FedDev Ontario Launches New Support for Francophone Communities in Southern Ontario

News release

$800,000 per year is available for new projects under the Economic Development Initiative

April 30, 2018

The Government of Canada recognizes that strong official language minority communities (OLMCs) not only celebrate our shared history and identity, they are essential to Canada’s competitiveness in an increasingly globalized world.

Today, the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedDev Ontario, announced the launch of a new intake under the Economic Development Initiative (EDI) in southern Ontario.

To support OLMCs, FedDev Ontario is providing up to $800,000 per year to strengthen the rich cultural fabric of Francophone communities, accelerate economic growth within these communities, and drive social and technological change.

Funding is available for projects that support technology adoption through innovation, that foster economic growth in Francophone knowledge-based and manufacturing industries, or enhance the competitiveness of Francophone communities. Priority may be given to projects related to tourism, the social economy (early childhood, integration of newcomers, etc.), immigration, clean technologies, youth and women.

Projects will be assessed twice a year. The deadline to submit an expression of interest to be considered in the first batch is May 25, 2018. For more information, including how to apply, please visit the Economic Development Initiative website.


Official Language Minority Communities are a powerful engine for future economic growth within southern Ontario and across the country. This funding, through the Economic Development Initiative, will create new opportunities for business development and job creation while making sure our Francophone communities can continue to grow and thrive.”

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Quick facts

  • Since 2014, over 500 SMEs and organizations supported, 54 youth internships and 163 partnerships have been created, and $1.6 million has been leveraged.

  • The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) is a national program delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada. FedDev Ontario is delivering the program in southern Ontario with up to $800,000 in available funding each year.

  • EDI aligns with the $400-million Action Plan for Official Languages 2018-2023 proposed in Budget 2018 to help improve services in Official Language Minority Communities and promote bilingualism across Canada.

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