Local families and businesses will benefit from new economic opportunities thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $270,000.
This investment, through FedNor’s Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario (CIINO), will help the Town of Rainy River and the Townships of Lake of the Woods and Dawson hire an economic development officer (EDO) for a three-year period.
The funding was announced yesterday by local MP Don Rusnak, on behalf of Innovation, Science and Economic Development minister Navdeep Bains, who also is the minister responsible for FedNor.
The EDO will work with a number of stakeholders, including the neighbouring First Nations’ communities of Big Grassy River and Naongashiing, to help area businesses expand and increase their exports to the U.S. market, stimulate the local agricultural sector, and diversify the economy through the promotion of the region’s burgeoning mining sector.
The project builds on the recent development of a Regional Economic Development Plan, and aims to identify and stimulate business investment and growth in the west end of Rainy River District.
“Our government is proud to support communities in their efforts to stimulate economic and business growth, strengthen the labour force, and create opportunities for its residents,” said Bains.
“Today’s announcement will help Rainy River pursue a variety of economic development initiatives that will generate business opportunities, private-sector investments, and good-paying jobs throughout the district,” he noted.
“This investment will enable the partner communities to take charge of their economic future,” echoed Rusnak.
“Thanks to our government’s support, the new economic development officer will be able to engage local residents, businesses, and volunteers, as well as nearby organizations and First Nations, to determine the most effective means of achieving economic, business, and community development for the benefit of local families.”
“We are very pleased that FedNor has agreed to fund our three-year economic development officer position,” said Rainy River Mayor Debbie Ewald.
“It will be a huge benefit to us to have a person focused on expanding key regional economic sectors, promoting investment attraction, and increasing regional collaboration and partnerships throughout the Rainy River District,” she stressed.
“With all three communities working together as one, we were able to achieve our goal of getting an economic development officer even though it took a long time,” noted Lake of the Woods Mayor Colleen Fadden.
“I don’t think we would be at this point if we went it alone,” she admitted.
“Looking forward to success in moving onward.”