The federal government has announced $25 million over five years in new funding for FedNor, along with a new spending strategy.
According to a government news release, the funding “will be invested in projects with the greatest potential to create new jobs and business opportunities for the middle class and those working hard to join it.”
Along with the funding comes the Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario, described as “a targeted approach to economic development through innovation.” The strategy will target mining, resources and agriculture, among other sectors.
Four areas of focus include skills and education; advanced technology, including clean-tech; global expansion; and helping municipalities and Indigenous communities better respond to opportunities and challenges.
FedNor said it plans to meet with stakeholders and government partners at all levels, starting this spring. Discussions will form the basis for the Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario.
In response, the Federation of Northern Ontario Municipalities (FONOM) expressed optimism about the announcement.
“The federal government’s strategy to seek new opportunities in emerging industries such as clean technology but also focus on the unique strengths of the industries already operating in Northern Ontario will help to ensure a sustainable future for the region,” FONOM president Alan Spacek said in the release.
“It was particularly exciting to hear about the opportunities in mining innovation, agriculture and forestry and how these industries will assist in addressing climate change objectives.”