Government of Canada helps maximize tourism, immigration and economic growth opportunities in Thunder Bay-Superior North

News release

FedNor funding helps to attract newcomers, enhance tourism assets and strengthen municipalities and Indigenous communities throughout the region

April 7, 2021 – Thunder Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Municipalities and Indigenous communities throughout Northern Ontario have been hard hit by the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic but key investments by the Government of Canada are supporting local efforts to strengthen the economy and create well-paying jobs for Canadians. Through its Regional Development Agencies, such as FedNor in Northern Ontario, the federal government is helping communities create the right conditions for economic growth, including community efforts to organize resources, enhance business development, and take advantage of strategic opportunities.

The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Superior North, and Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Rainy River, today announced a Government of Canada investment of more than $1 million in support of six strategic initiatives in the Thunder Bay—Superior North region. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.

Provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program, the funding will help Northern Ontario municipalities and Indigenous communities grow, prosper and create or maintain jobs. Specifically, the investments will help boost tourism, accelerate business development and growth, while attracting newcomers and matching skilled workers to employer needs.

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.


“The strength of our nation’s economy is built upon the growth and prosperity of all of its parts, including Canada’s rural municipalities and First Nation communities. In these uncertain times, we want all Canadians to know that we have their backs. Through our Regional Development Agencies, like FedNor, we continue to help our business and community partners adapt to the quickly evolving social and economic realities, and support their efforts to develop local economies and create high-quality jobs for Canadians.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

“Today’s announcement will enhance tourism and further accelerate community economic development and business growth here at home in Northwestern Ontario. Our government’s focus on economic diversification and immigration will support a strong economic recovery that is inclusive, sustainable, and creates good jobs for families throughout Thunder Bay—Superior North.”
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Superior North

“By attracting newcomers, skilled workers and creating opportunities for businesses and communities to thrive, FedNor is helping to unlock the social and economic potential of our region. The funding announced today builds on our government’s commitment to invest in First Nations, municipalities and key sectors of the economy so we can build back better - together.”
- Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“We’re thrilled Thunder Bay was selected as one of only five Northern Ontario communities to take part in Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot. It’s exciting to support the evolution of Thunder Bay’s economy by connecting employers with critical resources so they can meet their workforce needs through immigration and education.”
- Eric Zakrewski, Chief Executive Officer, Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission

“I would like to thank the Government of Canada and FedNor for helping us transform the Chalet Lodge into an all-season facility that will enable us to pursue new business opportunities. These investments will support local jobs, increase tourism revenue and allow us to explore the viability of creating a First Nation-owned wild rice cultivation and processing operation.”
- Chief Marcus Hardy, Red Rock Indian Band

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, diversification and business growth.

  • Since 2015, FedNor has provided more than 179M million in NODP funding to support 477 projects, which helped create and maintain more than 8,300 jobs in communities and First Nations across Northern Ontario.

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

Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer

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