Eventful summer so far here

We kicked off this summer in Fort Frances with some very exciting announcements about FedNor funding for the region.
FedNor is a funding program from the Ministry of Innovation, Science and Economic Development whose purpose is to promote economic development and job creation in Northern Ontario.
This year, Fort Frances will be receiving a Government of Canada investment of $655,000 to support economic and business development, as well as tourism, in downtown core.
The funding will allow the town to build a market square to revitalize the heart of the community. The facility will house community events, concerts, and a farmers’ market while serving as a gathering place for the community.
The FedNor funding also will support landscaping costs, pull-through parking for recreational vehicles, lighting, bike racks, and benches.
These community improvements are an investment in the local economy, designed to increase visitor and pedestrian traffic.
The increased traffic, in turn, will strengthen the existing business community by generating more business for area retailers, service providers, and resort operators.
I look forward to seeing first-hand the results that these investments will deliver for the people and businesses of Fort Frances.
I’m also very excited to announce that Thunder Bay-Rainy River received funding for 256 jobs for students through the Canada Summer Jobs program this year.
We understand it often is difficult for youth in Northern Ontario to find summer jobs. This program addresses this problem by creating hundreds of additional employment opportunities for students in our communities.
The Canada Summer Jobs program also is beneficial for local businesses and not-for-profit organizations, as the cost of hiring students is completely covered by the federal government.
We believe that the youth in Thunder Bay-Rainy River have a lot to offer, and we are extremely excited to be investing in them—and local businesses—through the Canada Summer jobs program.
July also marked the 22nd-annual Fort Frances Canadian Bass Championship, which always makes for an exciting weekend. Last month also featured “Railroad Daze” in Rainy River—a fun celebration of the town’s railroad heritage.
Congratulations to all the participants and organizers for such successful events!
It was an honour to have Carolyn Bennett, minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs, in our riding last month. She attended the “Feathers of Hope” youth forum on culture, identity, and belonging, which always is an incredible and moving event.
Minister Bennett also hosted a roundtable on the Urban Aboriginal Strategy—a program designed to respond to the needs of aboriginal people living in urban centres.
This issue is important to our communities, and I thank Minister Bennett for her hard work on this.
Finally, Arif Virani, the parliamentary secretary to the minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, was in town this month to host a roundtable on immigration. It was great to have him here to facilitate this important conversation.
Thank you to Minister Bennett and Mr. Virani for making the trip up to Thunder Bay-Rainy River!
I hope everyone is enjoying their summer in beautiful Northwestern Ontario, and I hope to see many more of you this month.

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