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September 2023 Monthly Review

Funding Overview

Monthly Overview

Annual Overview

Investments in the Riding

Over $4 Million in NOHFC Funding to Multiple Local Projects

I am pleased to announce that our government, through the NOHFC, is providing $4,331,027 in funding for the following local projects:

$2 million for the City of Thunder Bay to reconstruct sections of Red River Road and Court Street in the waterfront district, which will create flexible space that can accommodate patios and event programming.

$523,458 to upgrade recreational facilities in preparation for hosting the 2024 Ontario Winter Games in February.

$1,233,050 for the Matawa training and Wellness Centre to develop a dedicated cultural room that will help facilitate connections to language, land, ancestry, family and communities through Elders, cultural teachings, and integrated supports and programming.

$320,294 for KBM Forestry Consultants Inc. to purchase an aircraft to expand its training unit.

$130,00 for the Lakehead Region Conservation Authority to enhance accessibility by repaving the trail system, building a washroom and making drainage upgrades to the parking lot at the Cascades Conservation Area.

$124,225 for Jasa Spring Water Inc. to expand operations by purchasing equipment and constructing a new building for additional production and warehouse space.

Since June 2018, the NOHFC has invested more than $94 million in 1,175 projects in the Thunder Bay region, leveraging more than $196 million in investment and creating or sustaining over 1,480 jobs. Lets continue to keep Northwestern Ontario competitive and current, while creating real opportunities for the people who live, work, play and do business in the North.

ISHP Transitional Housing Investment

The Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing along with myself shared some great news for Thunder Bay.

The Ontario government is providing $8.7 million into the Indigenous Supportive Housing Program (ISHP), paving the way for a state of the art, three-storey facility with 58 transitional housing units dedicated to Indigenous youth. It will be managed by the incredible team at Thunder Bay Indigenous Friendship Centre.

From pod-style rooms to a community driven teaching kitchen, we’re investing in more than bricks and mortar; it’s about fostering community, developing life skills, and providing clear pathways to education and employment. Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing expressed, “Our government is going to keep fighting to get shovels in the ground so all Ontarians can find a home that meets their unique needs.”

I’m honored to serve Thunder Bay, and I want to stress our commitment to ensuring prosperity, jobs, and quality homes in Northern Ontario. With Ontario amplifying its annual investment to homelessness prevention to an impressive $700 million, I’m filled with optimism for the future.

Joint Government Investment to Create 12 Affordable Housing Units

We are taking a significant stride towards affordable housing for Indigenous people in Thunder Bay. A joint investment of $3,994,000 from the Governments of Canada & Ontario to help create 12 units, 20 percent of which are fully accessible, as well as dedicated parking for every unit. This is the first phase of a six-phase build that will eventually include 70 units.

With our 2023 Budget, we underscored our commitment with an historic $202 million increase for Homelessness Prevention. As we journey forward in our shared housing commitment, I want to extend my gratitude to everyone involved in the Huron Ave project.

OTF Grant to Leadership Thunder Bay

I am delighted to see how the $32,800 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has empowered Leadership Thunder Bay amidst pandemic challenges.

For 20 years, Leadership Thunder Bay has been shaping our community’s future through robust leadership development. The OTF grant ensured they could persevere in their mission during these trying times, covering costs and offering community-based leadership training to businesses in need.

A massive shoutout to the Ontario Trillium Foundation for 40 years of impact, fostering resilient communities like ours, and to Leadership Thunder Bay for their unwavering commitment.

I’m proud of our government’s role in this journey.

I am delighted to see how the $32,800 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation (OTF) has empowered Leadership Thunder Bay amidst pandemic challenges.

OTF Funding to Community Clothing Assistance Thunder Bay

I’m thrilled to share the impact of the $60,000 Resilient Communities Fund grant from the Ontario Trillium Foundation to the Community Clothing Assistance Thunder Bay (CCA).

Since the grant’s allocation in 2022, CCA has developed a revolutionary app, optimizing the REFERRAL system to help people in a crisis obtain free clothing. Over 150 partnering organizations, Social Workers, and Members now benefit from this great app. This initiative symbolizes what’s possible when we blend technology and compassion.

CCA also recently marked its 17th year of dedicated service – a thank you for your enduring commitment to our community.

$35 Million to Bolster Safety in the North

At Firecon, we accompanied Solicitor General Kerzner to proudly announce a robust investment of nearly $35 million to bolster the safety of our northern communities. This funding will equip our firefighters with 17 new fire trucks, essential lifesaving firefighting equipment, and two innovative Mobile Live Fire Training Units.

These advanced training units can be brought directly to local fire stations, offering a simulation of real-life fire scenarios, ensuring our firefighters are adeptly prepared for any situation they might face.

