Northern Communities Ready To Attract Investment
Government Is On Northerners' Side With GO North Program
SUDBURY - The first Northern Communities Investment Readiness projects under the Ontario government's GO North Investor Program were announced today by Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci.
"For the first time in a decade, we have a government that is focusing provincial resources on a unified campaign to foster growth in the North," said Bartolucci. "We are on the side of northern communities. That is why we are encouraging them to investigate this program as a way of promoting their amenities and their advantages to international investment audiences."
The program is a targeted and coordinated approach to help northern communities attract and retain investment. It is administered by the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines with assistance, on municipal projects, from the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association (NOMA) and the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM).
As a key component of the GO North Investor Program, this initiative promotes and supports a strong investment attraction climate in Northern Ontario. It will help northern communities develop the tools and capability to attract, receive and successfully explore investment opportunities.
A total of $41,135 is being provided to investment readiness projects in Wawa, Kasabonika First Nation, Magnetewan First Nation, North Bay, Marathon, Sioux Lookout, Terrace Bay-Schreiber and Dryden. A number of other northern communities have established partnerships and will be submitting investment readiness initiatives that will have an impact on regional economies.
"It is exciting that this program is in place and functioning," said Neil MacOdrum, a NOMA member of the municipal Northern Communities Investment Readiness Steering Committee. "I know that all of our communities can make use of this funding to enhance ourselves in diversifying for tomorrow."
"We are pleased to be involved in bringing this program to northern municipalities," said Austin Hunt, President, FONOM and member of the municipal Steering Committee. "We have high hopes that the program will be beneficial to all those involved."
Other McGuinty government initiatives for northern communities include:
• Providing $259 million in low-cost loans from the Ontario Strategic Infrastructure Financing Authority
• Investing more than $1.8 billion over five years to upgrade and expand northern highways
• Provided northern municipalities with $56.5 million in immediate, one-time funding for road, bridge repair and upgrading
• Reducing the pressure on property taxes by picking up more of the tab for land ambulance and public health.
These initiatives are part of the Northern Prosperity Plan. The plan is founded on four key pillars including: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.
Minister's Office - Sudbury
MNDM - Thunder Bay