Government of Canada supports wood manufacturers in southern Ontario

News release

$2.9-million Government of Canada investment to help 50 SMEs adopt technologies that will help them contribute to a strong economy and create 50 new jobs

October 4, 2023 – Kitchener, Ontario 

Ontario is home to the largest concentration of advanced wood manufacturing in Canada. The forest industry is a pillar of the Canadian economy. There are over 3,000 companies that employ 35,000 workers. Their work contributes more than $7 billion in revenue each year. The Government of Canada supports these workers and the manufacturers that employ them as they evolve, scale up, adopt new processes and technologies, increase their production capabilities and create good jobs for Canadians.

Today, on behalf of the Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), the Honourable Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for Waterloo, participated in the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO)’s Quarterly Networking Event. MP Chagger announced almost $2.9 million in support for the organization so they can help SMEs in southern Ontario adopt digital strategies.

WMCO is an industry-led cluster that supports SMEs across southern Ontario. Businesses include those specializing in cabinetry, commercial fixtures and millwork, furniture, flooring, mass timber construction and other niche products. With this investment, WMCO will support manufacturers as they adopt technologies, including supply chain digitization and increased Internet-of-Things capabilities.

Through this investment, WMCO will provide seed funding for up to 50 eligible SMEs undergoing digital adoption projects, creating 50 new jobs. As part of this investment, 50 new products, services and processes will be commercialized. WMCO will also prioritize SMEs in rural and Indigenous communities through targeted outreach activities. For more information, please visit the website.

The Government of Canada is investing in manufacturers so they can reach their potential and develop new possibilities for this important industry.


“Ontario’s wood manufacturing industry is an important piece of Canada’s economy. Our government supports the hard-working people who are reaching their potential and driving this sector forward. By investing in wood manufacturing SMEs and the organizations that support them, we are working together to create good paying jobs and ensure these businesses can continue to grow and scale-up for years to come.”
– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

“Today’s investment is supporting local advanced wood manufacturing SMEs right here in the Waterloo Region and across Canada to scale-up and modernize their processes for a strong future. The forest industry is a vital contributor to economic growth and the Government of Canada is committed to investing in our manufacturers so they can create good jobs, grow their companies and thrive for years to come.” 
– The Honourable Bardish Chagger, Member of Parliament for Waterloo

“This project demonstrates the importance of industry-led clusters to deliver results for small- and medium-sized wood manufacturing companies, and government partners alike. SMEs who do not have easy access to support for digital transformation can work with the cluster to achieve global competitiveness through data integration and Industry 4.0 investments. The cluster provides an environment for companies to learn from each other’s projects and leverage the synergies to boost global competitiveness. WMCO is grateful to FedDev Ontario for this generous support.”
– Mike Baker Chief Executive Officer, Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario

Quick facts

  • Established in 2011, the Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario is a not-for-profit organization that acts as an industry-led cluster for the value added wood industry spanning across the province of Ontario. 

  • The Wood Manufacturing Cluster of Ontario (WMCO)’s Quarterly Networking Events plant tours, programs, and projects brings together members and stakeholders to address important challenges impacting the industry to become globally competitive.

  • Digital Integration (Industry 4.0) is an investment in software technology that works to connect the various data-points in the manufacturing process, like increasing automation with the use of smart machinery and smart factories.

  • 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

FedDev Ontario
Media Relations

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: