North Queens business group secures federal funds to boost tourism

by Keith Corcoran

The federal government has committed $46,000 to the North Queens Board of Trade to help the local business group develop a blueprint establishing that geography of Queens County as a gateway community to national parks and campsites.

Parliamentarians are framing the announcement as strength for the tourism industry to position it for post-pandemic recovery.

The "non-repayable contribution" from the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) was earmarked in February, revealed in a local radio news story in May, but announced by Ottawa in June with other projects.

"These funds announced today will help businesses across the Atlantic ... to develop resources and strategies to boost their tourism," South Shore-St. Margaret's MP Bernadette Jordan said in a statement provided to LighthouseNOW.

"There are countless reasons to visit [the riding], and with this funding we are ensuring that two key attractions will continue to thrive for years to come."

The total government funding for the North Queens Board of Trade project adds up to $57,000.

"I think it shows that ACOA has put some faith into our community, and some hope. They obviously feel that it's a good investment for them, which makes us feel really good," board of trade chairwoman Laura Lee Johnson told the QCCR radio station in May.

"We're hoping to do a boardwalk around our lake which is in the centre of Caledonia. We've had that on our plate now for years, maybe 20 years, the board of trade has been talking about that, but we've never had the funds or the manpower to do it."

The business group hired a consulting firm to aid its work and has the involvement of the Region of Queens Municipality and Parks Canada, the QCCR story indicated. The report is expected to be finished this summer.

The most recent federal government funding commitments to the board of trade concerned Canada Day celebrations ($2,000 each in 2020 and 2019) and Canada Summer Jobs program ($3,095 in 2019).

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