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FedNor Focus

Your Partner in Northern Ontario

As the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario, FedNor invests in strategic initiatives led by businesses, communities and organizations, and works with a variety of stakeholders to create good jobs and more prosperous and innovative future in Northern Ontario.

In this Update, you’ll see what we’ve been up to recently and learn how FedNor investments are supporting projects that are making a real impact in the lives of the residents of Northern Ontario.

Visit our main page to learn how FedNor can support your project!

FedNor Focus – March 2021

What’s New

New funding for COVID-19 relief program

In response to overwhelming demand, an additional $22.3 million was announced this fall for FedNor through the Regional Relief and Recover Fund (RRRF). With an an initial investment of $49.5 million back in May 2020, this brings total RRRF funding for Northern Ontario to $71.8 million.

The RRRF is a special relief fund established by the Government of Canada to support businesses and organizations economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the hard-hit tourism sector.

Administered by FedNor in Northern Ontario in collaboration with partner Community Futures Development Corporations, the fund has been a lifeline for more than 700 businesses and organizations, ensuring recipients are prepared to play a meaningful role in our economic recovery following the pandemic.

Funding is still available, so apply now!

Black Entrepreneurship Program

On November 23, 2020, the Government of Canada announced the opening of applications for the Black Entrepreneurship Program’s National Ecosystem Fund and Knowledge Hub, recognizing that Black business owners and entrepreneurs make invaluable contributions to communities across the country.

Through these two initiatives, the federal government will invest in Black-led organizations to help them develop or expand services such as mentorship, networking, financial planning, and business training for Black entrepreneurs. In addition, support will be provided to help Black-led not-for-profit business organizations and educational institutions identify critical gaps, barriers to success, and opportunities for growth for Black entrepreneurs in Canada.

Details around the third pillar of the Black Entrepreneurship Program, the Black Entrepreneurship Loan Fund, will be available in the near future, so look for additional news coming soon!

Recent Events

Agri-food Producers Shine at The Royal

This fall, agri-food and equine businesses from across Northern Ontario were once again the stars of the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, but this time as part of the first-ever virtual experience, held over five days from November 10-14, 2020. FedNor was pleased to continue to support the Northern Ontario Agri-food Pavilion, this time in this new format, enabling 31 exhibitors from across the region to virtually reach local, regional and global audiences. The new platform launched by organizers allowed visitors to learn more about and interact with exhibitors online in time each day.

The Royal will be keeping the digital platform live all year to provide participants with a lasting online presence, and is now planning an additional five-day experience in the spring of 2021.

Upcoming Events

Virtual Spotlight on Northern Ontario Mining

Mining-related companies and organizations from across the region will once again be feature attractions at the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) Convention from March 8-11, 2021. This year, the world’s premier mineral exploration and mining convention will be going virtual, so FedNor is helping exhibitors at the Northern Ontario Mining Showcase promote their innovative services and products online.

Through the years, participating companies from across the region have seen their sales increase, new markets open up, and have established domestic and international partnerships that are creating good jobs in Northern Ontario.

Don’t miss this year’s virtual PDAC Convention!

Investment Highlights

In the last year, FedNor invested more than $122 million in 294 strategic initiatives led by local businesses, organizations and communities, helping to support more than 7,300 jobs in Northern Ontario. These investments have supported key priorities including innovation, business growth, agriculture, clean tech, youth, as well as significant relief and recovery funding for businesses as they deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.

For a full listing of recent FedNor investments, visit our news release section.

Some key investments recently made by FedNor:

North America’s first cobalt sulfate refinery

Innovation, Clean-tech, Mining, Export Development
Photo FedNor funding of $5 million is putting Northern Ontario on the map by helping to establish North America’s first cobalt refinery, an important milestone that will see 100 jobs created in the Temiskaming Shores region. First Cobalt Corporation will use the investment to expand its hydrometallurgical refinery to produce five percent of the world’s supply of battery-grade cobalt sulfate, a required element needed to produce long-range electric vehicles (EVs).

Strengthening Indigenous communities

Community Development, Technology, Infrastructure, Youth
In August 2020, FedNor announced $13 million in funding for 22 initiatives led by Indigenous communities, businesses and organizations in Northern Ontario. This targeted investment included nearly $5 million for the Nishnawbe Aski Development Fund to enhance business development and growth, including youth entrepreneurship, within NADF's vast service area. Another $1 million went to the Seven Generations Education Institute for equipment for its technology centre, trades lab and virtual classroom. Other initiatives included hiring economic development staff, the development of community infrastructure, and the implementation of technology solutions to conduct asset mapping. Backgrounder

Pipe manufacturer strengthening operations

Manufacturing, Automation, Competitiveness, Energy
Photo A $5-million investment in Tenaris is helping the company upgrade its Algoma Tubes mill in Sault Ste. Marie with new equipment and technology, leading to the creation of 50 jobs during the construction phase and 75 new full-time jobs by the end of 2021. Algoma Tubes is Canada’s only seamless steel pipe manufacturer that uses advanced manufacturing technologies to produce differentiated pipe products for Canada’s energy sector. This investment will help the company produce more competitive and innovative products while increasing automation and productivity.

Creating jobs through clean technology

Manufacturing, Clean-tech, Job Creation
With a $1.5-million repayable investment, Norgalv Limited is opening one of the most advanced galvanizing plants in Canada, creating 45 high-quality jobs in the North Bay region. The new facility will incorporate high environmental standards, as well as the latest automation and software optimization systems to cater to Northern Ontario fabricators in the mining and services industry.

Success Stories

Connecting Northern Ontario Businesses


Over the years, Northern Ontario’s ICT networks have helped thousands of businesses across the region expand their markets and grow their businesses. Supported by FedNor, their efforts have boosted economic development, created jobs, increased access to education and healthcare, and so much more.

New Research Lab Making Workplace Safer


A unique and innovative workplace simulator operated by Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Occupational Safety and Health (CROSH) is helping industry improve working conditions, and reduce downtime and workplace injuries. Through its research, this FedNor-funded initiative is also helping Northern Ontario organizations and companies use their findings to accelerate the commercialization of innovative products designed to mitigate problems in the workplace.  Read more

“Meating” demand in Northwestern Ontario

A FedNor-funded upgrade to the abattoir operated by the Cloverbelt Country Meats Cooperative has helped the group substantially increase its output in 2020, strengthening regional food security and production. With the purchase of new equipment for processing, value-added production, storage and packaging, the not-for-profit facility just west of Dryden is seeing a surge of new business from local farmers, First Nations, communities, hunters and tourist outfitters alike to process their beef, bison, pork, poultry, lamb and elk, as well as moose and deer when in season. Read more

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