Skip to content

Province announces $3 million in Northern agricultural funding

Funding announcement was one of several Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford made during a Feb. 13 stop in Greater Sudbury
Northern development minister Greg Rickford spoke at the Northern Ontario agriculture conference at Science North on Tuesday.

Northern Development Minister Greg Rickford was in Sudbury Feb. 12 for the sixth annual Northern Ontario Ag Conference where he announced more than $3 million in funding to six agri-production projects in Northern Ontario. The majority of the funding will assist tile drainage projects throughout northeastern Ontario. 

Money will also be spent on grain haulage trucks and a Christmas tree farm.

The conference, which was held Monday and Tuesday at Science North, brought together nearly 100 farm and agriculture industry representatives from across the North, representing the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA). NOFIA was founded in 2014 as a non-profit advocacy group that aims to advance agricultural research and innovation in Northern Ontario.

Rickford said the Ontario Conservatives appreciate the efforts of the agricultural community and are pleased to support it in the North.

"I have a deep appreciation for the work that our farmers do, but more importantly, for the potential and the opportunity of agricultural economic activity in our region, and indeed, across Northern Ontario, some 800,000 square kilometres large," said Rickford.  

He announced Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation funding for the following projects:

  • $1,000,000 for the Northern Ontario Farm Innovation Alliance (NOFIA) to administer a tile drainage project over 1,991 acres in the Timiskaming and Cochrane Districts, benefitting a consortium of 18 producers.
  • $828,000 for LaCloche Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation (LAMBAC) to administer a tile drainage project over 1,380 acres in the Manitoulin Island region, benefitting a consortium of 24 producers.
  • $493,800 for the Sault Ste. Marie Innovation Centre to administer a tile drainage project over 823 acres in the Algoma and Manitoulin Districts, benefitting a consortium of eight producers.
  • $481,200 for West Nipissing East Sudbury Agricultural Support Projects Inc. to administer a tile drainage project over 802 acres in the of Nipissing, Sudbury and Parry Sound Districts, benefitting a consortium of seven producers
  • $221,148 for Reliable Elevators Corp. to acquire three trucks and two grain-hauling trailers to support the growing demand for higher haulage volumes of crop production in Northern Ontario
  • $50,000 for Henwood Tree Farm to provide a cut-your-own tree experience with a rotation of local Christmas tree species.

Rickford quipped that the funding news might leave people thinking it's like Christmas in the agricultural sector.

"But importantly, ladies and gentlemen, the funding demonstrates how our government is strengthening the northern agri-food industry with trusted partners like you to enhance community prosperity and expand access to quality locally-produced foods

He added that decision-makers at NOHFC are becoming more represented by the agriculture sector and the Indigenous sector.

Rickford said that is important as more Indigenous people have a keen interest in micro-farming, in food sovereignty and local food production in their communities.

Rickford pledged that the Ontario government will stand beside the agricultural community in the North to ensure local farming and agri-production will be regarded as important as anywhere else in Ontario. 

One announcement was for than $2 million through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to three health-care industry projects in Sudbury. 

  • $1,315,500 for Verv Technologies to create a testing device that provides blood analysis using disposable test chips that allow consumers to monitor and manage their health and wellness from the comfort of their own home.
  • $400,000 for Canadian Shield Health Care Services Inc. to enhance existing home care and wellness services by building a new clinic providing an integrated care model that is new to Northern Ontario.
  • $378,200 for Flosonics Medical to research, develop, prototype and certify the first wireless non-invasive medical device of its kind that will facilitate rapid assessment of heart function outside of a hospital setting without highly trained technicians.

And the third and final announcement the minister made on Feb. 13 concerned $3.4 million in NOHFC funding for two film and TV sector projects in the region:

  • $2,650,000 combined for Spinner Productions Inc. to produce Season 2 ($1,250,000) and Season 3 ($1,400,000) of the Canadian comedy television series, “Shoresy,” a spin-off of the series, “Letterkenny,” which focuses on Letterkenny’s most beloved hockey player, Shoresy, and follows the Sudbury Bulldogs of the Northern Ontario Senior Hockey Organization on a quest to never lose again
  • $816,617 for ZT Productions Inc. to produce the film “Zombie Town,” a film adaptation of the eponymous novel written by R.L. Stine, author of the Goosebumps series of children’s horror fiction novels.

Len Gillis is a reporter at