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Feds funnel $3.4M into Northern Ontario's business sectors and First Nations

Funds to assist Manitoulin area residents to engage in Northern Ontario’s key industrial and business sectors
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BIRCH ISLAND - Manitoulin area residents, entrepreneurs, First Nations and communities are being encouraged to participate more fully in Northern Ontario’s mining and minerals industry, as well as the aquaculture and business sectors thanks to a series of Government of Canada investments totalling more than $3.4 million.

This FedNor funding supports five initiatives that among other things will enable Waubetek Business Development Corporation to establish and operate a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development for four years.

Other funding recipients include LaCloche and Manitoulin Business Assistance Corporation, Sheshegwaning First Nation and March of Dimes Canada.

Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, made the announcement today on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The goal of the Centre for Indigenous Mineral Development is to enhance the participation of the Indigenous people in the mines industry, as well as to assist industry and government through information sharing and best practice protocols with Indigenous engagement.

Access to information will help employers and prospective employees fill or secure jobs, and facilitate networking and business development opportunities.


“The Government of Canada is working hard to help Northern Ontario First Nations, communities and businesses capitalize on growth opportunities and create good middle-class jobs. Through our Innovation and Skills Plan and Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario, we are making the right investments to enable hard working Canadians to innovate, compete and succeed.”

  • The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor

“I am proud that our government is supporting Indigenous communities and local entrepreneurs in their efforts to strengthen the economy. These investments will not only help address gaps in the workforce and barriers to growth, it will also boost business development in Northern Ontario, creating jobs that will benefit the Manitoulin region.”

  • Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury

“In 2015, at the request of First Nation leaders throughout our region, Waubetek developed and launched a mining strategy that would help ensure meaningful engagement, build capacity and create much needed employment for our First Nation people and help foster more Indigenous businesses opportunities in the mining industry. The strategy was developed through engagement sessions with our community rights holders.

Our First Nations’ primary interest is to ensure that we are adequately consulted when it comes to mining and exploration within our traditional territories and to ensure that we have more opportunities to participate in the benefits that might come from this development in a sustainable way, including meaningful jobs, business opportunities, joint management and care of the lands on which these projects operate.

A Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development would help our communities build capacity and advance our interests and build a clearinghouse of industry information about things like leading practices and processes that are needed by our First Nations. We are grateful that FedNor also sees the benefits of helping to establish a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development.”

  • Martin Bayer, Chair, Waubetek Business Development Corporation

Quick facts

  • The Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario outlines the Government of Canada’s approach to ensure the region can fully benefit from the national Innovation and Skills Plan. It is focused on three key economic development areas: supporting innovation; growing companies; and building stronger communities.
  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor’s Community Futures and Northern Ontario Development Programs, which support projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation.