Achievements and priorities
Message from the Director General
In 2015-16, FedNor continued to work in close collaboration with stakeholders, our partners and all levels of government to grow and diversify Northern Ontario's economy.
Over the past year, FedNor launched the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150) in Northern Ontario. With an allocation of $10.4 million over two years, CIP 150 has been met with great enthusiasm by communities across the North. Established to celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary, the program will leave a lasting legacy to communities in the region through the rehabilitation or improvement of existing community infrastructure and facilities.
FedNor has also been hard at work over the past 12 months supporting projects and initiatives through its core programming, including its flagship Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), Community Futures Program and Economic Development Initiative. As part of the Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda, FedNor has been focusing its efforts on projects that promote innovation, new technology, and the growth of businesses that support a knowledge-based economy.
In 2016-17, FedNor will continue to closely align its programming with the federal government's Innovation Agenda. This includes a commitment to support clean technology initiatives, advance business innovation and technologies, and working in collaboration with a variety of partners to scale up high-impact Northern Ontario firms to increase their global competitiveness.
FedNor will also continue to work in close collaboration with Indigenous communities, the Province of Ontario and all partners on the Ring of Fire mining development. Improving the conditions in Indigenous communities across Canada is one of the federal government's foremost priorities, and the Ring of Fire project has the potential to improve the economic and social conditions in remote First Nations in the region for generations to come.
These are but a few examples of the efforts we will undertake in the coming year.
As always, extensive outreach and collaboration efforts with stakeholders and partners will allow us to remain responsive to the needs of Northern Ontario.
The past year has brought many successes and rest assured that in 2016-17, FedNor will continue to serve as your federal partner for Northern Ontario.
Aime J. Dimatteo
Results and Achievements 2015-16
During 2015-16, FedNor delivered significant results for people, communities and small and medium-sized businesses of Northern Ontario. By working in collaboration with partners from across the region, and all levels of government, FedNor supported a broad range of projects to promote growth and prosperity in the region.
- FedNor approved $39.4 million in support towards 174 projects;
- FedNor programming investment helped create or maintain 3,766 jobs and led to the creation, expansion and maintenance of 2,313 businesses; and,
- FedNor leveraged $2.01 from other sources for every program dollar disbursed.
FedNor achieved greater uptake of its programming through targeted initiatives specifically designed for the region such as the Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario and the Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario.
In 2015-16, the organization also initiated the intake process for the national Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program in Northern Ontario. The Program helps celebrate Canada's 150th anniversary through the rehabilitation or improvement, including expansion, of existing community infrastructure assets and facilities.
In addition, FedNor continued to play a lead role in coordinating federal efforts related to the Ring of Fire mining development opportunity. Investments by key federal departments and agencies, including FedNor, totalled more than $13.2 million in support of 17 projects aimed at building a solid foundation to help generate new economic opportunities.
Northern Ontario Development Program
In 2015-16, through the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), FedNor continued to make investments in three priority areas:
- Community Economic Development; and,
- Business Growth and Competitiveness.
During this time, FedNor focussed on projects that helped build and nurture an innovation ecosystem closely aligned with the Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda, supporting business acceleration and growth.
For example, FedNor supported projects that:
- provide clean energy options for remote Indigenous communities;
- help develop private sector firms with the support of Regional Innovation Centres;
- build biomedical research capacity;
- support cluster development in the health sector; and,
- provide access to venture capital.
Through the NODP, FedNor also continued support for key initiatives such as:
- the Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario, to improve operational effectiveness, productivity and access to markets;
- the Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario, to support the development of human capacity necessary for economic development in indigenous and smaller communities; and,
- the Youth Internship Initiative to help build the workforce of the future and provide businesses and organizations with access to a qualified and talented workforce.
An evaluation of the NODP, completed in May 2016, found that the Program continues to be relevant, performs well and delivers results for Northern Ontario communities and businesses. Implementation of recommendations from past evaluations resulted in a refocused program that demonstrates strong measurable outcomes. Improved performance measurement and administrative procedures resulted in enhanced oversight of program priorities through the implementation of a two-phased application process, published service standards, and improved project analysis and data integrity procedures. FedNor will continue to support the Government of Canada's Innovation Agenda, while intensifying efforts to track and report on the medium-term outcomes of the NODP.
Community Futures Program
Through the Community Futures Program, the Department engaged the Northern Ontario's 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) to foster economic stability, growth and job creation, help create diversified and competitive local rural economies and build economically sustainable communities in the region.
In 2015-16, Northern Ontario CFDCs:
- invested $17 million in SMEs; and,
- leveraged $35 million from other sources.
As a result of this lending activity:
- 898 businesses were assisted, started, expanded and/or maintained; and,
- 1,609 jobs were created and/or maintained.
FedNor also implemented the Community Futures Youth Internship Program to extend placement of qualified youth in private sector companies.
An audit on the Community Futures Program was completed in 2014-15 with favourable results with respect to governance, risk management and control processes. Implementation of recommendations that occurred in 2015-16 has resulted in enhanced oversight of program priorities through the implementation of a bi-annual update. FedNor has also strengthened its risk management process by launching a new risk assessment tool and guidelines.
FedNor continued to engage Community Futures Organizations, including Community Futures Development Corporations, their regional networks and provincial association, through various activities including outreach/liaison, capacity building, program and policy development, referrals, compliance monitoring in regard to contribution agreements, and other collaborative activities.
