Government of Canada announces $25 million in new funding for FedNor and a new strategy to diversify Northern Ontario's economy

Targeted strategy will create new jobs and business opportunities that build on the region's competitive advantages and innovation potential

NORTH BAY, ON, April 19, 2017 /CNW/ - Northern Ontarians will benefit from new jobs and business opportunities that diversify and strengthen the region's economy as a result of increased funding worth $25 million over five years.

This new funding, allocated through the regional development agency known as FedNor, was announced today by the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development.

This increased funding will support communities, businesses and First Nations in the region. It will be invested in projects with the greatest potential to create new jobs and business opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.

Minister Bains also announced the launch of the Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario, a targeted approach to economic development through innovation. This strategy will focus on ways to build on Northern Ontario's unique strengths and competitive advantages in mining, resources and agriculture, among other sectors.

The strategy will identify ways for these sectors to seize new opportunities in emerging industries, such as clean technology, and develop new businesses that will create the well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow for Northern Ontarians.

This regional strategy for Northern Ontario is part of the Government of Canada's Innovation and Skills Plan, an ambitious effort to make Canada a world-leading centre for innovation, create more well-paying jobs and grow the middle class. A goal of this plan is to encourage innovation and attract global investment in every region of the country. Another goal is to provide Canadians—wherever they live and work—with the support they need to continuously learn and enhance their skill set, equipping them for the jobs of the future.

The Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario will serve as an innovation and skills plan for this region. Every region of the country will eventually have its own version of this strategy to reflect the unique strengths and opportunities of that region.

As part of this new approach to economic development through innovation, each of the country's six regional development agencies, including FedNor, will be accountable for delivering meaningful results for the communities they serve. Over the next five years, these agencies will invest a total of $1.5 billion to strengthen innovation capacity in every region of the country by:

  • supporting small and medium-sized businesses that want to adopt new technologies and boost their innovation capacity;
  • nominating 50 firms across the country to participate in a federal program that will help them grow nationally and internationally;
  • investing $100 million annually across the country in clean technology; and
  • supporting a total of 250 Indigenous projects as they develop and diversify their economies.

This regional approach will ensure that the jobs, opportunities and prosperity that come with innovation benefit all Canadians.


"Each region of our country has unique strengths. That means innovation doesn't just happen in the big cities—it happens in every region of the country. At its most basic, innovation is about making things better in ways that benefit everyone. Where innovation happens matters because that's where the best jobs are located. Our government's goal is to promote regional advantages that help our homegrown companies develop into globally competitive successes. Above all, our goal is to give Canadians at all stages of their lives the support they need to prepare for the well-paying jobs of today and tomorrow. That's how we will ensure that every job is a better job for Canadians in every region of the country. And that's how innovation will lead to a better Canada."
– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development

Quick facts

  • Between April 1 and December 31, 2016, FedNor invested $33.08 million in 166 projects. Projects supported through FedNor during this period helped create or maintain more than 900 middle-class jobs across Northern Ontario.

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Follow Minister Bains on Twitter: @MinisterISED


April 19, 2017

Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario


The Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario will highlight regional economic growth opportunities as well as the efforts required to diversify the economic base of the region's communities. The strategy aims to provide information that will facilitate discussion and inform future budget planning options for economic development in Northern Ontario.

A framework document on priorities for economic growth has been developed by FedNor to set the stage for discussions with Northern Ontario stakeholders and government partners at all levels.

These engagement efforts, beginning later this spring, will lead to the detailed Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario.


Numerous opportunities exist for economic diversification and a transition to a more innovative economy. Northern Ontario has a strong and well-developed resource economy based on mining, forestry, wood products, agri-food and tourism. The region also supports a number of growing clusters and partnerships. They include 10 universities and colleges, five expanding regional innovation centres and a world-class mining cluster. The region also has established business support infrastructure and partnerships and benefits from collaboration among various levels of government and stakeholders.

Key Focus Areas

To build on these opportunities, the Prosperity and Growth Strategy will focus on four areas of potential growth and diversification:

  • Building a diverse, skilled and educated workforce
  • Promoting the adoption of advanced technologies, including clean technology
  • Encouraging business to start up and scale up to compete globally
  • Helping municipalities and Indigenous communities better respond to opportunities and challenges

These areas align well with the Government of Canada's current priorities.

Consultations will take place with key stakeholders such as community and Indigenous leaders, economic development organizations, private sector and industry representatives, Northern Ontario's innovation centres, and federal and provincial government departments.


SOURCE Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada

For further information: Karl W. Sasseville, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, 343-291-2500; Media Relations, Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, 343-291-1777,


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