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Provincial dollars flow to Thunder Bay

By Adam Riley Sep 6, 2023 | 8:22 AM

File Photo (Adam Riley / Acadia Broadcasting)

The Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation is providing a little over $4.3 million for six different projects in Thunder Bay geared towards economic development.

Minister of Northern Development and Chair of the NOHFC, Greg Rickford, believes the funding can build better partnerships to benefit the entire region.

“By working hand-in-hand with our northern partners, we continue to make Northwestern Ontario an attractive place to live, work, play and do business.”

More than half, some $2.5 million is going to the City of Thunder Bay for two projects, one being the north core reconstruction work on Court Street and Red River Road, which is getting $2 million.

The remaining $523,458 is going towards upgrading recreational facilities as the city prepares to play host for the 2024 Ontario Winter Games in just six months.

The funding has Mayor Ken Boshcoff optimistic for what the future holds for the city.

“With NOHFC’s support, this funding will allow us to develop flexible public space in the North Core for more community events. Improvements to the Canada Games Complex and Fort William Gardens will ensure Thunder Bay’s success as the host of the 2024 Ontario Winter Games and many more sporting events in the future.”

Another $1.2 million will allow the Matawa Training and Wellness Centre to develop a dedicated cultural room.

CEO of Matawa First Nations Management David Paul Achneepineskum says the 3,100 square foot space will facilitate connections for language, land, ancestry, family and communities through Elders, cultural teachings, and integrated supports and programming.

“It will be the only Indigenous-specific cultural space available in Thunder Bay that is year-round and will be a safe space for individuals to their improve their quality of life and well-being to sustain life-long change.”

Money is also being devoted to the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority, which will use $130,000 to improve the Cascades Conservation Area, with a repaving of the trail system, the construction of a new washroom and enhancing drainage in the parking lot.

Two private businesses will use the funds they are receiving to expand.

$320,294 being provided to KBM Forestry Consultations Inc. will allow the company to purchase an aircraft and expand its flight training unit.

Meanwhile Jasa Spring Water Inc. is expanding its physical operations with $124,225 to purchase equipment and construct a new building for production and warehouse space.

Thunder Bay – Atikokan MPP Kevin Holland expressed his excitement for the funding and spoke of the critical nature the NOHFC plays in the region.

“NOHFC funding is important to the success of Northern Ontario, and I encourage municipalities and businesses to research this funding stream when considering projects.”

In a release the province states since June of 2018 $685 million has been invested in more than 5,000 projects through the NOHFC, which has helped create or sustain more than 9,000 jobs.


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