The Ontario Federation of Snowmobile Clubs (OFSC) is getting a financial boost from the provincial government.

Ontario minister of finance Greg Sorbara has promised an investment of C$3 million to enhance snowmobile tourism trails throughout Ontario’s snowbelt.

The Conference Board of Canada says that snowmobiling in Ontario has an estimated economic impact of C$1.2 billion, which includes C$112 million in provincial taxes.

“The government really wants us to invest the money to help grow the economic impact that snowmobiling has,’’ OFSC director of strategic marketing Ron Purchase told “That is more targeting the trail products that tourism is based on. Not just groomers, but all of the things it takes to provide trails like investing in bridges and improving the trail corridor.”

Sorbara has also committed to work with the OFSC to develop long-term, sustainable funding for Ontario’s tourism trails and that the Ministry of Tourism would take the lead with the OFSC.

“With this comprehensive support program in place, Ontario’s OFSC snowmobile trail network would continue to be positioned as North America’s premiere snowmobile destination now and for the foreseeable future,” Sorbara says.

“We are very pleased to hear this good news from the Ontario liberal party,” says OFSC executive director Paul Shaughnessy.

The OFSC has also voted not to increase the price of snowmobile permit fees for the 2008-09 season. The existing fee of C$180 has been in place since 2005. The OFSC says most of the money (about 80%) to create and groom the over 41,000 km of trails currently comes from the permit fees.

It is the law in Ontario that you have to have a permit to operate a snowmobile on an OFSC trail.