Manitouwadge, Ontario, July 15, 2020— The governments of Canada and Ontario recognize the different ways that the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted smaller and rural communities across the province. Both governments are making strategic investments in infrastructure to meet the specific needs of rural and northern Ontario municipalities and help them strengthen their local economies.
Today, the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development; and Dave Smith, Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough–Kawartha and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development & Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs on behalf of Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure, announced funding for 6 road projects and one airport runway project in Northern Ontario. They were joined by his Worship John MacEachern, Mayor of the Township of Manitouwadge
In Manitouwadge, a portion of the Manitouwadge Airport runway, apron, and taxiway will be resurfaced with new asphalt. Further upgrades include new traffic symbols and safety markings to offer passengers a more reliable service.
The remaining projects will see upgrades to major roads in six communities. Biigtigong Nishnaabegwill widen, repave, upgrade drainage and replace a culvert on a major road to make travelling safer for motorists and pedestrians. Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) will make road improvements to the reserve’s main entrance to the highway. Pickle Lake will see better flow of traffic and a secondary access point for emergency vehicles after reconstructing, regrading and widening a portion of a main road and connecting it to Highway 599.
Additionally, the Naotkamegwanning First Nation will benefit from upgrades to an access road that connects to a highway, which will contribute to improved safety and an overall better road network. Terrace Bay will widen its lanes and asphalt shoulders to support safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Finally, Red Lake will upgrade existing roads and sidewalks to support safer active transportation and extend the lifespan of the roads.
The Government of Canada is investing over $12.7 million in these projects through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $5.5 million for these important infrastructure projects in these communities while municipalities are contributing over $1.7. million towards the projects and First Nations communities are contributing $443,979.
The governments of Canada and Ontario are working in collaboration with their partners to support jobs, improve communities and build confidence as we safely and sustainably restore economic growth.
“With these investments, we are helping to improve roads and the Manitouwadge Airport that keep families in rural Ontario connected to their neighbours. These projects will create well-paying jobs in Thunder Bay-Superior North, and protect our critical infrastructure that helps our region thrive.”
Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, on behalf of the Honourable Maryam Monsef, Canada’s Minister of Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development
“The Manitouwadge Airport is an essential link for many vital services in our remote community. Ensuring access for emergency medical flights, emergency hydro repair and forest fire management are only a few reasons why this project is so important to our community and its residents.”
His Worship John MacEachern, Mayor of the Township of Manitouwadge
“The ability to transfer health care clients requiring a tertiary centre and a higher level of care is critical to the well-being of our patients. The Manitouwadge Airport is an essential part of health care and saving lives. The location and rurality of Manitouwadge makes the Airport a high-needs service for the community and for the delivery of equitable, high-level and life-saving health care in a timely manner.”
Debbie Hardy, CEO of Santé Manitouwadge Health