Toronto pulled in the largest share of money and jobs from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
The finding comes from an internal evaluation of the funding project, which runs job-creation programs stretching from Ottawa to Windsor, Ont.
According to FedDev Ontario, the economy of the Greater Toronto Area expanded by about $706 million in the short term through fund investments, which overall boosted southern Ontario’s economy by some $2 billion. And the Toronto area gained more than 9,550 of the 26,552 jobs, many of them temporary, that were attributed to the fund’s programs.
The Harper government launched the agency in August 2009. FedDev Ontario's five-year term is scheduled to end in March next year, with no word yet on whether it will be renewed.
The mid-term report card, which was compiled in October 2012, found many of the fund’s programs remain incomplete, making it difficult to determine results. The biggest, the Southern Ontario Development Program worth $641 million, had spent only about a fifth of its budget by last summer.
The evaluation also noted the fund’s estimated $2 billion short-term boost to the economy was a small fraction of Ontario’s $612.5 billion GDP in 2010.