Ontario doubles investment in economic supports for Indigenous communities

TORONTO – The Ontario government continues to work with Indigenous communities to create lasting economic prosperity for Indigenous people and to support their COVID-19 recovery and response efforts through the Indigenous community capital grants program (ICCGP). To further support Indigenous communities, the province doubled funding for the program from $3 million to $6 million in 2021-22 to fund 40 projects across the province.

“The positive economic impact that the (ICCGP) program creates for Indigenous community infrastructure projects, both on and off-reserve is immense,” said Greg Rickford, minister of Indigenous affairs. “We recognize that Indigenous communities are facing unique challenges as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and we will continue to provide tailored supports that will help communities address these challenges by achieving meaningful, lasting results.” 

One of the projects this program has already helped assist is one in M’Chigeeng First Nation.

“The (ICCGP) assisted M’Chigeeng First Nation in remedial work on one of its business leasing spaces and this was a welcome support program that enabled M’Chigeeng to lease out unoccupied space that would have remained vacated if it had not received the financial support from this much needed program,” said Grant Taibossigai, general manager, HIAH Corp. Economic Development, M’Chigeeng. “COVID-19 has impacted the leasing of space for M’Chigeeng-owned businesses and service providers. M’Chigeeng First Nation is proud to be a partner with the ICCGP program.”

ICCGP investments will continue in 2022-23 to support the construction and renovation of Indigenous community infrastructure projects, both on and off-reserve, which support economic development, job creation and social benefits to Indigenous communities. Priority will be given to applications for previously funded stages, business or training centres, shovel-ready projects, and initiatives that support COVID-19 related community needs. The 2022-23 ICCGP application period is now open and will close on February 18.

“Whether our government is investing in community centres, updating and repairing roads and highways, or modernizing hospitals and health centres, we’re committed to supporting critical infrastructure projects in Indigenous communities, so they have the necessary tools and infrastructure in place to be safe, healthy and successful,” said Kinga Surma, minister of infrastructure. “To amplify our commitment to Ontario’s Indigenous communities, our government is working tirelessly to connect rural and remote areas to reliable high-speed internet by the end of 2025 so that everyone, no matter where they live, can work, learn, access vital services and connect with others from the comfort of their home community.”