TORONTO — Greg Rickford, minister of energy, northern development and mines, recently announced the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, Ont., Kenora, Ont. and Fort Frances-Rainy River will receive funding for infrastructure projects through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls will receive $8,500 to undertake a review and update of its existing Highway Corridor Redevelopment Plan. The project is anticipated to provide opportunities for economic growth along the Township’s Highway 71 corridor, identifying shovel-ready projects along the corridor, including tourist attractions, better boat access to Lake of the Woods and identifying new sites for potential development.
“We are very pleased to receive NOHFC funding for our Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls Highway Corridor Redevelopment Plan project,” said Norbert Dufresne, mayor of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls, in a statement. “Funding support for projects such as this ensures that our municipality is able to meet the current and future economic development needs within our community.”
The Kenora SportsPlex will receive $250,000 for its expansion to increase the second-floor viewing area, improve accessibility and maximize use of the playing field area as a regulation-sized field of play, which will allow the centre to attract regional sports tournaments and accommodate more spectators.
“The Kenora SportsPlex is a unique amenity to our community that provides a diverse range of opportunity for use and has vast potential beyond the current capacity,” said Kenora Mayor Daniel Reynard, in a statement. “This funding will allow us to expand the use of the facility by adding access to the second-floor mezzanine and attracting new and expanded programming. The viewing area expansion will add economic benefit to our community with visitors attending an array of additional events.”
The Fort Frances-Rainey River support will include $65,000 for the Town of Fort Frances to create redevelopment plans for two properties that were formerly part of Resolute Forest Products’ pulp and paper mill operations and $18,000 for the Rainy River Future Development Corporation to study the feasibility of developing a modular house manufacturing facility in the region.
“This support will be used to conduct a land use and economic feasibility study for the redevelopment of the Shevlin wood yard and the former nursing station, creating a gateway to the Rainy Lake Market Square,” said June Caul, Mayor of Fort Frances, in a statement. “Fort Frances has been very fortunate to have Minister Rickford, who has consistently advocated for the town in many capacities throughout the last year.”
The NOHFC promotes and supports economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects — big and small, rural and urban — that stimulate growth, job creation and develop a skilled workforce.
According to the release, the provincial government is working to develop new NOHFC programs that will make it easier for more people and businesses to apply; support more projects in rural northern communities; target both existing and emerging market opportunities; provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people; and address the skilled labour shortage in the north.