Kenora-Rainy River MPP says the provincial cabinet has considered restrictions at the Manitoba border, but they may not be needed.

"We are no longer an attractive place for Manitobans to come, because of the restrictions, but that may not prevent people from making social or non-essential visits," he said. 

Local stores saw some visitors buying their Christmas presents in the district, in part due to restrictions in Winnipeg. There are also comments on social media about Ontarians heading for Manitoba and Winnipeg. 

Rickford is also a senior member of cabinet, who is overseeing the restart of the economy, and he offers his perspective on 2021.

"The challenges are still there, but from where I'm standing -- not withstanding COVID -- I see a lot more opportunities than I do issues," he said. 

Along with the casino and hotel in Kenora, the minister says there are a number of significant housing projects planned across the district.

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