A Day to Celebrate
PIKANGIKUM FIRST NATION, ON, Nov. 10, 2014 /CNW/ - On behalf of Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, Greg Rickford, Minister of Natural Resource and Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario, today marked Pikangikum First Nation's awarding of a contract to design and build a new school for its community.
Also, Minister Rickford is pleased to announce the completion of a seven unit multi-housing project for the Pikangikum First Nation. Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) provided $800,000 towards the project, which will provide sustainable housing options to the community.
Support came from the federal government's Northern Communities Opportunities Fund (NCOF) initiative. The Harper government also provided $9 million for the construction of multi-unit housing complexes in six northern remote communities. These projects will help communities to strengthen their ongoing maintenance plan, stimulate the community's economy by creating employment, and create economic opportunities.
At Pikangikum First Nation, construction is beginning on a brand new school that will soon be available for students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. This project is part of the $175 million investment for new schools and major renovations included in Economic Action Plan 2012.
- The Pikangikum First Nation is responsible for managing all aspects of this project, including tendering and selecting contractors. During construction of the school, wherever possible, the contractor and subcontractors will seek, as a condition of the contract, to create employment and training opportunities for local community members.
- Pikangikum First Nation awarded the contract for design-build services to Penn-Co Construction Ltd. on July 29, 2014.The new school in Pikangikum First Nation will be a 9,239 square metre facility for 936 students in kindergarten to grade 12.
- The Government of Canada also continues to make major investments in the order of $160 million annually to support school infrastructure in First Nation communities across the country.
- The seven unit multi-housing complex was completed in September 2014 and will help the First Nation to alleviate overcrowding and reduce waiting lists for housing. Rental revenue will be used to implement maintenance plans and pursue other sustainable housing models in the community.
- The Northern Communities Opportunities Fund is aimed at supporting northern remote communities to promote and implement rental regimes, effective maintenance plans, energy efficient technologies, local employment and skill development. Pikangikum First Nation was chosen as one of the six communities who met these requirements.
"Our Government's overarching goal is to provide First Nation students with quality education that provides them with the opportunity to acquire the skills needed to enter the labour market and be full participants in a strong Canadian economy. Both the school and the housing complex will make a significant difference in the lives of the community and especially the youth of Pikangikum First Nation. We should be proud of the improvements made to improve the quality of life for the members of this community."
Member of Parliament for Kenora, Minister of Natural Resources and Minister for the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario
"The new school is creating the foundation success for our First Nation students. Once this school is completed, our students will have access to all the tools young people need to live fulfilling lives and contribute to our community. We would also like to acknowledge the federal contribution of $800 000 toward the completion of the seven unit multi-housing project in Pikangikum."
Chief Paddy Peters
Pikangikum First Nation
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SOURCE: Government of Canada
For further information: Erica Meekes, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, 819-997-0002; Media Relations, Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, 819-953-1160