Frequently Asked Questions - Economic Development Initiative (EDI) in Northern Ontario

What is the Economic Development Initiative?

The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) is a Government of Canada initiative that is part of the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018 announced in March 2013. It provides funding for projects that encourage economic growth in the region's Francophone communities and that capitalize on economic opportunities made possible through the use of both official languages.

How much money will be available for EDI in Northern Ontario?

Over five years, FedNor will receive $4 million to support eligible projects through EDI, including business and economic development activities that support innovation, economic diversification and business growth.

What does FedNor hope to achieve through its EDI investments?

The objective of EDI is to enhance the economic vitality of Northern Ontario's Francophone community (this region’s official language minority community) and enhance the region’s competitiveness through linguistic duality.

For example, FedNor’s EDI investments could include a regional project that supports small and medium-sized enterprises, including co-operatives, in their efforts to adopt a second official language in order to grow and become more competitive, spurring trade, tourism and investment in new and existing markets.

Who can apply to receive EDI funding?

Organizations that are eligible for funding through EDI include Francophone or other organizations that undertake project activities in both official languages, and are located in Northern Ontario. A more comprehensive list of eligible recipients is available on the FedNor website at: fednor.gc.ca/EDI

What types of activities will EDI support in Northern Ontario?

EDI will support economic development activities that respond directly to economic priorities of official language minority communities (OLMCs) and/or that enhance linguistic duality.

For example, EDI could support a regional project to encourage SMEs to provide their products or services in both official languages; a youth internship with a not-for-profit OLMC cultural enterprise such as a festival or tourism event, or; a project to help Francophone organizations keep pace with technological change, the digital economy, particularly new media and social media. For a more complete list of eligible activities, please consult FedNor’s website at: fednor.gc.ca/EDI

Are funding contributions through EDI repayable?

Funding assistance provided through EDI is provided in the form of both repayable and non-repayable contributions. Contributions will normally be repayable where proposed projects generate profits for the eligible applicant. Youth internships are non-repayable. Eligible applicants are expected to contribute a minimum of 10 percent of project costs.

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