THUNDER BAY – Residents of Whitesand First Nation and Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation will benefit from important infrastructure projects thanks to joint funding from the governments of Ontario and Canada through the Small Communities Fund.
“Investing in infrastructure projects in the north is part of our government’s plan to build Ontario up. We are committed to strengthening our province and building safe, reliable infrastructure that will help our region thrive,” shared Bill Mauro, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry.
Minister of Northern Development and Mines, Michael Gravelle said, “We are pleased to support these critical infrastructure projects that will create safer, healthier communities in Northern Ontario. This is part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history, which will help connect regions, develop new economic opportunities and improve quality of life for Ontarians by supporting critical infrastructure projects in cities, towns, and rural and remote communities all across the province.”
The project in Whitesand will involve extending the existing water distribution system from the First Nation to the Township of Armstrong’s water main. Once completed, the new connection will help provide safe, clean, high-quality drinking water for local residents.
The Nigigoonsiminikaaning project will include improvements to the storm water management and drainage systems and the redevelopment of an emergency access road surrounding water crossings. This will help control water movement and ensure safe access to the Nigigoonsiminikaaning First Nation community during emergencies.
The Small Communities Fund provides funding for priority public infrastructure projects that deliver on local needs. Through the program, Ontario and Canada are each providing $272 million to support projects in communities across the province with fewer than 100,000 residents. This funding will help address local priorities, support job creation and economic growth, and help local residents to sustain a high quality of life for years to come.
Investing in local communities is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
- Ontario is investing $720,000 in the two projects.
- The government of Canada will match the funding for the project.
- The First Nations will be responsible for the remaining costs of the project.
- Ontario is making the largest public infrastructure investment in the province’s history — more than $130 billion over ten years, which will support more than 110,000 jobs per year on average.