THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government is providing $15 million annually to 144 northern municipalities to help support infrastructure projects over the next five years.
The new Northern Ontario Resource Development Support Fund will share the benefits of mining and forestry with municipalities and complement existing funding streams for building infrastructure.
“This is about fairness. It’s about a recognition that, for a long time in addition to infrastructure programs offered by previous governments, federal and provincial, there still seemed to be a little gap that we used to hear, and still hear from municipal leaders.” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry,
“Those little projects like a little stretch of road that bears the lion’s share of the impact of trucks moving logs in and out or a specific kind of mining activity, a bridge for example, or waste water infrastructure, capital requirements for infrastructure that municipalities need to provide services or programs because they have a resource project or industry in their community, this shores that up.”
NORDS is part of the government’s Building Ontario plan, a comprehensive plan to build transit, health, education, technology and municipal and community infrastructure across the province.
"Our government is delivering on our commitment to share the benefits of resource development with northern municipalities," Rickford said.
"Northern communities face unique realities, as do the industries and sectors that drive our northern economy. Programs such as NORDS are central to our vision for building strong northern communities, supporting economic development, and creating optimum conditions for businesses to thrive, grow, and create good jobs."
All 144 Northern Ontario municipalities, as defined under the Places to Grow Act, 2005, will be eligible to receive NORDS funding and funding allocations have been determined using household counts in each municipality.
Funding for year one of the program will be distributed to eligible municipalities by March 31, 2022 and municipalities are encouraged to submit their projects for funding when the program opens on Dec. 7, 2021.
Ontario is investing an additional $1 billion through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund to provide certainty and predictability to 424 small, rural and northern communities so that they can build and repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure.
“We understand the importance of supporting communities to help address their unique infrastructure needs and challenges,” said Minister of Infrastructure Kinga Surma.
“Through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund, our government is providing an additional $1 billion over the next five years to support critical infrastructure in small, rural and northern communities. Thanks to important programs like OCIF and the new NORDS Fund, we are building the foundation for Ontario’s economic recovery and prosperity across the province for today and for future generations.”