All posts by Myles Buck

Myles is an Economic Development Specialist with OMAFRA's Regional Economic Development Branch. Myles has a BES in Geography and a MAES in Local Economic Development, both degrees being conferred by the University of Waterloo. As an Economic Development Specialist, Myles supports the branch's impacts on business and communities in rural Ontario in order to meet their economic development outcomes.


The Rural Economic Development (RED) program supports activities that create strong rural communities in Ontario and opens doors to rural economic development. The program is now open and will accept applications until February 1, 2021.

If you missed our program webinar, you can access a recording of one of the sessions here.

The slides below were presented during the session and on providing some helpful tips to consider in completing your application.

For more assistance on designing your project, assessing eligibility, and working through the final checks before submission, contact your Agriculture and Rural Economic Development Advisor.

Applicants are required to read the program guidelines before completing an application. The program guidelines provide detailed information on eligible applicants, project types, and costs, as well as the process for submitting an application and the process that will be used to assess the application.

For more information on the program including guidelines, applications, and approved projects, please visit

The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Is Now Accepting Applications

What is the RED Program?

Rural Economic Development (RED) is a cost-share funding program that supports projects that create strong rural communities in Ontario.

What are RED Outcomes?

RED applications are assessed on their ability to result in one or more of the following:

Continue reading The Rural Economic Development (RED) Program Is Now Accepting Applications

Analyst – economic analysis Tool Returns for Clients

We have exciting news for rural Ontario data needs – Analyst will be returning for clients to access beginning on 1 December 2020.

The Analyst tool pulls data from a range of sources to provide information on regional economies and workforces. It helps you better understand your region with information that can be used to help so you can make informed decisions.

It can help you:

  • Find out what industries set your region apart or make it more competitive
  • Track the flow of money within a geographical area
  • See trends like hiring patterns or sales increases in a particular industry
  • Find labour force and wage comparisons
  • Benchmark your community against other regions
  • Predict the effects of changes in a regional economy

For those that have previously accessed Analyst, there will be changes to the way it has been accessed in the past.

  • Clients will have access to the application for up to 30 days;
  • If a client is not able to be provided a licence for the month they requested it, they will be added to a waiting list of users for a following month;

To request access to the Analyst tool, please click here.

If you are not able to be assigned a licence and have an immediate need for data, OMAFRA’s Regional Advisors can help support your data needs a map of the Regional Advisors is available here.

To learn more OMAFRA economic development staff and subject matter experts on Tuesday, November 24th, 2020 (2 pm – 3:15 pm EST) for a free webinar exploring data tools and analysis for economic recovery. Visit this webpage to register for the session.

Recovery Plans & Performance Measures – Is your plan working?

Every community across Ontario has been impacted by COVID-19 and its effects have been felt by all businesses. There is no “one-size-fits-all” solution to a recovery plan. Communities need to continue to develop recovery plans based on their own unique situation.

The plan may contain a flurry of actions to help business communities and support local needs – but how do you know the recovery plan will work or is working?

Continue reading Recovery Plans & Performance Measures – Is your plan working?

Performance Measurement Training for Economic Developers

The Economic Developers Council of Ontario is pleased to announce this new workshop series, presented in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs.

Performance Measurement is the process of monitoring, measuring, assessing and reporting on the progress that a plan, such as an economic development plan is making towards the desired outcomes.

What to expect:

· Full day Performance Measurement training
· Use the resource that can help you improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your economic development investment.
· The training will provide a seamless, step-by-step approach to understanding, designing, communicating and measuring the performance of economic development activities.
· Participants will have the opportunity to apply skills with activities using the Measuring Up Guidebook 

Please Note: Attendance by registration only. Fee: $60 plus tax (includes a copy of the Guidebook)


Whitby, November 27th – click here

Lunch will be provided.

Click here for additional performance measurement resources.

Tourism Industry Groups Now Available in Analyst

In many rural Ontario communities, tourism plays a significant role in the business and employment sectors; we know this via feedback from our clients and in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS) on Analyst-related projects.

With these factors in mind, we continue to adjust Analyst to better meet the needs of our clients. As a result both Regional Tourism Organizations (RTO) and tourism industry pre-generated groups are now available within the tool. Continue reading Tourism Industry Groups Now Available in Analyst

Input-Output Predictive Scenario Report

AnalystUsing Analyst’s Input-Output Scenario report you can predict the expected impact of a business loss or gain in your community in terms of  jobs, sales, or wages, and how that event would impact other industries regionally. It gives you the ability to “shock” an economy and measure the impacts.

It also gives you the predictive ability to see:

  • The effect of a new company locating in the local regional economy,
  • The effect of adding jobs to an existing industry sector (such as a major company expansion)
  • The effect of losing a company/losing jobs from the local regional economy

For example, if we wanted to understand the impact of an animal feed mill’s in rural Ontario. We would go through the following steps to get the information that will help us understand the impacts.

First Step: choose a region Continue reading Input-Output Predictive Scenario Report

New Economic Modelling Tool

Analyst Input-Output Tool

The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food, and Rural Affairs – in partnership with Economic Modeling Specialists International (EMSI) – is excited to announce the addition of a Canadian version of their Input-Output Modelling tool in Analyst.

Input-Output models map out linkages within an economy by tracing the connections between industries, households and government. This is done by tracking the flow of money between those entities within a geographic area (for more background on input-output modelling). Continue reading New Economic Modelling Tool

Economic Developers: Change Agents Building Canadian Communities

5 Takeaways from EDAC 2016

This year’s  Economic Development Association of Canada’s annual conference, hosted a full slate of speakers that inspired economic development professionals from across
Canada. Speakers Bruce Kirkby, Nicole Verkindt, Darcy Lang and Terry O’Reilly, spoke of the ability and impact economic development professionals have to be change agents within their communities, through both traditional and non-traditional avenues.

The following are my top 5 takeaways:

Continue reading Economic Developers: Change Agents Building Canadian Communities

Four Simple Considerations You Need for Performance Measurement Success

I recently had the opportunity to attend the PuMP Toronto Workshop. PuMP is a performance measurement process that was created by Stacy Barr and licenced to Adura Strategy in Canada. OMAFRA’s Rural Economic Development Branch provides performance measurement resources to our clients; I am a firm believer in the value that they bring to measuring an organization’s impact and am always eager to hear what new methods and techniques are available to do so.

This intimate workshop brought together public and private sector organizations from across Canada, (participants represented organizations from Calgary, AB to Saint John, NL and all points in between) to learn about effective techniques, using the PuMP performance measurement blueprint.

Here are my four takeaways after participating in the workshop: Continue reading Four Simple Considerations You Need for Performance Measurement Success