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Sioux Lookout awarded FedNor funding for forest bioenergy value chain study

The Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor), the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario, has announced CA$229 600 in funding to the Municipality of Sioux Lookout to explore the potential of green energy solutions for the local forest industry, as well as the establishment of a trans-load facility in the community.

The funding was announced August 2 by David Lametti, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, together with the Honourable Bob Nault, Member of Parliament for Kenora.

The Government of Canada is proud to invest in strategic initiatives that fuel the economy of Northern Ontario and create well-paying, middle-class jobs. Today’s announcement will assist local decision makers and support their efforts to diversify and green their economy, said Lametti.

As part of the investment, CA$129 600 will be used to support the development of a pre-feasibility study on the concept of a complete wood-based bioenergy chain, from forest harvesting to construction, involving communities, institutions and industry throughout the region.

Our government is committed to helping communities grow, create jobs and strengthen their economy. This investment will assist the Municipality of Sioux Lookout, in partnership with local communities and companies, to capitalize on their strengths and assets, and create opportunities for the entire region to succeed, said the Honourable Bob Nault.

According to FedNor, wood-based bioenergy has the potential to reduce energy costs for businesses and communities throughout Northern Ontario. The feasibility study will also be used by Sioux Lookout and its partner Lac Seul First Nation to promote solutions to other remote communities in Canada and provide an alternative to diesel dependency.

A further CA$100 000 will enable the Municipality to study opportunities related to an integrated transportation system from Pickle Lake to Sioux Lookout to help prepare these communities for growth in the mineral exploration and energy sectors in Ontario’s Far North.

Both communities have been identified as potential staging areas for these sectors. The study will also provide valuable information on the feasibility, location, cost and desirability of a trans-load facility that would link transportation networks such as roads, rail and air cargo.

We are pleased about this Government of Canada investment, through FedNor, in support of our strategic community and business planning initiatives. These two studies are crucial to helping our community identify, develop and implement realistic opportunities for growth that capitalize on our inherent strengths, said Doug Lawrance, Mayor of the Municipality of Sioux Lookout.

The announced funding was provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.

The recently released Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario (PGSNO) outlines the Government of Canada’s approach to ensure that the region can fully benefit from the national Innovation and Skills Plan. It is focused on three key economic development areas: supporting innovation; growing companies; and building stronger communities.

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