In Case You Missed It…

50th Great Rendezvous Anniversary

I was honored to be a part of the 50th Anniversary events at the Fort William Historical Park, a cornerstone destination in Northwestern Ontario.

Reflecting on my own childhood memories at the park and seeing the hard work of the James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award recipients, it is evident that this beautiful facility has played a significant role in the lives of many.

Congratulations to everyone involved in the Great Rendezvous Celebration and to the Fort William Historical Park on achieving this 50th Anniversary milestone!

Minister Michael Ford at Thunder Bay Multicultural Association

Had a great time connecting with the hardworking and passionate team at the Thunder Bay Multicultural Association and The Hon. Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism!

The community of Thunder Bay is so fortunate to have this group of people who believe in the value of creating warm, welcoming and inviting environments for those new to our community and country. On behalf of people and province, thank you for all you have done and continue to do!

Minister Michael Ford Visits ONWA

We had the pleasure to spend time with the staff at the Ontario Native Women’s Association while The Hon. Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism was visiting Thunder Bay. During his visit we had the opportunity to tour their beautiful facility and hear of the incredible work being accomplished.

ONWA has been a significant contributor to the well-being of so many people across the province for over 50 years now. They have never tired in their efforts to continue advancing meaningful care and support. We acknowledge you and wish continued success!

AMO 2023

Attended the AMO (Association of Municipalities of Ontario) conferences with our dedicated local leaders. Always an enriching experience and a great time connecting on important municipal matters!

Atlas and Crown Land Disposition Meetings

Had a great time joining Minister Graydon Smith to the Atlas and Crown Land Disposition Meetings last month!

MNRF Fire Management Headquarters Tour

Last month I accompanied Minister Graydon Smith to the MNRF Fire Management Headquarters/Provincial Logistics Centre!

Had an awesome experience touring the Headquarters and talking with their team.

Events this Month

2023 Hymers Fair

Thank you to everyone who made it out to the Hymers Fair over the weekend, even though the weather was scorching we still had a great time!

Ford Fest 2023

A successful trip down to Toronto with productive meetings, also had an enjoyable time at the Fest!

New Addition to our Family

Over the summer we got a happy addition to our family, our grandson Beau Michael McKenzie!

Born June 30th, he has already brought so much joy and love into our lives. The next chapter of our family’s story has begun, and we’re so excited to watch this little one grow.

Opening of Reasons for Hope Exhibit

I had the privilege of attending the opening of the Jane Goodall – Reasons for Hope exhibit at the Thunder Bay Museum, brought to life by the brilliant minds at Science North.

The enlightening 25-minute film from Dr. Jane Goodall’s vision was inspiring as she brings hope to millions worldwide. The hands-on activities and exhibits ingeniously crafted around her are amazing educational works that kids and adults should experience.

Thank you to the teams at Science North and Thunder Bay Museum for this remarkable experience. If you haven’t visited yet, I highly recommend making the time to check it out!

Joining the Students of Ken Allan’s Health Policy Class

What an absolute honour to be invited to hear from and engage with students of Ken Allan’s Health Policy class at Confederation College. My appreciation is also extended to Jennifer Lawrance, Implementation Lead, OHT, for joining me and sharing her expertise.

Orange Shirt Day Flag Raising

This day is an opportunity for us to reflect on the painful legacy of Indian Residential Schools and honour the survivors.

It’s a day to pause and remember the children who were taken, forced into Residential Schools and those who never returned home.

This is a part of Canada’s dark history, and it continues to have an impact on Indigenous people in Ontario and across the country.

I encourage you to honour this day by learning the truth told by Indigenous voices – explore online resources or attend local events in your area. I hope you will join me in reflecting on the history of Ontario and learn about the actions you can take toward reconciliation – not just on this day, but every day.

Show your support by wearing an orange shirt from an Indigenous vendor or organization. Wear it to honour the children who never came home.

Visit to read about Indian Residential Schools and access other resources.

2023 International Plowing Match & Rural Expa

Had a great time at the 2023 International Plowing Match & Rural Expo.

It was very nice to connect with farmers from across the country, as well as fellow caucus members.

Skilled Trades Career Fair

Stopped by the Skilled Trades Career Fair on Wednesday and was blown away by the interactive demonstrations.

This event gives such great insight to learn about what the skilled trades are and how you can make a great career in these fields. I highly recommend anyone interested in learning more to attend the next one.

Minister Parsa Visit

Minister Michael Parsa and I had a great sit down with the Lutheran Community Care Centre, Community Living Thunder Bay, Options Northwest, and Superior-Greenstone Community Living for a productive discussion about social service supports.

