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Ontario Supporting Small, Rural and Northern Communities

December 14th, 2023

Local infrastructure funding will help create jobs and support economic growth in Thunder Bay – Atikokan

Thunder Bay – Atikokan — The Ontario government is investing $11,752,227 to help renew and rehabilitate critical infrastructure in Thunder Bay, Oliver Paipoonge, O’Connor, Neebing, Gillies, Conmee, and Atikokan. The funding is being delivered through the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund (OCIF) and is part of the government’s plan to support economic growth and job creation.

“I am pleased to see that our government continues to invest in the renewal and rehabilitation of critical municipal infrastructure through the OCIF”, said Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay – Atikokan. “This funding helps municipalities repair roads, bridges, water and wastewater infrastructure to ensure that our communities remain safe, vibrant and welcoming places to call home.”

In 2024, the government will allocate $400 million in OCIF funding to help 425 small, rural and northern communities pay for critical infrastructure projects, including road, bridge, water, and wastewater projects. If necessary, a community may accumulate its funding for up to five years to address larger infrastructure projects.

“Small, rural and northern communities need stable funding for their unique infrastructure needs and to provide safe and reliable services,” said Kinga Surma, Minister of Infrastructure. “That’s why our government continues to provide funding, especially during these challenging economic times. Our investments in community infrastructure are helping to create jobs, build stronger local economies, and lay the foundation for a stronger, more resilient Ontario for generations to come.”

“On behalf of the City of Thunder Bay, I would like to thank M.P.P. Holland and the Provincial Government for the Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund. It is a consistent and reliable funding source which allows municipalities like ours to manage and deliver large scale infrastructure projects over time” His Worship Mayor Ken Boshcoff, City of Thunder Bay

“The Town of Atikokan is grateful for the OCIF Grant that provides much-needed funds that help our municipality keep moving forward, maintaining and upgrading our infrastructure.” said Rob Ferguson, Mayor of Atikokan. “Without grants like OCIF, small rural municipalities, such as ours, will struggle to fund large critical infrastructure projects.”

“Our municipality relies on the support provided by the OCIF funding to help alleviate the cost of infrastructure renewal”, said Lucy Kloosterhuis, Mayor of the Municipality of Oliver Paipoonge. “Our commitment to maintaining our roads and bridges is a substantial portion of our annual budget, and grants like the OCIF play a pivotal role in curbing tax increases which helps foster a thriving environment for our residents and businesses.”

OCIF provides funding for local infrastructure projects in communities with populations under 100,000, as well as all rural and northern communities. Funding allocations are based on a formula that takes into account the different needs and economic conditions of each community.


  • In 2023, the Ontario government provided $400 million in funding through OCIF to 425 communities.

  • As announced in Ontario’s 2023 Fall Economic Statement, the government is also protecting communities and unlocking new housing opportunities by investing $200 million over three years to help municipalities repair, rehabilitate and expand critical water, wastewater and stormwater infrastructure. Eligible municipalities will be able to nominate housing-enabling water and wastewater projects in early 2024 through the new Housing-Enabling Water Systems Fund.


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