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Giving Sault businesses a foot in the defence sector door

Sault MPP Romano announces funding for program, local full time jobs

Sept. 9 marked the second of two funding announcements to help Sault and Northern Ontario industries get their foot in the door to build components for Canada’s national defence sector.

Sault MPP Ross Romano, accompanied by representatives from local stakeholders at Roberta Bondar Place, announced $807,100 in NOHFC funding for Ontario’s North Economic Development Corporation (ONEDC) defence supply chain capacity building program.

“This is the key to unlocking Northern Ontario’s potential in the defence sector. We have defence contracts that operate through the federal government and some of those contracts could yield returns back to different communities throughout Northern Ontario,” Romano said.

“A number of companies in Sault Ste. Marie have already taken advantage of this,” Romano said, pointing to Algoma Steel, which produces plate for Royal Canadian Navy ships, Rector Machine Works, which manufactures components to be used in Canadian defence, along with other companies such as China Steel.

“This program is giving local and Northern Ontario businesses an opportunity to be part of that northern defence supply chain, and it is helping us to diversify our economy,” Romano said, encouraging local businesses to contact the NOHFC for potential funding for various projects.

Representatives from Algoma Steel and Rector Machine Works were on hand at the announcement, along with Ron Common, Sault College president, as the college trains skilled tradespeople to work in manufacturing, including manufacturing projects for the defence industry. 

The provincial funding announced by Romano will create two full-time jobs.

“The nature of the jobs, located in Sault Ste. Marie, are to support the process for the program. They’ll help any science and technology based companies that are seeking access into the defence supply chain (by processing the certification paperwork required to bid on national defence contracts, and with applications),” Romano told SooToday.  

The announcement followed a similar federal funding announcement of $785,740 from FedNor, announced by Sault MP Terry Sheehan on July 29, for companies in the Sault and across Northern Ontario interested in manufacturing components for Canada’s national defence industry.

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