With 2018 behind us, I would like to wish everyone in Thunder Bay—Rainy River a safe and happy Christmas season. I thank you all for your continued support, and wish you and your family health and happiness in the New Year!
I also wanted to take this opportunity to talk about some of the highlights of the past year for our community. First are the federal government investments into Thunder Bay`s postsecondary institutions. This Fall Confederation College celebrated the opening of the Technology, Education and Collaboration (TEC) Hub. The college received 9 million federal dollars to put towards construction and purchasing equipment for the building. This centre will be an excellent addition to the school, as well as the innovation, entrepreneurship and trades sectors of Northwestern Ontario. Another exciting project that took off this year was the opening of Lakehead University’s new Centre for Advanced Studies in Engineering and Sciences (CASES), which received a $9 million federal investment. This new science and engineering facility will include new offices, labs, and state-of-the-art equipment. Oshki-Pi-Mache-O-Win Education Institution received $ 2.7 million in funding for their Pathways to a Prosperous Future Project, which will go towards acquiring a Trades Training Mobile Lab to provide specialized training for First Nations people from 49 communities in Nishnawbe Aski Nation.
Investing in Postsecondary Infrastructure is essential to attracting and retaining a highly skilled workforce, encouraging entrepreneurship and boosting the local economy. I have no doubt that these new and exciting projects will bring great things to our region and further position Northwestern Ontario as a leader in the innovation economy.
Another exciting investment is the $11.5 million going towards the Thunder Bay Art Gallery`s relocation to our beautiful waterfront through the Canada Cultural Spaces fund! I had the opportunity to visit the future site at Prince Arthur`s Landing this summer, and it is a perfect location with a beautiful view. Great news for a great cultural space in our city!
Clean Water and Waste Water Funding is always a priority for our government. Since we were elected, many municipalities in Thunder Bay—Rainy River have benefitted with improvements to their water and waste water systems, storm sewers, and culverts through funding from the CWWF. The City of Thunder Bay alone received over 5 million in the last round, and many projects in small municipalities have also qualified for this funding.
As announced in last month`s Fall Economic Statement, the Strategic Innovation Fund will receive a top up of $800 million over the next 3 years with $100 million focusing on the forestry sector. This investment will be especially beneficial to Ontario, where the forestry sector supports approximately 150,000 direct and indirect jobs, many of which are in the Northwest.
This year we also introduced over $16 billion in new tax incentives that will make Canadian companies more competitive. The new Accelerated Investment Incentive will allow for the full cost of machinery and equipment used in the manufacturing and processing of goods to be immediately written off for tax purposes. This is all good news for Canadians, because when the economy and businesses are thriving, it leads to more well-paying jobs that support Northwestern Ontarians and their communities.
These are just a few of the many projects in our region that have received federal support. I am proud to work for a government that sees the importance of investing in Northern Ontario, and I look forward to continuing to act as your voice in Ottawa and advocating for change across our riding and the country. Happy holidays!