In a riding that stretches from Algonquin Park in the north to Amherst Island in the south, local MP Mike Bossio is always on the move. On Friday, he spent the day on Amherst Island meeting with several local organizations and to announce federal funding.
Bossio started the day at the Neilson Museum and Cultural Centre, where local volunteer Andrea Cross gave him and former Kingston and the Islands MPP Sophie Kiwala a tour of museum, which contains many artifacts from the Royal Ontario Museum. They followed this by touring the dry stone walls to highlight the upcoming Dry Stone Canada festival on the island in September.
From there, Bossio arrived at the Back Kitchen (Amherst Island Community Café) to announce federal support of $10,621 through the Enabling Accessibility Fund.
“The Back Kitchen is a hub of community activity on Amherst Island,” said Amherst Island Community Café President Lorna Willis. “We are truly grateful that the funding will allow us to build a new ramp and renovate the washroom. This increased accessibility benefits the entire community, but especially our senior citizens and others with mobility challenges. Increased accessibility supports our goal of providing outreach to local seniors who visit the island. We are forever appreciative of the enthusiastic support of MP Mike Bossio who never fails to champion the Back Kitchen.”
The afternoon was spent at Topsy Farms with Jake Murray, where it is lambing season.
“They are so entrepreneurial,” said Bossio, in light of the farm opening a yurt to attract more tourists to visit and stay on the island. “This is a great place for our urban friends and colleagues to get an experience of rural farm life. They have fabulous nature trails, the new yurt, and of course a flock of sheep and other farms animals.”
The federal government has recently launched a national tourism strategy, entitled “Creating Middle Class Jobs: A Federal Tourism Growth Strategy,” which will unleash the potential of tourism to drive economic growth and job creation in all regions of the country, including rural communities like Amherst Island.
After popping into the 100% volunteer-run and 100% non-profit Amherst Island Community Radio, Bossio capped off the day by meeting at the Lodge with the Amherst Island Community Alliance, whose mission is to enhance the quality of life on the island by identifying and supporting projects that reflect the needs and will of the community.
“Improved highspeed internet was a top priority for the Alliance,” said Bossio. “The Connect to Innovate expansion along Highway 33 through Bath will expand wireless highspeed internet access in the area, and help unleash further economic development opportunities while improving quality of life.”
In November 2017, Bossio announced over $31 million in federal funding to build two new fully-electric ferries for Amherst Island and nearby Wolfe Island. They will be the first fully-electric ferries in Canada, with construction already underway.
- Dry Stone Canada Festival
- Enabling Accessibility Fund
- Making an accessible Canada for people with disabilities
- Topsy Farms
- Amherst Island Radio
- The Lodge