By: The Working Forest Staff
FORT FRANCES — Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, announced Ontario is investing $83,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) in two community development projects in the Fort Frances-Rainy River region.
- $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.
- $18,000 for the Rainy River Future Development Corporation to study the feasibility of developing a modular house manufacturing facility in the region. Modular houses are pre-fabricated homes built in segments offsite, which are then delivered and assembled onsite.
“Through our investments, we are sending a message that the Fort Frances-Rainy River region and all of Northern Ontario is open for business and open for jobs,” said Minister Rickford. “Together with our northern partners, we are building a more competitive economy and bolstering communities across the north.”
“The Town of Fort Frances is very pleased to be granted funds from NOHFC,” said June Caul, Mayor of Fort Frances. “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. Fort Frances has been very fortunate to have Minister Rickford, who has consistently advocated for the town in many capacities throughout the last year.”
“I would like to thank Minister Rickford and the NOHFC for supporting this modular housing study for the Town of Rainy River and the District,” said Deborah Ewald, Mayor of Rainy River.
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.
Ontario is working to develop new NOHFC programs that:
- 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
- address the skilled labour shortage in the north.
“We have heard from northerners who want NOHFC programs to be open to a broader range of businesses and workers so that the unique needs of Northern Ontario communities are met,” said Minister Rickford. “Through these proposed changes, Ontario’s government will continue to build strong and resilient communities while supporting an environment where businesses can thrive, grow and create good jobs.”
Promoting and stimulating economic development initiatives in Northern Ontario is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario together. The government’s balanced and prudent plan is creating more jobs and opportunities in the north and keeping more money in people’s pockets.
* Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $147 million in 1,003 projects in Northern Ontario. This has leveraged more than $699 million in investment and created or retained over 3,000 jobs.