FedNor investment to support infrastructure enhancements in Sioux Lookout
Reeti Meenakshi Rohilla - Staff Writer
The Municipality of Sioux Lookout has received an investment of $975,000 in support of industrial and commercial development. The funding will be used to complete infrastructural enhancements, along with extending municipal water and wastewater services to Bigwood Lake and the North Airport Commercial Development sites. With FedNor being the primary source of funding, the municipality is awaiting approval from another funding agency, with an aim to have the project complete by March 2022.
Brian P. MacKinnon, the Manager of Corporate Services and Municipal Clerk for the Municipality of Sioux Lookout said, “The project will see water and sewer services extended from the Municipal airport, to a property development adjacent to the airport and across Highway 516, to the edge of the Bigwood Lake property. The services will allow both sites to be further developed for commercial and business activities.” The municipality’s key priority is to provide and maintain critical infrastructure to the community at any time. “We hope that with the expressed interest in development opportunities for the Airport North Commercial area and the Bigwood Lake area, that this will result in new, positive growth for our community,” he said.
The funding is part of a $4 million investment into 16 projects in Northern Ontario, “To help diversify and grow the economy, while helping to maximize the economic potential of Northern Ontario’s municipalities, as well as rural and Indigenous communities,” according to the Government of Canada.
“Strong local economies rely upon the prosperity and growth of local businesses and entrepreneurs. In these uncertain times, we want Canadian businesses to know that we have their back. We will help our business and community partners adapt to the quickly evolving social and economic realities, and support their efforts to strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy and create good jobs for Ontarians,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, and Minister responsible for the FedNor.
According to the Government of Canada, this funding, “Will help First Nations stimulate business growth and employment opportunities by enabling them to implement priority projects and develop new partnerships. It will also assist businesses to boost productivity and growth by matching skilled workers to employer needs. In addition, it will help tourism organizations to attract more visitors with new product development that will extend their stay and increase their spending.”
Strong local communities are one of the key pillars to support a thriving local and national economy, the federal government indicated as the country continues its recovery from the impacts of COVID-19.