By working together with our sector partners, our government is building a more robust social services sector for everyone in Ontario.

Options Northwest Visit with Minister Parsa

It was a great visit to Options Northwest with my friend Minister Michael Parsa.

We witnessed how their services empower individuals with disabilities to integrate into their communities and lead the life they desire.

A big thanks to Tony and the whole team for welcoming us.

Wesway Tour

It was wonderful touring Wesway with my friend, Minister Michael Parsa. We got a look at how their new facility will offer top-tier respite care to those who require it the most.

Avalon Meet and Greet

I had the chance to connected with new Avalon Advanced Materials Inc. management team at their meet and greet. Thank you again for the invitation!

Murillo Mill Works Tour

I was invited to tour the operations of Murillo Mill Works.

It was a great experience to see what goes into their craftmanship.

Central Canada Resource Expo

It was nice to meet with Minister George Pirie at the Central Canada Resource Expo!

This year had another great turn out, next year I will have to try the VR machine operator experience!

Conservation Officer Graduation

I had the privilege to accompany Minister Graydon Smith to the Conservation Officer Graduation ceremony last month.

Congratulations to our new conservation officers!!

United in Local Love Breakfast

Thank you to everyone who attend the United in Local Love Breakfast last Tuesday.

Together, we are forging a path towards a brighter future for all. Your involvement is a testament to the positive change we can create when we stand united.

Thank you once again for being part of this special morning. We look forward to continuing this journey together and making an even greater impact in the days to come.

Meetings this Month

Minister Michael Ford Meeting with Thunder Bay CEDC

I would like to thank the Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission for their time with The Hon. Michael Ford, Minister of Citizenship and Multiculturalism.

It was a good opportunity to share with the Minister just how successful the Rural Northern Immigration Pilot project has been in Thunder Bay to date. On behalf of our community and the province, we wish you continued success!

Meeting with Dr. Stuart Brimmell

I had the great opportunity to meet with Dr.Stuart Brimmell, Chiropractor, and local representative of the Ontario Chiropractic Association.

Thank you, Dr.Brimmel, for sharing your experience and insights as to what we can do to expand and advance chiropractic services that our residents rely on as a quality of life enabler. Keep up the good work!

Minister Pirie Visit

On very short notice, we were able to show The Hon. George Pirie, Minister of Mines, just how its done in Thunder Bay. Our most sincere gratitude to TBT Engineering for hosting this event at their beautiful space!!

To all the industry and community leaders and stakeholders who came to meet and greet Minister Pirie, we thank you! It remains important to me that our ministers come to know the possibilities of Thunder Bay as we do.

Minister Para Visit

Had a great time with my friend, Minister Michael Parsa while he was in Thunder Bay. Looking forward to the next time you visit!

Meeting with EHN Canada

What a pleasure to learn and hear from the passionate and visionary representatives of EHN Canada! Their innovative work across the country involves the important blending of western clinical therapy with traditional wellness and healing approaches.

EHN is Canada’s largest network of treatment services for mental health, trauma/PTSD, and addiction, with over 100 years of collective experience. On behalf of our communities, thank you for walking alongside our people on their life-changing path to recovery.

Ontario Association of Police Services Boards Meeting

Thank you for inviting me to speak at the Ontario Association of Police Services Boards meeting. It was a great opportunity to talk with multiple police services on how we can make improvements across the region.

Meeting with the District Health Unit with Minister Parsa

Happy to accompany Minister Michael Parsa to the Thunder Bay District Health Unit to learn more about how the Healthy Babies Healthy Children program is helping new mothers and children in the region.

Thank you to Dr. DeMille, Lila, Rosemary and the entire team for having us.

Thank You for Visiting

A warm thank you for visiting us!

We appreciate the opportunity to connect and are grateful for your time.

Congratulations & Awards

Atikokan Ontario Volunteer Service Awards

Congratulations to the Atikokan recipients of the Ontario Volunteer Service Award!

All of the recipients have been volunteering for either 20 or 30 years. Thank you for giving your time and effort to improve our community!!

Congratulations to Justine Bannon of Fort William First Nations

Ontario is recognizing 15 Ontarians with awards that honour the legacy of 4 Lieutenant Governors who have helped build a stronger Ontario.

Congratulations to Justine Bannon from Fort William First Nations on winning the James Bartleman Indigenous Youth Creative Writing Award!


Passing of Lawrence Prystanski

Deeply saddened by the loss of Lawrence Prystanski, the dedicated vice-president of the Hymers Agricultural Society. It was an honour to be asked to speak about his contributions to the Hymers Fair.

His dedication and spirit will always be remembered by his friends, family, and our community.

His presence was felt at the fair throughout the weekend.