Amendments to the Communities Economic Development Act were introduced today by Aboriginal and Northern Affairs Minister Eric Robinson
“This legislation will allow the Communities Economic Development Fund to develop the tools to provide more services to northerners and to help spur more economic development in the north,” Robinson said.
The Communities Economic Development Fund (CEDF), headquartered in Thompson with field offices in The Pas, Swan River, Gimli and Winnipeg, has a long record of serving the north through the provision of financial assistance in the form of loans and guarantees along with technical support and training assistance for northern entrepreneurs, said the minister. Today it supports over 1,100 commercial fishers and to date has issued in excess of $100 million in business loans and $50 million in fishery loans.
“With its strong record of serving the north, it is timely to give CEDF the ability to be able to provide more assistance to northern businesses. The modernization of the act recognizes that its role goes far beyond that of lender of last resort to entrepreneurs operating in remote communities,” Robinson said.
Over the past few years, CEDF has increasingly acted as a manager for other government programs and products as part of its commitment to the north. The fund is a vital source of capital in northern Manitoba, providing opportunity for the growth of new businesses and services which other regions take for granted, said Robinson.
The amendments are intended to enable the fund to pursue further business opportunities and will continue to help create employment and economic development in the north, he said.