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Harper Government invests

Harper Government invests to support business development and growth in Nishnawbe Aski Nation communities



 THUNDER BAY, Ontario, August 14, 2013 – The Honourable Greg Rickford, Minister of State for Science and Technology, and FedNor, and Minister Responsible for the Ring of Fire, today announced a Harper Government investment to help the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund create jobs, enhance entrepreneurial and business planning skills, and promote business development and growth in Northwestern Ontario.

“Our Government is committed to ensuring entrepreneurs and businesses across Canada have the right tools and expertise they need to take advantage of economic development opportunities that lead to job creation, economic growth and the long-term prosperity of our communities,” said Minister Rickford. “Today’s announcement does just that by enabling the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund to provide targeted support to First Nation businesses throughout the region, giving them the tools to seize and capitalize on opportunities related to the development of the Ring of Fire, right here in Northern Ontario.”

With a FedNor investment of $4,427,212 over three years, Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) will offer a variety of business development services, including marketing and communications, strategic planning, and project management. Resources will be available to First Nation communities serviced by NADF, with a strong focus on the nine Matawa communities, to help them successfully develop business opportunities and derive long-term economic benefit from mining-related developments.

Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund (NADF) is a federally funded Aboriginal Financial Institution that provides financing, business support, and economic development services to Aboriginal businesses in Northern Ontario. In addition to the variety of programs it offers, NADF is a Community Futures Development Corporation that provides small and medium-sized enterprises with access to capital and business counselling services.

“We are excited about this strategic funding as it will help enhance entrepreneurial and business skills, increase business opportunities for our youth, and ensure the long-term sustainability of new businesses in our communities by providing the support services they need,” said Arlene Jung, Chair of Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund.

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

"Our Government remains focused on providing the right environment for economic growth, through effective cooperation across all sectors, to keep Canadians working and to ensure the long-term prosperity of all our communities," concluded Minister Rickford.

Minister Greg Rickford, MP for Kenora

  Greg Rickford was born in Southern Ontario and then completed a diploma in nursing there.

  “ My focus was working in remote communities in Northern Canada. I got a few years of experience in nursing in Canada and the US and then went back to get my BSc Nursing degree from University of Victoria. After that I began in ernest a career in nursing in remote Canada.”

Rickford worked in places like Big Trout Lake in his life journey. He then went on to take business and law degrees in large centres but always spent his summers in the North.

  “ Going from Nurse to Lawyer to Politician, they all have advocacy as a central tenant. They take on different forms for sure  but I think the balance brings a good perspective on my current position representing Kenora.  I had opened my own law practice in Kenora and knowing the challenges  that are out there gives me a good perspective.”

“ I had lived in all corners of my riding, have a great team in my MP office and now are very proud of the team put together in my Ministers office. The Kenora riding had never been conservative for 92 years. We know how hard it is to gain the respect of the people and are now taking our place in Canada.”

What will NW Ontario look like in 10 years?

   “ I  know what I want NW Ontario to look like and what I think it will look like. We want to get the Ring of Fire right with processes in place. Environment assessment is beyond our control but we will work together so all communities will have a role.  The Thunder Bay economy is already dynamic. This city is a hub and have seen waterfront development  for tourism. Thunder Bay has a prominent role and we need to consider NW Ontario as part  of expanding our foot print.”   “ The NADF is focussed on results and creating opportunity.  The goal is how many new jobs can we create so we continue to build a strong economy in the North.”


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