What does COMRIF mean for us?

During our riding tour, my staff and I encountered the subject of infrastructure funding a number of times.
Many of the communities in Rainy River District expressed concerns over the state of their roads, their bridges, and their water supply.
The federal government recognizes the infrastructure issues faced by communities of all sizes. The 2004 budget, for instance, included the acceleration of the Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund from a 10-year to a five-year program.
MRIF has been allocated $1 billion and will target local infrastructure needs of “smaller communities” under 250,000 like Fort Frances and “rural and remote communities” like Rainy River District municipalities.
On Nov. 15, the federal government, the Ontario government, and the Association of Municipalities of Ontario (AMO) were pleased to announce their commitment to improving and renewing public infrastructure across the province with the launch of the Canada-Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF) program.
A notable feature of COMRIF is the involvement of AMO. Their partnership with the governments ensures the municipal voice will be heard and the local perspective considered in all decisions.
The federal and Ontario governments each will contribute up to $298 million to the program.
Including municipal investments, this program is expected to inject close to $900 million in infrastructure projects like water purification, sewage system improvements, safer local roads, and better bridges.
For a riding like Thunder Bay-Rainy River, which is made up entirely of smaller communities, this could mean a lot.
As a former president of AMO, I’m looking forward to working with municipal leadership to ensure our communities are strong and sustainable—now and for years to come.

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