The federal and provincial governments are making strategic infrastructure investments to help rural municipalities and First Nation communities strengthen their local economies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Government of Canada is investing over $12.4 million through Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) while the province is investing $7.5 million. The money will go towards multiple road and bridge projects across Southwestern Ontario.
The provincial government has offered $3.3 million in cost-share funding to 58 projects through the updated Rural Economic Development program (RED) to help rural and Indigenous communities diversify their economies, retain skilled workers, invest in local infrastructure, and create jobs.
The provincial government is providing $498,000 through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to help increase tourism, boost economic development and create 13 new jobs in the Kenora-Rainy River region.
The NOHFC promotes economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects that stimulate growth, job creation and skilled workforce development.
The provincial government is launching an $8 million #RestartMB Event Attraction Strategy. The strategy aims to maximize the potential of Winnipeg and rural Manitoba destinations to host large-scale meetings, conventions and events.
Applications are being accepted for a $1 million fund to encourage development of agricultural technology. Administered by Innovation Saskatchewan, the fund will drive private investment and help attract international agtech companies to the province.
The provincial government introduced the Innovation Employment Grant (IEG), a program that begins January 1, 2021. The program will promote economic growth and job creation by supporting small and medium-sized businesses that invest in research and development (R&D).
The IEG provides eligible businesses with a grant of up to 20 percent of R&D spending.
The province will give Northern Alberta Institute of Technology $8.13 million to upgrade heating, ventilation and cooling systems, creating an estimated 46 jobs. Elsewhere, Keyano College will receive $3.2 million for maintenance and repairs, creating an estimated 18 jobs. Additionally, the province is funding a $2.58-million project to replace infrastructure systems in the theatre complex at the Banff Centre, creating an estimated 14 jobs.