Federal government announces more than $4 million in funding for municipal projects

At the funding announcement in Spanish were, from left, Marc Serré, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Rural Economic Development, Spanish Mayor Jocelyne Bishop, Honourable Minister Patty Hadju, Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin, Spanish Deputy Mayor Karen Von Pickartz, Spanish Councillor Sandra Trudel, Spanish CAO Pam Lortie and Cockburn Island Clerk Brent St. Denis.

SPANISH – The Honourable Patty Hajdu, minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour and member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North dropped into Spanish on Friday, August 23 to announce more than $4 million in federal funding for a number of projects across Manitoulin and the North Shore. 

Minister Hajdu was acting on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, minister of Rural Economic Development. Marc Serré, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Rural Economic Development and Paul Lefebvre, parliamentary secretary to the minister of Natural Resources accompanied the minister to the announcements.

Minister Hajdu noted that the Government of Canada is investing more than $4 million in six projects through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream. The province and municipalities are responsible for picking up the remaining project costs.

“Connecting people and places is key to providing opportunities for all Canadians. Improving local roads and bridges for Northern Ontarians will support the long-term success and prosperity of these communities” said Minister Hajdu in making the announcements.

“We are pleased with this announcement and thank both the federal and provincial governments for their contribution towards the rehabilitation of Algoma Street and Colonization Road,” said announcement host Jocelyne Bishop, mayor of the Municipality of Spanish. “This road system provides our local and travelling tourists access to several of our waterfront businesses fronting on the beautiful Spanish River.”   

“We are very pleased,” said Central Manitoulin Mayor Richard Stephens. “It is quite a relief to be getting the Union Road Bridge project done, that’s one bridge down and a number more to go yet.” Mayor Stephens noted that this was the fourth swing at the bat for his municipality on this project. “Municipalities couldn’t afford to do these projects on their own.”

Among the announcements for Central Manitoulin was the replacement of the Union Road Bridge, with federal funding of $927,000, provincial funding of $524,949 and a municipal contribution of $266,302. Work will include crossing Barr’s Creek with a new concrete structure, which will include raising the bridge approach and widening the shoulders.

The Township of Cockburn Island is rebuilding the intersection of 12th and 15th concessions, which will include work on corner curves, ditches and new culverts: federal contribution of $543,647, provincial funding of $301,996 and municipal contribution of $88,233.

Northeast Town Mayor Al MacNevin was also pleased to receive the funding on behalf of his community. “I am so glad to see the federal and provincial governments stepping up to help fund these projects,” he said. “I am sure many of the residents of the Green Bush Road will be glad to see the hard surfacing of their road.”

Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands residents will see the rehabilitation of approximately 3.3 kilometers of Green Bush Road. Federal contribution of $290,400, provincial funding of $161,317 and a municipal contribution of $32,283.

Modern and reliable roadways help to connect communities, while improving residents’ quality of life and positioning the regions for growth, a press release from the federal government states.

Bruce Mines and Plummer Additional will also receive funding to improve local road conditions. According to a Government of Canada website more than $180 billion will be invested through the program over 12 years, including projects in public transit projects, green infrastructure, social infrastructure, trade and transportation routes, and Canada’s rural and Northern communities.

The federal share of investments for communities with fewer than 5,000 residents covers up to 60 percent of the total eligible costs. On June 27 the Government of Canada launched two new strategies: Canada’s Connectivity Strategy, which commits to connect all Canadians to high-speed internet, and Canada’s first Rural Economic Development Strategy, which will spur economic growth and create good, middle class jobs for rural Canadians across the country.