Busy day for MP Greg Rickford in Sioux Lookout

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New Horizons in Hudson
Front left to right: Beverly Fairburn, Esther Starratt, Bernice Bouchard, Marge Gadal, Joe Gadal (all centre volunteers), John Nenka - President. Back left to right: Greg, Deputy-Mayor Don Fenelon, Mayor Dennis Leney, Bob Starratt (volunteer).

SIOUX LOOKOUT – It was a busy day for Kenora MP Greg Rickford. In Sioux Lookout, the MP participated in several announcements detailing government funding of projects in the region. Rickford announced a Government of Canada investment of $334,700 to facilitate the planning and community engagement process needed to establish a First Nations-owned electrical transmission business in Northern Ontario.

“This initiative will provide partner First Nations with the tools they need to be successful,” stated MP Rickford, “It will also enhance collaboration among First Nations, government and private sector stakeholders in the region.”

“The Government of Canada is proud to support the economic development and diversification efforts of First Nation communities in Northern Ontario and across the nation,” added Minister Tony Clement, “This investment will provide First Nations in Ontario’s far north with the opportunity to take charge of their economic future.”

Working on behalf of remote First Nations in the region, Windigo First Nations Council, along with its partners, Shibogama First Nations Council and the Independent First Nations Alliance, will use the FedNor funding to engage their member communities and gather input on a draft business case to establish a First Nations-owned electrical transmission business in Northern Ontario.

FEDNOR announcement Windigo FN
Windigo First Nations Council Chair Frank McKay with Kenora MP Greg Rickford

“I want to thank our government for their support of this project so we can move forward. This funding is an important step towards economic prosperity for our communities and we look forward to the next phase in this initiative,” stated Frank McKay, Council Chair and CEO for Windigo Tribal Council.

As well, the Member of Parliament for Kenora announced funding for a number of seniors’ program today in Sioux Lookout. More than $500,000 in funding has been given to many seniors projects in the Kenora riding over the past three years, each capped at $25,000.

Rickford announced $25,000 in funding for the Lost Lake Drop-In Centre in Hudson. The funding will be put towards building upgrades to the centre, including new carpets, an energy efficient furnace and a commercial oven in order to continue to provide traditional First Nations activities and programs, such as weekly lunches, the Strawberry Social and Tea and Blueberry Luncheon.

“These upgrades will be extremely beneficial to the community who can continue their great work at the Lost Lake Drop-In Centre. These new upgrades will ensure that traditional practices are continued as well as other social events to get seniors active and engaged,” said Rickford.

“I appreciate the funding from the perspective of both the Municipality of Sioux Lookout and as a resident in Hudson in maintaining the Lost Lake Drop-In Centre for the seniors. We appreciate all the good work MP Rickford has done in the Sioux Lookout area,” shared Deputy-Mayor Don Fenelon of Sioux Lookout.

“It’s great to see such a worthy organization supported by our government. Things like a new furnace, flooring, kitchen equipment and other items are really appreciated. This $25,000 will go a long way here!” said Lost Lake Drop-In Centre President John Nenka.

Rickford also announced funding for the Bearskin Lake First Nation and their “Preserving Oral History and Tradition” program. The $25,000 will go towards engaging seniors in the community through mentoring others by collecting and archiving seniors’ stories in order to preserve their local oral history and traditions.

The Sachigo Lake First Nation also received $25,000 in funding for their Seniors’ Community Park, which will consist of a walking trail and constructing of a banister for disabled people to promote volunteerism among seniors and other generations by establishing a recreation park for the community.

A fourth announcement went to the Ojibway Lake Ojibway Nation’s “Elder Participation and Contributions = Healthier, Safer Communities” program. The $25,000 in funding will support social participation and inclusion of seniors by having seniors volunteer, participate and be included in as many communities and off reserve social events as possible.

The New Horizons for Seniors Program (NHSP) is a federal grants and contributions program that supports projects led or inspired by seniors who make a difference in the lives of others and their communities. Through the NHSP, the Federal Government encourages seniors to share their knowledge, skills and experiences to the benefit of others.

“This has been an incredibly successful program for us, helping to contribute to capital infrastructure programming for seniors. Every town and city and many First Nations communities have benefitted from this program,” said Rickford.

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