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Red Lake opens modern facility

Jennifer Thurbide

The Red Lake Airport Terminal building is now open to regional visitors and travellers. Hosting more than 140 people for the official grand opening last week municipal officials gathered with federal, regional and community leaders and residents to celebrate the completion of the new multi-million dollar transportation facility.

Federal Transportation Minister Denis Lebel made his first trip to Red Lake last Thursday to bring greetings from the Prime Minister of Canada and to celebrate the Canadian Economic Action Plan’s Build Canada Fund from which the federal government contributed over $1.4 million to the new facility.

“Today we are here to talk about the future of growing this community and the region,” said Lebel to the packed house on October 27th. “Like Mayor [Vinet] we know [the federal government] can’t work alone. We have to work all together…Canadians recently faced a global economic downturn, unprecedented in scope and scale. Our government responded with the Canadian Economic Action plan. Since that time much has changed because we have done it right. The economy is improving, jobs are returning. We created 600,000 jobs since July 2009 and that is important because we are not out of the woods yet…but we are on the right path.” Lebel said projects funded under the Economic Action Plan across Ontario have created jobs and given Canada a fiscal advantage.

During his inaugural visit to Red Lake the federal Cabinet Minister said he was visiting the region to support colleague and friend Kenora MP Greg Rickford and to pass along the message that the Municipality of Red Lake is important to the Canadian government. Speaking to the Northern Sun News after the ceremony, the rural Quebec Member of Parliament noted “It is important to me and our government to show that other regions of the country are important. The economy depends on the regions and our natural resources and we have to show that we are conscious of that.”

Rickford was also on hand for the official opening to introduce Lebel and congratulate those involved with the project on their continued success and called the new building an “achievement that is the result of collaborative efforts and hard work of all levels of government” most importantly the Red Lake Municipal team. Offering personal reflections on what the new facility will mean for regional travellers Rickford applauded the inclusion of concession space to offer those with lengthy layover times additional meal options.

Those leaving or arriving in Red Lake now enter an 8,000 square foot building that boasts large ticket and rental car counters, luggage carousels, naturally lit seating areas, NAVCan offices and space for administrative operations. Six hundred and forty square feet has also been designated for food preparation although no retailer has yet to make use of the space.

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