Wiikwemkoong to prepare Manitoulin Island industrial park site services with $1 million provincial investment

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory on Manitoulin Island is kicking off development of a light industrial park with a $1 million investment from the province.

Parliamentary Assistant Dave Smith, on behalf of Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Minister of Indigenous Affairs, announced the Wikwemikong Development Commission is receiving funding for the industrial development that is expected to “attract, establish and grow business on the Wiikwemkoong First Nation and in the surrounding community.”

The First Nation community plans to use the funds to build roads and prepare lots with electrical, septic and water services. Eventually, the community hopes to attract retail, service, manufacturing, distribution and assembly industries to the development.

The project will help the community engage the private sector with opportunities to locate retail, service, manufacturing, distribution and assembly industries in an area that provides both commercial space and a labour pool. Phase one includes road and building construction, lot preparation, electricity delivery, and septic and water system installation.

Wikwemikong Development Commission also received $100,000 to produce an economic development plan for a pellet manufacturing plant in Nairn Centre. The plan will help determine the feasibility of building a plant capable of producing 150,000-metric tonnes of pellets per year. The pellets will be used as an alternative heating source, a cleaner technology than fossil fuels that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

The provincial announcement also included $100,000 for the Wikwemikong Development Commission – the economic development branch of Wiikwemkoong – for an economic development plan to support a pellet manufacturing plant to be located in nearby Nairn Centre.

The plan will help determine the feasibility of building a plant capable of producing 150,000 metric tonnes of pellets per year. The pellets will be used as an alternative heating source, a cleaner technology than fossil fuels that reduces greenhouse gas emissions.

Wiikwemkoong Unceded Territory is located on the east end of Manitoulin Island, which itself is located in Lake Huron’s Georgian Bay.

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