Indigenous communities and families in Northwestern Ontario will benefit from key upgrades to the local road network and local cultural spaces as a result of more than $469,000 from the Government of Canada.
The funding was announced Friday by local MP Don Rusnak, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development minister Navdeep Bains, who also is the minister responsible for FedNor.
Of the total FedNor funding, $200,000 is being provided through its Northern Ontario Development Program to Mitaanjigamiing First Nation to support the realignment of unsafe sections of the main access road into the community.
This will help widen and increase the capacity of the access road, allowing construction, mining, tourism, and forestry businesses easier access to the community.
The remaining $269,300, under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program, will assist Couchiching First Nation, Rainy River First Nation, and the Fort Frances Museum and Cultural Centre undertake vital infrastructure upgrades to several community assets.
“This investment is a community-building project to celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary,” noted Bains.
“And there’s no better way to mark this milestone than to celebrate the places that bring us together-the places that allow us to stay fit, unwind, and connect with our friends and neighbours.
“That’s how we establish the bonds of common understanding and friendship in a country where people come from every corner of the world,” he added.
“The values of openness, diversity, and inclusion that define all Canadians are forged in our community spaces.”
“The Government of Canada is investing in key economic priorities and community infrastructure to create a strong middle-class and improve quality of life for local families,” said Rusnak.
“Today’s investment will support four strategic projects that will help attract tourists, businesses, and jobs to Thunder Bay-Rainy River, and modernize community assets to make them safer and more accessible to everyone,” he noted.
“We appreciate FedNor’s support in helping us complete the realignment of the main access road into our community to allow us to pursue economic development opportunities for our citizens,” echoed Mitaanjigamiing First Nation Chief Janice Henderson.
“The support announced today [Aug. 25] will enable Mitaanjigamiing First Nation, along with Couchiching and Rainy River First Nations, and the Town of Fort Frances, to improve community infrastructure that will benefit the entire region,” she said.