Supporting Indigenous innovation and entrepreneurship in Northern Ontario

News release

Government of Canada investment enables Canadian company to establish a software testing centre in Sault Ste. Marie

June 27, 2019 – Sault Ste. Marie, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario - FedNor

Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. (PLATO Testing) is establishing an Indigenous software testing centre in Sault Ste. Marie, thanks to a Government of Canada investment of $2.6 million. This FedNor funding will enable the company to offer training to Indigenous persons to develop and deliver software application and system testing services and solutions to private and public sector clients in Sault Ste. Marie and across the globe.

The investment was announced today by Sault Ste. Marie Member of Parliament, Terry Sheehan, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The new centre will assist in increasing the number of skilled and domestic software testers and information technology professionals available in Northern Ontario, as well as help address training and underemployment challenges faced by Indigenous groups across the region.


“Our government is laying the foundation for Canadians to become more competitive and succeed in the global economy. Today’s investment in Professional Aboriginal Testing Organization Inc. is building on our competitive advantages by helping businesses at the grassroots level to boost economic growth and create good, middle-class jobs for Canadians.”

- The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development and Minister responsible for FedNor

“This is an important investment in the Indigenous peoples of Northern Ontario that will help generate new business opportunities, support innovation and create good-paying jobs throughout the region. I am pleased that Sault Ste. Marie was selected as the base for PLATO’s latest training centre and I am proud of our government’s partnership with this forward-thinking Canadian tech company.”

- Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie

“I am grateful to the Government of Canada for this support, through FedNor, illustrating the importance Canada places on innovation and skills development to strengthen our economy. PLATO Testing’s new strategic operation in Sault Ste. Marie brings us closer to a ready and able population of First Nation and Métis Peoples throughout Northern Ontario and a strong lottery and gaming industry to advance our Indigenous software testing enterprise.

- Keith McIntosh, founder of PQA Testing and PLATO Testing

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor, which supports projects in Northern Ontario that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business growth and facilitate innovation.

  • Since 2016 and through successive budgets, the Government of Canada has earmarked an additional $62 million for FedNor in support of various initiatives to enable the organization to further strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy and create even more middle-class jobs for Canadians.

  • PLATO Testing is a software testing company established in 2015 and based in Fredericton, New Brunswick. It is staffed by Indigenous peoples from across Canada and provides a viable alternative to offshore testing centres.

Associated links


Kim Fewchuk
Senior Communications Officer
FedNor – Sault Ste. Marie

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