Southern Ontario Spotlight

Southern Ontario Spotlight

Feddev Ontario's focus on economic development

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Support for businesses in the Windsor region

Support for businesses in the Windsor region

The Windsor region is home to many of southern Ontario’s top manufacturing firms and boasts a highly skilled workforce in sectors such as automotive, food and beverage, and aerospace. In January, FedDev Ontario Minister Filomena Tassi visited the Windsor area to highlight several new funding announcements and attend roundtable discussions with area businesses and industry leaders.

On January 16, Minister Tassi announced an investment of more than $5.3 million for two Windsor region manufacturers: Cedar Valley Selections Inc. (Cedar Valley), a family-owned manufacturer of ready-to-eat salad dressings and pita chips, and Uni-Fab, a manufacturer of custom aluminum, steel and stainless steel products for the automotive, aerospace and machine tool sectors. With this investment, Cedar Valley will purchase new equipment to scale production to meet increased demand, and Uni-Fab will expand its facility and invest in new equipment to commercialize its innovative automated pallet changer technology. The investment will help to create 55 new jobs in the region.

“Making strategic investments to support Windsor area manufacturers like Cedar Valley Selections and Uni-Fab, help them boost their competitiveness and prepare for future growth. Today’s announcement is another step towards creating an economy that works for everyone.”

– The Honourable Filomena Tassi, Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario

Later that day Minister Tassi visited CapsCanada® Corporation, a manufacturer of gelatin capsules used in dietary supplements and pharmaceuticals, where she announced a $5-million investment, through the Community Economic Development and Diversification stream, for CapsCanada® to automate production and meet the growing demand for its made-in-Canada products. As major employer in the region employing nearly 170 staff, CapsCanada® will create an additional 50 highly skilled jobs in the manufacturing sector in Lakeshore.

The Minister, joined by Irek Kusmierczyk, Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh, then traveled to the Invest WindsorEssex facility to discuss programs and initiatives made possible through FedDev Ontario, and tour the Invest WindsorEssex virtual reality (VR) CAVE and receive a demonstration of its capabilities. Afterward, Minister Tassi and MP Kusmierczyk joined in a roundtable discussion with local businesses and organizations at the Ford Centre for Excellence in Manufacturing at St. Clair College. Topics of discussion included the growth of the automobility cluster in Windsor-Essex, the development of electric vehicles (EV) and related technologies, and how businesses in the region can be supported so they can realize their potential and help make Canada a leader in the industries of tomorrow.

Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada unveils Project Arrow zero-emission concept vehicle

Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association of Canada unveils Project Arrow zero-emission concept vehicle

Based in Toronto, the Automotive Parts Manufacturers’ Association (APMA) represents OEM producers of parts, equipment, tools, advanced technology and services for the worldwide automotive industry. APMA’s Project Arrow initiative brings together world-class Canadian industry and academic partners to design the industry’s first all-Canadian, zero-emission concept vehicle. The results of this initiative demonstrate Canada’s strength in powering the transformation of the automobility sector.

The concept car was showcased on January 5 at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Built with parts from more than 50 Canadian automotive suppliers, the high-tech vehicle exists as an example of the Canadian auto industry’s ability to manufacture electric vehicles and compete on a global scale.

In 2021, FedDev Ontario provided a $5-million investment to the APMA to support and facilitate the development of Project Arrow. This month’s launch of the Project Arrow concept vehicle is an example of FedDev Ontario’s commitment to a green future and Canada’s goal of net zero emissions by 2050.

Government of Canada support for digital technology and green manufacturing

Government of Canada support for digital technology and green manufacturing

The technology and manufacturing sectors are undergoing rapid change in the face of green initiatives, with increasing demand for sustainable products and processes altering the nature of work and skill requirements.

Recently, FedDev Ontario announced an investment of up to $4 million for the Yves Landry Foundation (YLF) to deliver the Achieving Innovation and Manufacturing Excellence Green Initiative (AIME Green). Through this initiative, southern Ontario SMEs in the manufacturing sector can receive up to $100,000 to upskill and train their workforce through tailored programs focused on adoption of new technology and green processes and procedures.

"We are thrilled that the Federal Economic Development Agency of Southern Ontario has entrusted us with this important initiative. We have a long standing history of supporting the manufacturing sector. It is essential that SMEs manufacture products that use processes and products which reduce harmful environmental impacts, conserve energy and our precious natural resources using earth-friendly materials that are safe for employees, communities and consumers. And this can only be achieved by having a highly qualified workforce. We are very pleased the government continues to support our AIME programming."

– Karyn Brearley, Executive Director, Yves Landry Foundation

AIME Green will support 36 SMEs, create 400 jobs, and maintain 1,050 jobs in the manufacturing sector across southern Ontario. For more information and to apply by March 31, 2023, visit the AIME Green webpage.

In addition, Minister Tassi recently announced over $14 million towards the scale-up and growth of eight GTA-based companies: Able Innovations Inc., BeWhere Inc., BlueDot Inc., Cognota Inc., Earth Boring Co., Mero Technologies Inc., Pentavere Research Group Inc. and Schlesinger Group Ltd. This investment will allow these companies to grow digital and manufacturing solutions, move towards green operations, enhance healthcare data and software, and create over 230 jobs across the GTA. Click here for more information on the projects supported through this announcement.

Community infrastructure and tourism investments for Golden Horseshoe and Bruce, Grey and Simcoe regions

Community infrastructure and tourism investments for Golden Horseshoe and Bruce, Grey and Simcoe regions

Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe region is a popular tourist destination and home to many of Canada’s top cultural attractions, in addition to being a powerhouse in manufacturing and industry. In January, FedDev Ontario announced several investments totalling more than $28 million for businesses across the region.

On January 9 in Dundas, FedDev Ontario Minister Filomena Tassi announced a total investment of nearly $7.5 million for 31 projects across the Golden Horseshoe, including in Hamilton, Halton, Haldimand-Norfolk and Brant. Delivered through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF) and the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF), these investments will create and rejuvenate community spaces and enhance tourism attractions to welcome more visitors and build stronger, more vibrant communities. Recipients include the Dundas Valley School of Art, which received a non-repayable contribution to upgrade its outdoor space with a butterfly and native species garden, and the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre which received a non-repayable contribution to renovate its heritage-listed "Custom House" to be more accessible and energy efficient.

On January 23, FedDev Ontario announced a total investment of nearly $14 million for 45 projects in Barrie and surrounding Bruce, Grey and Simcoe counties. These investments, through the Tourism Relief Fund (TRF) and the Canada Community Revitalization Fund (CCRF), will create and rejuvenate community spaces and enhance tourism attractions to welcome more visitors and build stronger, more vibrant communities. The announcement was hosted by the Corporation of the City of Barrie, which received a non-repayable investment of $100,000 through the TRF to partner with Tourism Barrie to create a Sport Tourism Strategy, which will provide essential information and recommendations to attract sports events to the city.

The City of Barrie also received a non-repayable investment of more than $1.4 million through the CCRF to revitalize and construct play courts and playgrounds; install new energy-efficient lighting throughout the City of Barrie; rehabilitate the landscape at John Edwin Coupe Park; and renew the streetscaping around the Barrie Public Library in the city's downtown core.

The announcement also highlighted Hardwood Ski and Bike Inc., in Oro-Medonte, Ontario, which received a non-repayable contribution of up to $100,000 to create a full-service food facility that will enhance the visitor experience at the resort.

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Feddev Ontario recipient news and updates

Invest Ottawa celebrates 10-year anniversary and new Government of Canada funding for Area X.O
Invest Ottawa celebrates 10-year anniversary and new Government of Canada funding for Area X.O

Invest Ottawa celebrates 10-year anniversary and new Government of Canada funding for Area X.O

On January 31, Invest Ottawa celebrated its 10-year anniversary as an organization and the 6-year anniversary of its Bayview Yards Innovation Hub. After congratulating Invest Ottawa on its milestone and highlighting the work the not-for-profit organization has done to support start-ups and SMEs in developing new technologies, Minister Tassi announced a non-repayable contribution of nearly $5.4 million, through the Jobs and Growth Fund, to expand Invest Ottawa’s Area X.O facility. Based out of Nepean, Area X.O is the first integrated test facility of its kind in North America, comprised of a public and private test track featuring 5G-enabled smart technologies for connected and autonomous vehicles. This investment will allow Area X.O to add remote simulation capabilities and new programming, including new global collaboration opportunities, to help companies bring products and services to market faster. As a result, Area X.O will commercialize 40 new products, services or processes, create and maintain 745 jobs, and support 140 SMEs.

“We are incredibly grateful to FedDev Ontario, the Government of Canada, Ansys and all partners for this visionary investment. It will enable more companies to seamlessly access the right capabilities at the right time and accelerate the commercialization and global export of their smart mobility solutions. This will stimulate new jobs, revenue and investment that build our regional economy. It will also bolster our thriving smart mobility cluster which is anchored by world leader BlackBerry QNX, more than 100 tech companies and organizations, and the highest tech talent concentration in North America.”

- Michael Tremblay, President and CEO, Invest Ottawa, Area X.O and Bayview Yards

In 2020, FedDev Ontario provided an investment of $7-million to Invest Ottawa to support advanced capabilities of Area X.O including a new, fully equipped mobile command centre and a cybersecurity innovation lab.

CHAR Technologies receives joint federal and provincial funding to expand production facility
CHAR Technologies receives joint federal and provincial funding to expand production facility

CHAR Technologies receives joint federal and provincial funding to expand production facility

CHAR Technologies Ltd., a Thorold ON-based manufacturer specializing in converting wood-based waste materials into renewable gases and biocarbon, recently announced that the governments of Canada (through Natural Resources Canada) and Ontario are investing a combined $12.8 million to support the expansion of its state-of-the-art Woody Biomass production facility to become the largest of its kind in Canada. A residual plant-based waste product derived primarily from wood-based manufacturing, woody biomass can be converted into renewable energy and valuable biocarbon outputs, through CHAR’s high-temperature pyrolysis technology, to offset fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In 2022, FedDev Ontario provided CHAR Technologies Ltd. with an investment of up to $1.5 million, through the Jobs and Growth Fund, to acquire new equipment to support the development and adoption of its made-in-Canada clean technology production process, and create and maintain 14 jobs in the region.

