Golf course lands federal funds

The Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development will provide $796,100 towards the initial costs of a $3.3-million, 18-hole golf course being built at Couchiching.
“This is a dynamic new business partnership between Couchiching First Nation and the government of Canada,” said Indian Affairs minister and local MP Robert Nault said yesterday in announcing the funding, which was first reported in Monday’s Daily Bulletin.
“The Heron Landing Golf Club will create local jobs and provide new economic development opportunities for the region as a whole,” he noted.
“The tourism attraction will give Couchiching First Nation, its neighbours, and tourists a beautiful new recreational facility,” Nault added.
This economic development project is part of the federal government’s commitment to help strengthen aboriginal business expertise and support strong, self-sufficient aboriginal communities.
“This is very much the kind of initiative our fund is used for,” said Nault.
Couchiching Chief Chuck McPherson said he and the band council were very grateful to Nault for supporting the Heron Landing course “since day one.”
“We at Couchiching are pleased that Minister Nault has recognized and assisted in the development of this innovative First Nation project,” he said.
“Although the golf course project is outside the realm of conventional business ventures, we are certain that these steps taken today will be enjoyed by future generations of Couchiching First Nation members and their neighbours,” he added.
A government press release stated the target date for the opening of the front nine holes is April, 2003.
But Chief McPherson said they plan to have the first nine ready for play in August of this year, with the back nine ready for the spring of 2003.