WHO conference lands funding

Rainy River District’s efforts to market and promote the upcoming International Conference on Safe Communities received a $71,750 kick-start from the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corp. (NOHFC), it was announced Monday.
“Hosting this world-renowned conference is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for Rainy River [District], and I’m delighted that our government is able to help with the marketing and promotional efforts,” said NOHFC chair Dan Newman, who also is minister of Northern Development and Mines.
“I am confident this event will generate vital economic activity in the area while showcasing the many opportunities Northwestern Ontario offers for visitors and investors alike,” he added.
In 1997, the Rainy River Valley Safety Coalition was named “National Safe Community” by the Safe Communities Foundation of Canada.
Hosting the 2002 Safe Commun-ities conference, an initiative of the World Health Organ-ization (WHO) and sanctioned by the United Nations, is the final criterion for official recognition as a safe community.
This year’s conference, which takes place May 5-8, will focus on the Safety, Education, Equal Op-portunity, Dedication, and Sustain-ability (S.E.E.D.S.) to “Growing Safe Communities.”
About 350 delegates are expected to attend, with the pre-conference session expected to attract an additional 150 aboriginal and non-aboriginal youth delegates.
“This event will bring international recognition to the Rainy River District for its efforts in community safety,” said conference co-ordinator Jeannette Cawston.
“We are very pleased the province continues to support the promotion of Northern Ontario as a safe and desirable place to travel, live, and invest,” she added.
The NOHFC works with partners across the north to build strong northern communities.
Since October, 1996, it has contributed $296 million to more than 870 projects, generating an additional $765 million from project partners.
These have created an estimated 12,650 jobs in Northern Ontario.