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Premier visits new complex at Finlandia Village | Local | News on Astini News

Finlandia Village volunteer Aune Lahti didn't know it when she baking up a storm in the kitchen at the seniors' residence Wednesday, but she would be presenting a loaf of her famous Finnish bread to the premier of Ontario the next day.

Dalton McGuinty swung by Finlandia for a surprise visit Thursday afternoon to tour the 82-unit affordable assisted living residence under construction at the complex off Second Avenue in Minnow Lake.

His Liberal government has given the Finnish Rest Home Society about $4.3 million toward the cost of the Lepokoti Assisted Living Residence and Oliver G. Korpela Wellness Centre.

McGuinty is in Sudbury to participate in the Ontario Liberal Party Council, a quarterly meeting of Liberal leaders and supporters being held in the city from Friday to Sunday at Laurentian University.

McGuinty will speak to the public and reporters Friday morning at the ground-breaking for Vale Ltd.'s $2-billion Clean AER Project.

Sudbury MPP Rick Bartolucci was proud to show his political boss a housing complex that is being heralded as one of the made-in-Sudbury solutions to address the high number of frail elderly people in the community who need help to continue living on their own.

Several of the units will rent for less than $600 a month and there will be 24-hour services available if residents require assistance.

Lahti and her husband, Fred, live in the apartment complex that is part of Finlandia Village. At least once a month, Aune Lahti and other volunteers bake loaves of pulla for residents and guests. Despite the heat wave, Lahti and other bakers made more than 100 loaves of bread.

Lahti was pleased but a little shy about presenting the premier with a loaf of pulla and to pose for photographs with the premier.

McGuinty shed the tie he wore in the Ontario Legislature the last week of this session, while he and his government scrapped with Opposition parties to get their spring budget passed.

The premier donned a hard hat instead to view the residence.

McGuinty wasn't taking questions from The Sudbury Star, the only media at the site, but when asked what he thought of Lepokoti he quipped that he had picked his room out.

Joining McGuinty on the tour was Gerry Lougheed Jr., head of the SISU campaign to raise $3 million toward construction of Lepokoti.

The Finnish Rest Home Society announced Thursday that it is accepting rental applications for the new units. Forms are available at the front desk of the Palvelukoti Building (Block B) and online at

To donate to the SISU compaign, visit

Twitter @Carol_Mulligan

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