FedNor Program will bring New Economic Development Opportunities
THUNDER BAY – FedNor is setting up a program that will allow smaller communities across Northern Ontario to set themselves up for success. Minister Greg Rickford, states in an interview with NNL that the plan is to allow communities and First Nations to hire and economic development officer and seek out opportunities for their communities. The $3 million dollar program is, Rickford say tailor made for smaller sized communities, and especially for First Nations.
Having the program in place for two years allows the communities to establish needed programs and likely find opportunities that will allow the new EDO to keep going after the program is over.
The federal government announced a new initiative Thursday aimed at helping small Northern Ontario communities grab onto more funding and other opportunities.
The Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario is a $3-million program. The goal of the program is to allow some of the smaller and some of the more remote communities to benefit from the project. “FedNor’s new Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario will target those communities with limited economic development capacity and enable them to take advantage of business investment, job creation and regional collaboration opportunities equal to that of our larger centres,” stated Minister Rickford.
That program does not mean, Rickford said that larger communities won’t have access to FedNor funding, but that North Bay, Sudbury, Timmins, Sault Ste. Marie and Thunder Bay are already the major beneficiaries of FedNor funding.
First Nation councils that to not have existing full time EDO will be eligible.
The Conservatives have come under fire in the House of Commons recently over leaving some funds on the table for FedNor.
Minister Rickford says that issue has some truth to it, as there were some unspent funds that were returned to the treasury.
Rickford stated that the Conservatives are focused on boosting some important efforts for the North, including broadband Internet, and small to medium manufacturing projects. The FedNor Minister promises to bring some new and innovative funding to the program.