Letter to the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities
Dear Minister Fraser:
The Thunder Bay Chamber of Commerce and the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission work closely on efforts to enhance our local economic environment through the attraction of new business opportunities and supporting the growth of existing businesses. We are pleased to outline our support for the City of Thunder Bay’s application to the CMHC Housing Accelerator Fund.
Thunder Bay is on the verge of a once-in-a-generation opportunity for exponential growth, thanks to Northwestern Ontario’s abundance of resources like lithium, palladium, and other critical minerals essential for the development of electric vehicles. As the demand for sustainable energy solutions continues to rise, Thunder Bay is poised to become a key player in this global industry.
There are currently 9 operating mines in Northwestern Ontario and 18 major exploration projects underway. According to a recent study completed by MNP commissioned by the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission, development timelines for new mine construction is expected to peak in 2027-28 with an estimated 3,000-4,000 new jobs in operations and construction in the region. Thunder Bay, as the regional hub for mining supply and service as well as education, training, health and entertainment, expects to capture the majority of the population growth expected with this new mine development.
In order to fully capitalize on this potential and ensure sustainable growth, it is crucial that we address one vital factor: the availability of appropriate housing. A thriving community needs sufficient housing options that cater to various needs and preferences. By investing in affordable and quality housing developments, we can attract new businesses, create jobs, and provide a solid foundation for residents looking to settle down or invest in this promising region.
We strongly support the City of Thunder Bay’s application to the Housing Accelerator Fund which requests $45.6 million to support the development of 2,113 dwelling units, including both affordable and missing middle housing options, over the next three years.