UPDATED — Dec. 30, 2 a.m.
Canadian contractor and home builder Mike Holmes is coming to northeastern Ontario to launch a pilot project called Building Homes and Building Skills.
Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, formally known as Whitefish Lake First Nation, has been chosen as the site for the project. The project aims to build and renovate homes to make them more energy efficient and develop a virtual Centre of Excellence that would act as a hub for training between industry professionals and First Nations.
Craig Nootchtai, director of operations with the Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, said residents on the First Nation are pleased and excited to be chosen for the project.
“We all knew we had a strong proposal,” he said. “But when you hear that you’re going to be working with Mike Holmes it’s something even more special.”
Nine proposals were received from across Canada to be considered for the project. Nootchtai said Atikameksheng Anishnawbek found out they were chosen for the project on Dec. 16, and the details are still being finalized.
Nootchtai said in addition to renovating and constructing units, as well as developing a centre for training, another goal will be to develop a building code that First Nations can adopt.
“The twist on this is that it’s going to be incorporating green designs into it as opposed to the Ontario building code which is minimum standards,” he said.
“It doesn’t make reference to specific green design concepts. That’s what we’re going to be developing through this project, and it will be made available to other communities to use.”
Nootchtai said the project will not only benefit Atikameksheng Anishnawbek, but the entire region.
“It’s going to have an impact on local businesses, trades people, and engineering firms because we will need those services,” he said. “We hope that the city of Sudbury and the people here can benefit from this and come together in making this a success. I know the influence of the Holmes group would draw a lot of attention here, it would be great for tourism.”
The project is scheduled to start January 2011.