The provincial government is doling out $1 million worth of grants to grow the forestry and fishery industries as well as economic development related to the Hudson Bay Railway in Northern Manitoba.
Up to $150,000 is going to OneNorth, a group of First Nations and other communities in Northern Manitoba and the Kivalliq region of Nunavut, to help it develop the capacity to actively pursue economic opportunities related to the rail line, which runs from The Pas to Churchill and is operated by the Arctic Gateway Group, which includes OneNorth.
“OneNorth is a unique partnership that will build and further leverage northern infrastructure,” said Ralph Eichler, Manitoba’s minister of Economic Development and Jobs, which is providing the grant in partnership with Indigenous and Northern Relations. “This funding will allow the group to continue seeking additional economic development opportunities in Northern Manitoba, helping strengthen Manitoba’s economy.”
$675,000 from Manitoba Agriculture and Resource Development is going to help Manitoba fisheries work towards sustainable certification in an effort to offer their products through high-value international markets. Indigenous fishing communities will be involved in the process through a collaborative stock monitoring program to provide data needed for pre-certification assessments and subsequent industry improvement projects to advance the province’s fisheries towards full certification assessments.
FPInnovations, a private nonprofit organization that specializes in supporting Canada’s forestry sector, is getting $200,000 from agriculture and Resource Development to help encourage Indigenous participation in the forestry economy.
“All three of these initiatives reflect important economic development opportunities for Indigenous and Northern Manitobans and support numerous expressed provincial government priorities,” said Indigenous and Northern Relations Minister Eileen Clarke. “Engagement and partnership opportunities are embedded across each initiative, supporting the advancement of economic reconciliation for project stakeholders and helping to position Indigenous and northern communities to emerge from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in a position of strength.”
Money will start flowing this spring, Clarke said.
“These initiatives provide tremendous opportunities for Manitoba’s resource sectors,” said Agriculture and Resource Development Minister Blaine Pedersen. “This funding will result in increased economic opportunities for Manitoba’s Indigenous people while also supporting the sustainability and viability of the industries.”