Minister Joly announces investment to boost economic growth across Northern Ontario

News release

Over $4 million to help communities attract business and investment, and create jobs for Ontarians

August 21, 2020 – Kenora, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Strong communities are one of the key pillars of thriving local economies, which is why the government is working closely with its many partners at the local level to help them attract investment, diversify the regional economy and create jobs. Through its Regional Development Agencies, such as FedNor, the Government of Canada is investing to strengthen rural communities and enable their residents to pursue meaningful careers and enjoy a high quality of life for generations to come.

Jobs for Ontarians

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced more than $4 million in federal investments to help Northern Ontario’s communities and businesses expand, prosper and create or maintain jobs.

Delivered by FedNor, this funding will support 16 strategic initiatives in communities across Northern Ontario. It will help First Nations stimulate business growth and employment opportunities by enabling them to implement priority projects and develop new partnerships. It will also assist businesses to boost productivity and growth by matching skilled workers to employer needs. In addition, it will help tourism organizations to attract more visitors with new product development that will extend their stay and increase their spending.

Northern Ontario has been hard hit by COVID-19 and today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to communities and businesses, helping them to not just survive, but thrive. Initiatives like these will help get Canadians back to work and ensure that Northern and rural communities are set to fully participate in Canada’s economic recovery.


“Strong local economies rely upon the prosperity and growth of local businesses and entrepreneurs. In these uncertain times, we want Canadian businesses to know that we have their back. We will help our business and community partners adapt to the quickly evolving social and economic realities, and support their efforts to strengthen Northern Ontario’s economy and create good jobs for Ontarians.”

- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s announcement will help spur economic diversification, increase business growth and attract investment here in Northern Ontario. I am proud that FedNor investments are helping communities to maximize their potential, supporting good local jobs across our region.”

- Terry Sheehan, Member of Parliament for Sault Ste. Marie and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada and FedNor for their support that will see sewer and water services extended to key property near our airport that will pave the way for development. This strategic investment will attract private sector investment, helping our region to recover and grow.”

- Doug Lawrance, Mayor of Sioux Lookout

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s programs, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.

  • FedNor is contributing more than $4 million ($4,076,566) to support 16 initiatives led by communities and First Nations that focus on community economic development, investment attraction and job creation in Northern Ontario.

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Alexander Cohen
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Kim Fewchuk
Communications Advisor

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