Government of Canada responds to tumultuous year with unprecedented investments to support more than 7,300 jobs in Northern Ontario

News release

FedNor funding provided targeted support for businesses, workers and communities

December 22, 2020 – Sudbury, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

The year 2020 will long be remembered as one of the most challenging periods for businesses, communities and families throughout Canada and around the world. It will also be viewed as a time when Canadians came together to support each other and to give generously of their time, energy and resources to ensure that those most affected by the COVID-19 pandemic received the support they needed. Canada’s Regional Development Agencies, like FedNor in Northern Ontario, are playing a vital role in ensuring that businesses and communities are equipped to weather the storm, prepare for the reopening economy and plan for future growth.

FedNor invests more than $122 million to empower Northern Ontario communities and businesses

Today, the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, highlighted the impact of FedNor investments this year, which have helped support more than 7,300 jobs in Northern Ontario. Guided by the federal Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario and armed with a solid mandate of growing an innovative economy and creating jobs, FedNor invested more than $122 million over the last year in 294 strategic initiatives led by local businesses, organizations and communities.

Addressing the economic impact of COVID-19

As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, FedNor moved quickly to deliver the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund (RRRF), a special relief fund established to support businesses and organizations economically impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. With more than $71 million allocated for Northern Ontario and even more committed as part of the 2020 Fall Economic Statement, RRRF investments are helping companies like Timehero of Sudbury and Amik Outposts located near Red Lake, as well as organizations like Thunder Bay-based PARO Centre for Women’s Enterprise and the Timmins Chamber of Commerce mitigate the impacts of the pandemic, keep their operations running and their staff working. More than 700 Northern Ontario businesses and organizations benefited from RRRF funding through FedNor and its partner Community Futures Development Corporations.

Innovating for a stronger economy

Through its ongoing programs such as the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation (REGI), FedNor invests to help entrepreneurs start and grow businesses and create the conditions for the development of strong, dynamic and inclusive regional innovation ecosystems across Northern Ontario. With major investments, such as $5 million for Sault Ste. Marie’s Algoma Tubes Tenaris, $5 million for First Cobalt Corporation, $1.5 million for North Bay’s Norgalv Ltd. and $1 million for Parry Sound-based manufacturer Connor Industries, FedNor continues to encourage innovative companies to scale up and create good paying jobs for Canadians living in Northern Ontario.

In 2021, FedNor is well positioned to continue to respond to Northern Ontario’s needs with a array of strategic and well-funded programming. Businesses, communities and organizations are invited to contact FedNor or visit its website to find out how, together, we can strengthen and grow the region’s economy.


“Businesses all across Canada have been hit hard by COVID-19. That’s why, through Regional Development Agencies, like FedNor in Northern Ontario, the federal government is providing businesses vital support, and saving thousands of jobs. I want to assure Northern Ontario businesses that while our government manages this health crisis, we will be there to support you for as long as it takes, with whatever it takes, and we will get through this together. “
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor 

“This has been a difficult year for Northern Ontarians but by working together, we will get through this and get our economy back on track. Our government has made unprecedented investments in 2020 through FedNor to enable companies and their workers, First Nations and communities, to overcome the adverse effects the COVID-19 pandemic and prepare for a solid and lasting economic recovery”.
- Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor 

Quick facts

  • FedNor is the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario. It works closely with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario. FedNor offers programs and services, as well as financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth. 

  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the Minister responsible for the six regional development agencies, including FedNor. 

  • RRRF is delivered by Canada’s six Regional Development Agencies (RDAs). The Fund addresses gaps left by other federal relief measures and complements those already provided by other levels of government. 

Associated links


Catherine Mounier-Desrochers
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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