The provincial and federal governments are continuing to fund new infrastructure projects and improvements in northwestern Ontario, as funding amounts for an additional four projects in the area have been released.

On the afternoon of March 19, Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford was joined virtually by Thunder Bay-Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski and Minister of Infrastructure Laurie Scott who were representing Ottawa and the federal government, as they announced a combined $5.2 million for 7 projects across the region.

“We just had to bring some good news in the midst of all of this COVID-19,” said Rickford, who also serves as the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Energy and Indigenous Affairs.

The Municipality of Machin plans to use their $160,000 to improve public access to the Vermilion Bay docks by addressing drainage and erosion issues and repaving of the road and parking area. Municipal staff say the upgrades will lead to easier access for emergency vehicles and a better entry to Eagle Lake.

The Township of Ear Falls will see just over $169,000 to rehabilitate their recreational centre and to improve accessibility, with new washroom stalls and a chair lift between the first and second floors.

The Neskantaga First Nation community will see just under $2.8 million for a renovation of their Community Recreation Centre. Work will involve adding insulation, change-rooms and an accessible gym.

The Municipality of Sioux Lookout is set to receive $57,344 for the Cedar Bay Community Stable to improve the safety and accessibility of the facility. The expansion work will include new washrooms and a new tractor, with additional supports for high-risk youth.

“We hope this will give folks, especially the youth, some hope that when we all get back, there will be bigger, better, greener spaces and recreation spaces for us to enjoy,” adds Rickford. “That’s really important for me.”

March 19’s announcements also included $800,000 to rebuild the Central Community Club in Kenora, a $3.6 million contribution to the City of Dryden’s $4.9 million of work to the Dryden Memorial Arena and Recreation Centre, and an expansion of Dryden’s Go-Getter Seniors Activity Centre.

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