Report from Parliament Hill:
Meeting the unique needs of the North
Bob Nault, MP, Kenora Riding
Rural and Northern Canadians have different needs than Canadians living in urban centres. We face unique challenges when it comes to growing our regional economy, connecting communities through technology, and addressing housing needs. There have been significant investments in Northern Ontario so that the region, and its people, can continue to grow, prosper, and thrive.
Recently, I announced an investment of $177,000 to the township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls for the hiring of a Community Development Officer (CDO) for a three-year period. The funding was provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
Hiring an economic development officer will help the Township of Sioux Narrows-Nestor Falls diversify its economy to the benefit of residents and businesses alike. Not only will it assist the community to grow the economy in the township, it will also increase business investment, job creation, and open the doors to greater opportunities and collaboration among First Nations and other communities in the region.
During the summer, we also invested $7.03 million to help six Indigenous communities and up to 58 institutions in Northern Ontario get online with new or improved high-speed Internet access. This investment will modernize communication services in order that both residents and business entrepreneurs can take advantage of the opportunities afforded by the digital age. Access to telemedicine, and long-distance education, are just a few of the benefits that will be derived as a result of modernizing our communication infrastructure in the riding.
To address housing needs in the North and across Canada, a 10-year, $40 billion National Housing Strategy was launched to reduce homelessness and improve the availability and quality of housing for those in need.
The National Housing Strategy is designed to meet the needs of Canadians, including seniors, Indigenous Peoples, survivors of family violence, people with disabilities, refugees, veterans, and the homeless. In response to calls from housing advocates, service providers and feminist leaders, the Strategy commits to ensuring that at least 25% of funds go to projects for women, girls and their families.
Soon, I will be returning to Ottawa as the next session of parliament resumes for the fall session. I will continue advocating for the need to continue making these types of investments to improve the lives of Northerners and rural Canadians.