue and Minister of State (Agriculture), the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn, the Deputy Premier, Minister of Natural Resources and Wildlife and Minister responsible for the Northern Plan, Ms. Nathalie Normandeau and the Minister of Municipal Affairs, Regions and Land Occupancy, Mr. Laurent Lessard, kicked off this morning the OECD Annual Rural Policy Conference, which will be held at the Quebec City Convention Centre through Thursday, October 15.

"The OECD countries are slowly recovering from the most severe economic recession in recent history. But now, as government policy begins to help the recovery, it is important that we take a broader look at all the components of our national economies, and all of our regions, continued Deputy Secretary-General de Geus. The recession provides us with a moment to take stock of the opportunities for as well as identify new ways to foster economic vitality and growth. Our belief at the OECD is that some of these new opportunities will be in rural regions and this conference will help us find ways to explore these opportunities and restore rural prosperity."

"The Government of Canada is pleased to welcome the other OECD member countries, to draw on their experience in rural development as well as to share its own initiatives in this field, Minister Blackburn emphasized. Rural Canada is a significant part of our country, and we want to help our communities remain competitive despite the global economic climate."

"I am particularly proud to see such a prestigious organisation hold a conference here. OECD's presence in Quebec is confirmation for me that the initiatives of the Government of Quebec with regards to the rural areas, the regions, and the dynamic occupation of the territory spark interest even beyond our borders," declared Minister Lessard, who also presented the National Policy on Rurality.

As part of the pre-conference activities, the Governments of Quebec and Canada would like to invite participants to attend the Rural Innovation Exhibition Show. This interactive exhibit will give more than 30 exhibitors the opportunity to present their initiatives on rural development until 6 p.m. today. The booths will include rural laboratories started up as part of the National Policy on Rurality, such as the Cooperative forestiere de Girardville devoted to the marketing of non-timber forest products and Portes ouvertes sur le Lac, which enables immigrants to settle and integrate in rural areas of Saguenay – Lac-Saint-Jean. In order to continue the discussions and showcase the topics, "field trips" will also be organized from October 15 to October 17.


The topic of this conference is "Developing rural policies to meet the needs of a changing world" and it will examine the future of rural development, current changes, and prospects for rural regions. This event will bring world experts together with approximately 250 participants from over 25 OECD member countries.

The international community will use this meeting to take stock of its knowledge and share good practices, but also to discuss the various issues, stakes, and challenges of sustainable rural development. OECD member countries will have the opportunity to observe and examine initiatives undertaken in Quebec and all of Canada concerning this issue.

OECD brings together the governments of countries committed to democracy and the market economy from around the world to support sustainable economic growth, boost employment, raise living standards, maintain financial stability, assist other countries' economic development, and contribute to growth in world trade. The Organisation provides a setting where governments compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices, and coordinate domestic and international policies.

The last OECD Conferences on Rural Development were held in Cologne, Germany (2008), Cáceres, Spain (2007), Edinburgh, Scotland (2006), Oaxaca, Mexico (2005), Warrenton, Virginia (2004), and Siena, Italy (2002).

Contact Information

  • Office of the Minister of Municipal Affairs,
    Regions and Land Occupancy
    Sylvain Bourassa
    Press Secretary
    Minister of Municipal Affairs,
    Regions and Land Occupancy
    Caroline St-Pierre
    Head of Press Relations
    Communication Services Branch
    418-691-2015, extension 3746
    Office of the Honourable Jean-Pierre Blackburn
    Sophie Doucet
    Press Secretary
    Mobile: 613-608-3252
    Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada
    Ottawa, Ontario
    Media Relations
    Betty-Ann Bryce
    Rural Development Programme
    +33 (0) 1 45 24 15 38
    Mobile: +33 (0) 6 79 09 49 11