Economic Development Initiative
In 2015-16, FedNor invested $1.1 million in 15 projects completed through the Economic Development Initiative (EDI), which resulted in the creation or maintenance of 55 jobs. For every FedNor dollar invested through EDI during 2015-16, $0.73 was leveraged from other sources.
Outreach and Collaboration
FedNor continued its outreach and collaboration efforts, engaging key stakeholders, community and business leaders, as well as federal, provincial and other partners to promote the advancement of key files. These efforts include:
- Continued leadership on the Ring of Fire file through interdepartmental collaboration;
- Continued work with Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada and other stakeholders to help implement the government's commitment to promote economic development opportunities for Indigenous communities and businesses in Northern Ontario;
- Strategic communication and interaction with all northern stakeholders including the Northwestern Municipal Association, Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities, Community Futures Development Corporations, etc.;
- Establishment of a working group of all six Northern Ontario colleges to focus on collaboration to support innovative projects in partnership with the private sector;
- Active promotion of Industrial and Technological Benefits policy activities through stakeholder participation in national and regional events including several tour opportunities with prime contractors in Northern Ontario;
- Continued collaboration with a variety of federal partners and the Province of Ontario on small business growth and development;
- Support for initiatives that promote business expansion and export opportunities, including the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada Convention and Trade Show each year in Toronto;
- Collaboration with Northern Ontario research institutes and innovation centres resulting in the development of innovative products and services for commercialization; and,
- Targeted collaboration with Natural Resources Canada, FPInnovations and the Ontario ministries of Natural Resources and Forestry and Northern Development and Mines in the development and implementation of the province's forestry strategic plan.
In 2015-16, FedNor undertook the renewal and transformation of business processes through cost reduction and efficiency improvement initiatives such as:
- Continued collaborative development and implementation of business improvements including leadership in Client Case Management Systems for FedNor, Regional Development Agencies, and Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada users;
- Continued leadership and support for the management efficiencies of IM/IT across FedNor.
In 2015-16, FedNor expanded upon the use of social media for marketing FedNor and its programs to the public and stakeholders, including through the use of Twitter.
FedNor Priorities 2016-17
FedNor will continue to administer programs to support economic and community development in Northern Ontario. More specifically:
For the Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), FedNor will:
- Lead the development of Northern Ontario Economic Development Strategy which will serve to guide government investments, collaboration and strong economic outcomes across Northern Ontario.
- Align the NODP innovation priority with the Government of Canada Innovation Agenda including commitment to the clean technology sector.
- Successfully deliver the NODP within budget targets while continuing to implement targeted initiatives, improve services and gain efficiencies.
- Implement recommendations from the evaluation of the NODP.
- Review initiatives such as the Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario and Community Investment Initiative for Northern Ontario for ultimate effectiveness.
For the Community Futures Program (CFP), FedNor will:
- Continue to work closely with Northern Ontario's 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) to support community and business development across the region.
- Continue to encourage the support of youth internships through the CFDCs.
- Work with CFDCs and regional networks to explore how CFDCs will adapt to opportunities arising from emerging trends.
For the Economic Development Initiative (EDI), supported through the Government of Canada's Roadmap for Canada's Official Languages (2013-2018): Education, Immigration, Communities, FedNor will:
- Continue to implement and monitor EDI.
- Collaborate with EDI partners in preparation for the national EDI evaluation to be completed in 2016-17.
For the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program (CIP 150), FedNor will:
- Effectively communicate and implement the program, ensuring that applications reflect a wide representation across Northern Ontario and that projects align with the CIP 150 objectives and Government of Canada priorities.
For the Ring of Fire, FedNor will:
- Lead federal efforts to support the successful implementation of the Ring of Fire, including working with federal and provincial stakeholders to coordinate information sharing and program investments, and a coordinated approach to federal communications.
FedNor will continue a high level of collaboration with federal, provincial and other key partners to:
- Develop policies, programs, initiatives, approaches, strategies and/or best practices.
- Extend and enhance broadband services in rural and remote communities.
- Promote participation of Northern Ontario SMEs in defence procurement opportunities.
- Encourage adoption and adaption of innovative products and processes by facilitating access to federal partners like the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the Industrial Research Assistance Program (IRAP) and existing programs that support the advancement of business innovation and technologies.
- Collaborate with Natural Resources Canada, forest industry stakeholders and the provincial Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry to implement a provincial forestry strategic plan.
- Participate in the renewal of the Federal Tourism Strategy and its implementation through federal/horizontal coordination on related initiatives and strategic investments in tourism.
- Collaborate with key delivery organizations including the Business Development Bank, Export Development Canada, Global Affairs Canada and the regional development agencies (RDAs) to coordinate and align support to help high-impact firms scale up and further their global competitiveness.
- Support the development of partnerships with key agri-food stakeholders and provide strategic investments to enhance innovation and build capacity in the agri-food sector.
- Collaborate with Global Affairs Canada, RDAs and other stakeholders in the development of a Federal Global Trade Strategy and contribute to its implementation.
As corporate initiatives, FedNor will:
- Support the implementation of government-wide information management and information technology initiatives such as the Common Solution Management System.
- Implement the Client and Case Management software solution.
- Ensure that appropriate metrics are identified for programs delivered by FedNor, in line with the government's measuring for success agenda.
- Target efforts with federal and provincial partners to find opportunities to maximize benefits from program contributions.
As communications initiatives, FedNor will:
- Sustain effective communication with Northern Ontario stakeholders through regular engagement and active participation at significant events throughout the region.
- Enhance communication tools and approaches such as FedNor's website and social media including Twitter.
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