The Missanabie Cree First Nation (MCFN) led Mask-waOo-ta-ban (Bear Train) Initiative won the Destination Northern Ontario Industry Leader – Investment Attraction Award. The Destination Northern Ontario (DNO) awards were announced at the 2019 Northern Ontario Tourism Summit in Timmins. The award was presented to MCFN Chief Jason Gauthier at the Destination Northern Ontario office in Sault Ste. Marie on Thursday, November 28.
“We celebrated the best in the industry in Timmins last week and although it was unfortunate Chief Gauthier could not be present to accept, we were thrilled we could meet today to formally present this award,” said Stephanie Hopkin of Destination Northern Ontario. “The Northern Ontario Tourism Industry Leader Award for Investment Attraction is presented to a business, organization or individual who has demonstrated exceptional research, tactics and partnerships to help in the effort to attract tourism businesses to the region through significant infrastructure and economic development opportunities, ultimately benefiting the tourism sector as a whole. In addition to benefiting the Northern tourism industry, the Bear Train will support the social, economic, employment and remote access needs of the First Nations, communities, residents, businesses and socio-economic stakeholders of the Algoma Passenger Train corridor. Congratulations on your current and future success.”
Chief Gauthier expressed his appreciation in the following words: “The timing of this award is excellent. We have recently completed an expanded business/operations plan that was sent to Transport Canada and our newly elected MPs Terry Sheehan and Carol Hughes just prior to the October election. The endorsement of the prestigious Destination Northern Ontario with this award will give an enormous support to our efforts to convince Minister Marc Garneau and Transport Canada to fund the Bear Train as essential infrastructure to increase all-season Indigenous-, eco-, accessible-, cultural- and wilderness-tourism in Algoma.”
Destination Northern Ontario works together with tourism businesses, professionals and destinations at a local, regional and global level to build a strong tourism industry in the North. Originally named Tourism Northern Ontario, Destination Northern Ontario is an organization formed at the direction of the northern Ontario tourism industry and funded by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries.