Sioux Lookout, ON – Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, along with Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary for FedNor, today announced more than $4.14 million in financial support for five Northwestern Ontario airports. Of the total, Sioux Lookout Airport will receive $1,892,640, Dryden Regional Airport $885,020, Red Lake Airport $702,578, Kenora Airport Authority $439,512, and Fort Frances Airport $225,705. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.
“Today’s announcement will help the Fort Frances, Red Lake, Kenora, Dryden and Sioux Lookout airports land on their feet and reconnect family friends and businesses following the COVID-19 pandemic. It will also allow them to be in a position to play a meaningful role in the region’s economic recovery in the months to come. This investment of more than $4.14 million will help not only ensure the commercial viability of the airports but also help maintain and grow critical economic development infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario,” says Thunder Bay Rainy River MP Marcus Powlowski.
Regional air transportation is crucial to local economic growth, the movement of goods and the connectivity of Canadians across the country. The pandemic has had major impacts on regional air transportation ecosystems, affecting communities and local businesses from coast to coast to coast.
The Government of Canada’s Regional Air Transportation Initiative (RATI), launched in March 2021, supports access to air transportation and regional ecosystems. In particular, it enables the continuation of existing air routes and ensures airports remain operational and able to contribute to regional economic growth, while adapting to new post-COVID-19 realities and requirements.
These non-repayable contributions will help mitigate the financial pressures brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic by supporting the operations of all five airports for a one-year period. The projects are expected to help maintain 32 jobs across the region.
Regional air transportation is key to the economic development of communities and businesses right across Canada. It is essential to connecting Canadians living in rural and remote communities to urban centres, delivering Canadian goods to the global market and welcoming international visitors to all parts of the country, when it is safe to do so.