Powlowski announces culture and recreation funding

By Merna Emara
Staff Writer

Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Rainy River, announced $5.2 million in funding for seven projects that will improve community and recreational facilities in six northern Ontario communities.

This announcement was done on behalf of Catherine McKenna, Canada’s Minister of Infrastructure and Communities, Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, Minister of Indigenous Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Kenora-Rainy River, Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure and Greg Wilson, Mayor of the City of Dryden.

Powlowski said investing in sport, culture and recreational infrastructure is essential to creating healthy and vibrant communities where Canadians want to live, work and raise their families.

“The projects announced today will support the culture and diversity of these communities, while increasing the accessibility of community gathering hubs for generations to come,” Powlowski said. “Canada’s infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities.”

This funding is part of the Investing in Canada Plan, a plan introduced by the Government of Canada and the provincial government to reduce the impact of the pandemic by ensuring health and safety, rebuilding businesses, promoting job creation and growth and investment.

The Government of Canada is investing $5.2 million towards the stream of Community, Culture and Recreation Infrastructure of the Investing in Canada Plan. The provincial government is investing over $3 million.

The municipality of Dryden’s Recreation Centre will see renovations to the facility that will upgrade the building’s mechanical systems and increase its accessibility.

The Dryden Go-Getter Senior Activity Centre will also see the construction of a 2,500-square-foot addition to the building. Besides improving accessibility, the new addition will provide more space to accommodate a wide range of activities. Mayor of the City of Dryden Greg Wilson said renovations to the Recreation Centre and the Go Getter Senior Activity Centre are about sustainability and accessibility for people of all ages.

“Provincial and municipal partnership for our Recreation Centre has always been a critical support mechanism for the city,” Wilson said. “Their ability to fundraise $500,000 reflects this town’s vitality and commitment to the overall health of its citizens.”

The Municipality of Machin will also undertake a project to improve the waterfront recreational area at Vermilion Bay. Sioux Lookout’s Cedar Bay Community Stable will be renovated to improve the safety and accessibility of this facility.

The remaining five projects will enhance the quality of community and recreational infrastructure in four municipalities and one First Nation community across northern Ontario, benefitting residents by providing modern and functional facilities where everyone can participate, including seniors, youth, and members of First Nations, according to a press release.

The projects include the rehabilitation of recreation centres in the Township of Ear Falls and the Neskantaga First Nation while the Central Community Club in Kenora will restore and renovate an outdoor arena.

Rickford said the list of investments will go a long way to ensure communities in northwestern Ontario have access to modern and accessible community and recreational infrastructure that supports youth, seniors and First Nation community members.

“I’m pleased to be here primarily because these projects are never about us as the funders,” Rickford said. “They are about the people who are standing behind me and the young people who are going to experience enhanced recreation facility.”