Government of Canada invests to maximize community and business growth opportunities in the Thunder Bay and Greenstone regions

News release

FedNor funding to help create or maintain more than 600 jobs through business expansion, community growth and economic recovery efforts

April 15, 2021 – Thunder Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

Across the country, Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) are helping entrepreneurs start or expand their businesses, and investing in communities to strengthen the economy. In Northern Ontario, these community-based, not-for-profit organizations are working hard to create jobs and provide a full range of business development services, including access to capital, mentoring, information and referrals, as well as support for community economic development, recovery efforts and special projects.

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 FedNor investment of more than $2.4 million in support of four projects to help communities and businesses expand and prosper, while helping to create or maintain over 600 jobs in the Thunder Bay and Greenstone regions. The announcement was made on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The FedNor funding will support four strategic initiatives led by Thunder Bay Ventures and the Greenstone Economic Development Corporation, two of the region’s Community Futures organizations. These projects will help attract high-growth businesses to the region, create local jobs and support business development, growth and regional recovery efforts.

Today’s announcement is further proof of the Government of Canada’s commitment to Canadian businesses – helping them to overcome the challenges posed by COVID-19. Initiatives like these will help get Canadians back to work and ensure that small businesses, which are the backbone of the Canadian economy, can play a major role 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 and grow Northern Ontario’s economy and create good jobs.”
- The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor

"Today's announcement of $2.4 million in funding from FedNor will support small businesses and community organizations in our region in serving Thunder Bay and Greenstone and creating strong, middle-class jobs for families here in Northern Ontario. I'm proud to see our government supporting these community-based organizations that are responding to the needs of families in the North."
- The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health, and Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Superior North

“Northern Ontario has a wealth of innovative and resourceful entrepreneurs who are establishing and scaling up businesses, creating jobs and strengthening the economy of Thunder Bay—Rainy River. This announcement is a great example of how our government, through FedNor, is supporting recovery efforts and economically priming our communities as we emerge from the pandemic.”
- Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament, Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“We are proud to partner with the Government of Canada to support local businesses, create high-quality jobs and help maximize the economic potential of the Thunder Bay region. Today’s announcement will support our ongoing operations, allow us to increase investment in local businesses and support our Community Futures partners with the administration of the Northwestern Ontario Investment Pool.”
- Wayne Fletcher, President, Thunder Bay Ventures

“This strong show of support highlights the importance of the Community Futures Program and demonstrates confidence in the work we do to accelerate growth, support recovery efforts and fuel the regional economy. I am thrilled that FedNor recognizes our continued record of success in fostering community, business and economic growth, while helping businesses start up and scale up in the Greenstone region.”
- Mary Jane Dunn, President, Greenstone Economic Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • FedNor’s Community Futures Program (CFP) supports 24 Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs) located throughout Northern Ontario. These community-based, not-for-profit organizations are staffed by professionals and are each governed by local volunteer board of directors familiar with their communities' needs, concerns and future development priorities.

  • CFDCs offer a wide variety of programs and services supporting community economic development and small business growth.

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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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