Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford says he's looking forward to learning more about money available for building highways, water systems and bridges.

"We know the federal government has established an infrastructure bank in Toronto," he said, during a recent interview. "We haven't heard much about how it works, and we haven't seen many examples of how it can work."

Rickford adds he's looking forward to meeting with mayors in a few weeks. They're all set to gather next month in Ottawa. The newly-elected member for Kenora-Rainy River added he's looking forward to advocating for local projects, continuing a legacy he began as an MP.

Rickford is now the provincial minister responsible for three portfolios: Northern Development and Mines, Energy and Indigenous Affairs. As an MP, he also served as the minister for Natural Resources.

Rising water rates have been a key factor, as utility bills increased across the district in recent years under orders from Queen's Park, as the government wanted to see local governments shore up their reserves. Municipal leaders have been looking for relief from federal and provincial grants, in an effort to ease the burden on ratepayers for maintenance and repairs.

After five straight years of 10 per cent increases, the City of Kenora eased their rate increase to eight per cent the last year. 

The water cost is set at $1.43 per cubic meter or per 1000 litres for ratepayers in Kenora. An average monthly bill for residential consumption is about $127.22 for a monthly bill based on an average of 15 cubic metres of water.

For more information:

Water rate reprieve

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