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Endless ideas

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Ask yourself if you are prepared to invest in future opportunities across Rainy River District? Could the district find 100 people willing to invest $100,000 into a Community Investment Fund.

This is all hypothetical but such a fund would identify good investments that would create employment and long-term jobs. For instance, it could be used to assist in the construction and operation of rental apartments often identified by young millennials looking to locate here in the district.

The pool of funds could be used as start-up capital to establish a new wood fibre plant. Or perhaps the funds could support a large expansion of sawmill operations in the district providing new employment. At one point, two large sawmills operated in Fort Frances and on Couchiching First Nation.

The fund could be used to build college housing for both Confederation College students and those attending the Seven Generations Education Institute.

One must wonder what other opportunities could exist in the district. Could additional services be offered at Riverside Health Care by providing services not currently available outside of Thunder Bay and relieving the pressures of using diagnostic facilities in that community.

Might it be possible for the conversion of the Fort Frances mill into a cannabis-growing operation? Could a portion of the property be converted into a cloud server farm using the cooling waters of the river and the inexpensive power generated by the dam to run the system?

Could part of the structure be converted into housing? Or might there be an opportunity to build a large hotel resort complex on Rainy Lake?

The ideas are endless.

One of the major drawbacks in the district appears to be a hesitancy to invest in local projects. For instance, we have seen it is difficult to sell condos based on plans without the building being up and operating.

But if we believe in the future of the district, we must be prepared to invest in businesses, industries, and housing that currently do not exist. As a district, are we up to the challenge?

—Jim Cumming

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