Minister Tassi visits Guelph-based local organizations and an Italian-led business that are growing regional economy

News release

Government of Canada highlights recent investments in the Guelph region in the advanced manufacturing and sustainable packaging sectors

September 25, 2023 – Guelph, Ontario                                            

As a key part of Canada’s economic recovery, the Government of Canada is investing in local businesses and entrepreneurs to ensure they have the tools they need to succeed now and in the future. This includes supporting businesses that are greening and growing their operations to make a cleaner future for Canadians.

Last Thursday, the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) and Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph, stopped at Innovation Guelph. They enjoyed a tour of their office and saw firsthand the mentorship, networking, and entrepreneurial opportunities they have to offer through the recently supported i.d.e.a. Fund. Next, they went to a ribbon-cutting ceremony at Italian-led Omnia Packaging, which previously received a FedDev Ontario investment of $3.7 million to acquire new equipment to increase production of their Canadian-made, 100 percent compostable and recyclable paper trays, while creating 50 jobs in the Guelph community.

Minister Tassi then met with Andrea Ferrari, the Ambassador of Italy to Canada, and Luca Zelioli, Consul General at the Consulate General of Italy in Toronto, to celebrate the unique bond that Italy and Canada share. They discussed the important contributions that Italian businesses provide to the growing economy in southern Ontario.

MP Longfield and Minister Tassi then met with Shakiba Shayani, the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Guelph Chamber of Commerce, to discuss how the Government of Canada can make life more affordable and grow Guelph’s economy by creating local jobs across the region.

Lastly, MP Longfield and Minister Tassi visited the University of Guelph for a tour of their agricultural and food research and development facilities, to see innovation at work and how the institution is shaping and preparing Canada’s future workforce.  

This was an exciting day for both Guelph’s Italian community and local community leaders. There are so many organizations, businesses and entrepreneurs who are paving the way forward to a bright, eco-friendly, and strong economic future.


“Thank you to the countless Guelph organizations, businesses, community leaders, and institutions that are working every day to grow the southern Ontario economy. As a proud Canadian of Italian descent, I am always happy to work with strong Italian businesses, like Omnia Packaging, that are making a significant contribution to Canada’s growth, and will help actualize the region’s potential and the possibilities that lie ahead.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“The Guelph region is home to numerous transformative organization and businesses that are boosting our economy, creating jobs and greening the environment. I am pleased to see the impacts of the Government of Canada’s investments and partnerships on our regional economy.”
 – Lloyd Longfield, Member of Parliament for Guelph

“This event expresses our appreciation for the professional support and ongoing cooperation the Government of Canada and the Italian institutions provide to our company. We are committed to leading the way in innovative, sustainable food packaging with a commitment to producing exclusively recyclable plastic and paper food packaging, helping to increase recycling rates across Canada by 2025.”
– Paolo Sunino, CEO and Owner, Omnia Packaging

“Southern Ontario has a rich and diverse ecosystem of promising early-stage businesses with viable solutions to drive the transition to a green economy. FedDev Ontario's commitment to investing in people, potential, and possibilities enables Innovation Guelph to support these businesses with desperately needed seed capital and the wrap-around support they need to reach their potential, and the results have been incredible.”
 Alison Crumblehulme, CEO, Innovation Guelph

Quick facts

  • Every year, Canadians throw away three million tonnes of plastic waste, with only 9 percent recycled and the vast majority ending up in landfills. In 2016, about 29,000 tonnes found their way into our natural environment.

  • By improving the management of plastic waste and investing in innovative solutions, Canada can reduce carbon emissions by 1.8 megatonnes annually, generate billions of dollars in revenue, and create approximately 42,000 jobs by 2030.

  • Established in September 2021, Omnia Packaging (Omnia), located in Guelph, is a newly created subsidiary of Italy-based Sunino Group (Gruppo Sunino SPA). Sunino Group operates across several industries, one of which is the manufacturing of packaging molding products for the food sector.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested $50 million in over 40 projects in the Guelph region, creating and maintaining 4,500 jobs. 

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $580 million in clean technology and green initiatives projects; clean technology aspects of these projects represent over $320 million.

  • Since 2015, the Government of Canada, through FedDev Ontario, has invested over $770 million in over 360 projects in manufacturing creating over 10,900 jobs and maintaining over 11,400 jobs.

Associated links


Edward Hutchinson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Media Relations
FedDev Ontario

Stay Connected

Subscribe to FedDev Ontario's Southern Ontario Spotlight newsletter, featuring economic development news and updates from across the region.

Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn for more information on how we are growing businesses, cultivating partnerships and building strong communities in southern Ontario.

Page details

Date modified: