Strike puts tiling project on hold

The Rainy River Future Development Corp. was awarded $147,000 for the installation of draining tiles on agricultural land in the area as part of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp.’s announcement of more than $2.7 million to Northwestern Ontario last Friday.
“By improving community infrastructure, by helping expand opportunities in agriculture, we are strengthening the foundation for growth, job growth, job creation, and prosperity in Northwestern Ontario,” said Jim Wilson, the minister of Northern Development and Mines who also chairs the NOHFC.
This is the district’s first drainage project to receive NOHFC support, following the success of projects in neighbouring districts.
“It’s an agricultural consortium project,” said Geoff Gillon of the RRFDC. “We have 11 partners who will undertake tile drainage projects on 529 acres—we’re the corporate body.”
But plans to get started are stalled until the OPSEU strike ends and Gary Sliworsky, the agriculture and rural rep for Emo, is back on the job.
“He’s on the picket line right now,” Gillon said. “We have to wait until he’s back to work until things can move forward.”
The project’s total cost is $418,500.
Tile drainage dries soil out to enable farmers to plant in humid areas. Surplus free water, which is usually rainfall, must be removed and the water table maintained at a level which is appropriate for the particular soil, crop, and climate.
Many farmers say it represents their highest return in land investment.