Sioux Lookout Municipal Airport receiving $1.8 million in FedNor funding
Tim Brody - Editor
The Sioux Lookout Municipal Airport is one of five northwestern Ontario airports sharing in more than $4.14 million in federal funding to maintain regional connectivity and jobs.
Of the total, the Sioux Lookout Municipal Airport will receive $1,892,640, Dryden Regional Airport $885,020, Red Lake Airport $702,578, Kenora Airport Authority $439,512, and Fort Frances Airport $225,705.
“Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.
“The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements,” an August 13 news release from the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario (FedNor) states.
“These non-repayable contributions will help mitigate the financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting the operations of all five airports for a one-year period. The projects are expected to help maintain 32 jobs across the region,” the news release further explained.
“The Sioux Lookout Airport is an important economic driver for our municipality and beyond serving as a regional transportation centre for people, goods and services that are distributed to the surrounding region, including 29 remote First Nation communities. It is also a critical transportation hub for professional services, including medical personnel employed by 17 nursing stations located throughout several of the remote northern communities. I would like to thank the Government of Canada and FedNor for this critical funding for our key community asset,” stated Sioux Lookout Mayor Doug Lawrance
“It is important to protect our regional air transportation ecosystems for the thousands of workers employed by this sector and for the many businesses and communities that depend on it. We know that air connectivity to all regions is essential to healthy, inclusive economic growth, and supporting it is part of our plan to build back a stronger, more resilient economy,” said Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“Today’s investment of more than $4.14 million will help secure the ongoing operations of five key small airports in Northwestern Ontario that serve their respective business communities and provide critical air access to outlying regions. I am proud that our government continues to make strategic investments to ensure that our economy recovers from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic and rebounds even stronger than ever before,” Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor added.
“Today’s announcement will help the Fort Frances, Red Lake, Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout airports land on their feet and reconnect family friends and businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also allow them to be in a position to play a meaningful role in the region’s economic recovery in the months to come. This investment of more than $4.14 million will help not only ensure the commercial viability of the airports but also help maintain and grow critical economic development infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario,” said Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River.