Government of Canada invests in tourism infrastructure to support jobs, growth and a strong recovery in the Algoma and Manitoulin regions 

News release

FedNor injects more than $473,000 in support of three tourism initiatives in Northcentral Ontario

May 28, 2021 – Meldrum Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Canada's tourism sector is an essential contributor to the Canadian economy. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the sector was generating $102 billion in annual economic activity, 1.8 million jobs and accounted for over two percent of GDP. However, the sector has been one of the hardest hit by the pandemic. During these challenging times, the Government of Canada is stepping up efforts to ensure that tourism businesses and organizations, as well as municipalities and Indigenous communities dependent on the sector, are resourced and ready to start back up as our economy reopens.

In recognition of National Tourism Week, which run from May 23 to 30, Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages, today announced a Government of Canada investment of $473,000 to enhance tourism in Northcentral Ontario.

Provided through FedNor, this funding will support three tourism-related initiatives in the Algoma and Manitoulin regions. The investment will help improve tourism offerings, build new infrastructure and support the long-term growth and sustainability of the region’s tourism industry.

  • Dawson Citizens Improvement Association: $254,700 will be used to upgrade and restore the Meldrum Bay marina boardwalk, wharf and docks. To help attract American boaters and encourage extended stays, this strategic investment will also support the installation of three fully serviced docks that will accommodate larger vessels (over 40 feet).
  • Town of Blind River: $155,000 to implement the next phase of its comprehensive waterfront and downtown revitalization project and help maximize the tourism and economic potential of its waterfront development area, including the construction of a new boardwalk and pavilion, and marketing to promote the site as inclusive and fully accessible.
  • Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates: $64,200 to improve cycling infrastructure on Manitoulin Island, creating a network of 20 electric bicycles (e-bikes) for rent and build seven quick charging stations in strategic locations across Manitoulin Island, which features 14 cycling routes totalling over 850 kilometers.

Together, these projects are expected to create three new jobs and maintain five tourism-related jobs.

Today’s announcement builds on the investments proposed as part of Budget 2021 totalling $1 billion over three years in support of the tourism sector.  This includes the creation of a $500-million Tourism Relief Fund, administered by the regional development agencies, to support investments by local tourism businesses to help them recover from the pandemic and position themselves for future growth.


“Canada’s tourism sector and those whose livelihoods depend on it have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I want them to know that we’re here for them. The Government of Canada has provided support to businesses and workers across the tourism sector since the beginning of the pandemic and continues to provide support to ensure these businesses have what they need to get through COVID-19 and succeed as our economy reopens.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s announcement will help Algoma and Manitoulin’s local tourism sector launch a strong recovery and enjoy sustainable growth when travel restrictions ease and our communities welcome visitors once again. Our government is intensifying its efforts, through FedNor, to protect and create jobs, and further positioning Northern Ontario as a world-class destination with so many experiences, attractions and wide-open spaces to discover.”
- Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“We are thrilled that today’s announcement is allowing us to upgrade and restore the Meldrum Bay marina boardwalk, wharf and docks. Waterfront development is a major tourism attraction for our region and this funding will allow us to modernize our facilities so we can hit the ground running when our travel restriction are lifted.    
- Dawson Citizens Improvement Association

“We have recognized and committed as a Council that every person has the right to visit and enjoy our waterfront.  We will make it accessible for every one to visit.   Our waterfront encourages tourists to visit downtown where people can actively enjoy shopping local and supporting small business.”
- Mayor Sally Hagman, Town of Blind River

“Establishing an e-bike network with charging stations in seven hamlets will enhance and connect Manitoulin into a great experience by providing locals and outdoor enthusiasts the opportunity to explore over 850km of cycle routes on our beautiful Island with ease. It will provide commuting opportunities between hamlets for all people seeking green mobility three out of the four seasons. We are pleased to partner with FedNor to establish charging stations and purchase the equipment needed to launch this exciting tourism initiative and ensure its ongoing success.”
- Maja Mielonen, President, Manitoulin Island Cycling Advocates

Quick facts

  • Tourism Week, May 23-30, 2021, is a seven-day event to recognize Canada’s tourism economy, and the impact it has on every community across the country. This year, it aims to recognize the resilience of the industry through this unprecedented time.

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s programs, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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