HUNTSVILLE — After thanking local Santa Claus parade organizers in the legislature Thursday — and charity groups that collect toys and food to giveaway at Christmas — Tory MPP Norm Miller was in his home riding Friday announcing $187,000 in funding to “help create jobs and prosperity in rural and Indigenous communities. “
He made the announcement today at the Muskoka North Good Food Co-op in Huntsville on behalf of Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Ernie Hardeman.
The Muskoka North Good Food Co-op is receiving up to $100,000 in funding through the Rural Economic Development program to develop a multi-use commercial kitchen to serve as commercial space for value-add producers and also to serve as a community space used for teaching.
The Township of Lake of Bays is receiving up to $72,490 for an economic development project that will include new municipal branding and a new website.
And the Magnetawan First Nation is receiving up to $10,000 for a tourism development study.
“Our government is proud to support projects that help to grow jobs and open the doors to economic development in rural and Indigenous communities,” said Miller. “I am pleased to be able to help our communities identify their economic strengths and develop strategies that can attract business and investment.”
“Rural Ontario has been ignored for too long,” said Hardeman in a release. “These investments along with our commitment to cut red-tape will help create a strong future for our rural communities by boosting economic growth, creating jobs and ensuring they are great places to live and do business.”
The three projects announced today are among more than 80 approved Rural Economic Development projects from across the province.
“Our government is committed to ensuring that rural Ontario is open for business,” said Hardeman.
Meanwhile, at Queen’s Park Nov. 29, Miller made the following statement in the legislature thanking local groups that organize Santa Claus parades as well as toy, gift and food drives.
“Thank you Mr. Speaker. I rise today to thank the community groups and local businesses that come together across my riding to bring Santa Claus to our communities in the form of Santa Claus Parades and through gift drives.
In Huntsville and Bracebridge the Santa Claus Parades are organized by the local Rotary Clubs. In Parry Sound by the Optimist Club and in Gravenhurst, Bala and Port Carling by the Chamber of Commerce. Local Lion’s Clubs organize the parades in MacTier and Baysville. The Sundridge and Burk’s Falls parades are organized by the municipality.
Local businesses put a great deal of work into these parades including Kimberly-Clark which has been building Santa’s float for the Huntsville parade for more than 20 years.
But how much fun is it to see Santa if on Christmas morning there aren’t any presents under the tree?
I also want to thank all the businesses, groups and individuals that collect, donate and deliver gifts and other supports to those who might not otherwise have anything to open come Christmas. There are too many groups to list them all but I do want to make special mention of the Salvation Army and all of our local foodbanks who work to support people in need both at Christmas and year round.
Whether these groups are collecting toys for children, gifts for adults or food for families, I want them to know their efforts are appreciated by not only the recipients but by the whole community.
I am looking forward to delivering some shoeboxes to the Muskoka Shoebox Project in time for the deadline this weekend. I encourage anyone else who is able to donate to any of the gift drives to do so.”