The federal government has announced $100 million in funding to support steel and aluminum manufacturers and users across the country. Of that, $3 million has been earmarked for Northern Ontario through FedNor.
The new program, dubbed the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation Steel and Aluminum Initiative, was announced in a March 11 news release.
“In the face of unjust and illegal U.S. tariffs hurting businesses and workers on both sides of the border, our government is standing shoulder to shoulder with our hardworking steel and aluminum workers and users of their world-class products,” said Navdeep Bains, federal minister of innovation, science, economic development and regional development agencies.
“Our investment to support small- and medium-sized producers and users across the country will help businesses innovate to drive productivity, scale up, and expand into new markets to create good middle-class jobs.”
The non-repayable funding will be designated for projects that “enhance productivity, increase competitiveness by adopting new innovative technologies, and create more highly skilled jobs.”
Contributions will range from $150,000 to $1 million, to support up to a maximum of 45 per cent of eligible project costs.
It’s expected the funding will support approximately 300 small and medium enterprises.
The $100 million is being allocated according to the manufacturing sectors of the regions:
- $6.80 million for Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA);
- $26.17 million for Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED);
- $39.04 million for Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario);
- $3 million for Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor); and
- $24.99 million for Western Economic Diversification Canada (WD).
According to the government, in 2017, Canada’s steel and aluminum industry employed more than 33,500 Canadians and contributed $8.9 billion to Canada’s gross domestic product.