Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, Navdeep Bains has announced the federal government is investing $25-million over five years through FedNor to spur growth and innovation. Bains was in North Bay today to make the announcement and says this increased funding will support communities, businesses and First Nations in the region. The money will be invested in projects with the greatest potential to create new jobs and business opportunities for the middle class in Northern Ontario.

Bains also announced the launch of the “Prosperity and Growth Strategy for Northern Ontario”, which will be a targeted approach to economic development through innovation. The strategy will focus on how to build on the strengths of Northern Ontario industries, and how emerging industries like clean technology and green energy can be successful in the region.

Bains says they don’t want to discount the opportunities that exist in other sectors, like the mining industry that is seeing a revival recently. He says instead they are providing the tools for businesses to be successful. Bains says they put forward $1.4-billion worth of investment in green technology, and they want to help people access that money. Bains says there’s tremendous global opportunities for Canada companies in this field, and that’s one of the reasons behind the new funding.

Bains mentioned a few ways the government is helping in that regard. One is pre-commercialization, where if someone has an idea and wants to take it to market Sustainable Development Technology Canada received $400-million for it. He says the government through the Business Development Canada Bank is providing additional growth and patient capital for some of these projects because they have a longer time horizon and are capital intensive. Bains added through Export Development Canada they’re working with these companies to open up market opportunities internationally.

Bains says those are the kind of tools they have to send a very clear signal to the market across the country that the government is committed to reaching their climate change targets. He finished by saying they believe innovation and clean technology will be the key to achieving those outcomes.