More resources are being poured into the Thunder Bay area of Ontario with investments in job training and economic development opportunities for Indigenous people.
In a visit to Fort William First Nation yesterday, Minister of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation David Zimmer said the province would support the training of up to 244 members of nearby First Nations to help prepare for construction jobs with the East-West Tie Transmission Project—a 230 kilovolt transmission line connecting Wawa Transmission Station to the Lakehead Transmission Station near Thunder Bay.
Participants are from the six First Nations that will be affected by the project (Michipicoten, Pic Mobert, Biigtigong Nishnaabeg, Pays Plat, Red Rock and Fort William), which will help ensure the long-term reliability of electricity in northwestern Ontario.
Successful participants will acquire trade skills that are transferable to other full-time employment opportunities, including maintenance of the transmission line once the project is complete.
Ontario will inject $240,000 into SuperCom Industries LP to train a workforce for construction of the transmission line. SuperCom is owned by the same six First Nations whose members will benefit from the employment training opportunities.
“Through the government’s Economic Development Fund, Supercom was able to hire six training advisors and one training coordinator to recruit and retain individuals from across the region, said SuperCom board member Matthew Dupuis.
Other investments in the Thunder Bay area projects will also receive economic development funding from the province, including:
- $500,000 for Anishinabek Employment & Training Services in Thunder Bay to deliver its Personal Support Worker and Construction Craft Worker Training programs
- $57,746 for the Bingwi Neyaashi Anishinaabek (BNA) First Nation Sawmill Manager Project, to ensure the BNA has a qualified manager to run sawmill operations.
- $50,000 for the BNA First Nation to complete a feasibility study to build a government office/multi-use centre.