New network for Black entrepreneurs officially launches in Hamilton and Windsor
New network for Black entrepreneurs officially launches in Hamilton and Windsor

New network for Black entrepreneurs officially launches in Hamilton and Windsor

Led by FedDev Ontario-funded Empowerment Squared, the Southwestern Ontario Black Entrepreneurship Network (SWOBEN) officially launched in Hamilton on December 5 and in Windsor on December 6 with events featuring special guest speakers, local vendors, and highlights on Black businesses. The SWOBEN network brings together a consortium of partners led by Empowerment Squared to offer a dynamic resource for Black business owners, entrepreneurs, and non-profit leaders in the greater Hamilton and Windsor areas. Services include seminars, business advisory services, networking events and mentorship opportunities.

In January, as part of a Windsor tour, FedDev Ontario Minister Tassi and Member of Parliament for Windsor–Tecumseh Irek Kusmierczyk visited Empowerment Squared at WEtech Alliance, where they discussed the opportunities and challenges of Black and women-led business owners and entrepreneurs in Windsor and the surrounding areas, and learned about the collaboration to establish the SWOBEN network, and other initiatives involving WEtech to support regional entrepreneurs and their growth.

In 2022, FedDev Ontario announced a non-repayable investment of over $1.9 million for Empowerment Squared to establish SWOBEN and support the creation of 80 new jobs and 275 Black entrepreneurs.

Indigenous Tourism Ontario establishes Indigenous Cultural Integrity Advisory Committee
Indigenous Tourism Ontario establishes Indigenous Cultural Integrity Advisory Committee

Indigenous Tourism Ontario establishes Indigenous Cultural Integrity Advisory Committee

Indigenous Tourism Ontario (ITO) is an Indigenous-led not-for-profit organization that provides business support to Indigenous-owned tourism operators, including certification of authentic Indigenous experiences in tourism-dependent communities across Ontario. ITO recently announced the launch of the Indigenous Cultural Integrity Advisory Committee, a group of 14 leaders from across the province that brings diverse perspectives and expertise with the goal of developing guidelines for building the Indigenous tourism industry in a responsible manner. The committee aims to preserve and protect the traditional values and beliefs of Indigenous Peoples across Ontario, while providing guidance and support in developing authentic and in-demand tourism experiences.

FedDev Ontario is a proud supporter of Indigenous tourism experiences in southern Ontario. In 2022, the Government of Canada provided an investment of $3.5 million to Indigenous Tourism Ontario to administer non-repayable contributions of up to $100,000 to Indigenous businesses, not-for-profit organizations, Band Councils, and Indigenous communities to invest in new or enhanced tourism experiences, upgrade tourism assets, and attract domestic and international tourists. To date, 23 businesses have been supported in southern Ontario alone through this funding, creating 315 permanent and temporary jobs.

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Social media highlights

On January 14, community members gathered for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and unveiling of new trailhead and educational signs. The upgrades will bring more Canadians to the region to enjoy improved accessibility and historical and environmental storytelling while learning about the First Nation heritage of the area. In July, FedDev Ontario invested over $500,000 in this project through the Canada Community Revitalization Fund. We are proud to support not-for-profit organizations and Indigenous communities as they grow into the future.

The Day was inspired by 10-year-old Isabella Kulak of Saskatchewan, who was shamed for wearing a ribbon skirt to a formal school event. It will provide an opportunity each year for Canadians to learn more about the importance of Indigenous traditions and culture.

Felicia Huff, recognized as one of southwestern Ontario’s most well-known ribbon skirt makers, has made over 700 of these ceremonial works of art during the seven years she has been sewing them. Felicia is from Chippewas of the Thames First Nation, an Anishinaabe community that recently received FedDev Ontario funding to create the Gawii Wiikaa Ga-Nendimisii - Never, Ever Forget Me project, with several Indigenous cultural and heritage events.

We are proud to support Indigenous businesses and communities as we work toward reconciliation.

 

Visit canada.ca/mental-health for free mental health and substance use resources and supports. Together we can all help to create positive change in our schools, workplaces and communities. 

#BellLetsTalk #GCMentalHealth

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Upcoming Events

Event September 12

Feb 7-9

66th Annual EDCO Conference and Showcase (Toronto)

This event will explore the role that economic developers play in transforming Ontario’s economy. Themes will include the future of work, community investment, innovation in agri-business, and talent integration.

Event September 12

Feb 8-10

OBIO Investment Summit & Early Technology Showcase (Toronto)

This networking event connects investors with digital health, medical technology companies, and research institutions. New this year, OBIO introduced its Pharma Licensing Forum, a platform that helps life science companies explore licensing partnerships. Minister Tassi will provide opening remarks on Day 3 of this event.

Event September 12

Feb 17-26

2023 Canadian International AutoShow (Toronto)

The 2023 Canadian International AutoShow will be held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) in both the North and South Buildings. Highlights include Canada's largest indoor EV test track and the newest electric vehicles available from Canadian manufacturers.

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