Ontario Strengthens Agriculture, Forestry and Recreation Sectors
March 29, 2022
$3.4 million provincial investment will create jobs and support economic growth in Kapuskasing
KAPUSKASING – The Ontario government is providing more than $3.4 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to six projects in the agriculture, forestry and recreation sectors in Kapuskasing. The funding will be used to build and upgrade facilities, develop agricultural land and create good-paying jobs. These investments will build a stronger Ontario by diversifying the local economy and rejuvenating community infrastructure.
“Encouraging economic growth and job creation in Northern Ontario is a key priority for our government,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry. “These investments will strengthen the economy by supporting local entrepreneurs as they start new businesses and expand services, and help the Town of Kapuskasing revitalize their community recreational facility, benefitting northerners across the region.”
Projects receiving NOHFC funding include:
- $1,122,702 to Rogers Crop Enterprises Inc. to establish a grain and oilseed farm, creating six jobs. The farm will produce crops like wheat, barley, oats, peas, canola and hemp and will sell wood harvested from the land clearing activities.
- $1 million to the Northeast Community Network to install 1,824 acres of tile drainage, resulting in higher crop yields and benefitting eight producers.
- $455,400 to the Corporation of the Town of Kapuskasing to renovate the Sports Palace, a year-round, multi-use recreational and community space and cornerstone of the community.
- $400,000 to GreenFirst Forest Products Inc. to upgrade equipment and infrastructure at its newsprint mill in Kapuskasing, creating 45 full-time jobs and ensuring the facility can continue to play a critical role in the forestry supply chain.
- $319,800 to the Northeast Community Network to create a business plan to develop and market 1.2 million acres of under-utilized, privately held land for agricultural uses.
- $200,000 to O’Briens Butcher’s Market to establish the business, buy equipment and make building improvements. The Market will fill a need for locally processed meats and resell produce from local farmers, creating five jobs.
“These investments speak to our government’s resolve to support farmers in tapping into innovative ways to help grow the agri-food sector,” said Lisa Thompson, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs. “Strategic investments such as these build on to the many steps we’ve taken to strengthen the ability of farmers in Northern Ontario to keep playing a key role in providing people of this province with a safe and reliable supply of nutritious foods.”
The NOHFC promotes economic prosperity across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects—big and small, rural and urban—that stimulate growth, job creation and skills development. Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $473 million in 4,244 projects in Northern Ontario, leveraging more than $1.5 billion in investment and creating or sustaining over 6,600 jobs.
- In 2021, the Ontario government launched new and improved NOHFC programs that support more projects in rural northern communities and make it easier for more people and businesses to apply. The programs target existing and emerging markets, provide more work opportunities for Indigenous people and address the skilled labour shortage in the North.
“After a lot of research, several trips and over 20 years of experience from the prairies as grain farmers, we made the decision to move our family to the Cochrane district and establish a grain farm. The program that NOHFC has available was a major component of our business plan. We will be growing our fourth crop, and we look forward to what the future holds as we continue to develop land. We hope that agriculture will be seen as an important industry to incorporate into the area.”
– Jim and Selina Rogers
Owners, Rogers Crop Enterprises
“With the support of the Ontario government, the Northeast Community Network (NeCN) and its Member Communities and First Nations can develop a regional strategy and implementation plan aimed at encouraging capital investment to expand large-scale agricultural production and create jobs in the region. Additionally, the funding allows us to assist new and established producers with tile drainage required to increase crop yields. The NeCN is grateful for these critical investments in the agri-food sector.”
– Gilles Matko
Chairperson, Northeast Community Network
“The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many challenges, especially on the North American/Global newsprint markets. We are very pleased to receive the NOHFC funding from the Government of Ontario, which will assist in the restart of the curtailed paper machine allowing for increased production and stable jobs in Kapuskasing.”
– Paul Rivett
Chairman, GreenFirst Forest Products
“We are fortunate to have ongoing support from our Ontario government to ensure that our community continues to strive and with this project, we are able to benefit from efficiencies and improve the sustainability of our recreational facilities to boost economic activities in our region. Northern Ontario is truly the best place to live, work and play!”
– Dave Plourde
Mayor, Town of Kapuskasing
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