Four North Bay manufacturing businesses are the recipients of a $2.5 million investment from the Ontario government through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation.

Vic Fedeli, MPP for Nipissing and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade made the announcement this morning at the Boart Longyear Canada plant in North Bay on Friday alongside Mayor Al McDonald, President and CEO of the North Bay and District Chamber of Commerce, Peter Chirico and representatives from the businesses receiving the funds.

“All of these companies are exporters so the products are Ontario-made, and they’re being shipped all over the world,“ Fedeli told the media after the announcement. “It’s very significant that as we continue through this pandemic that here we have companies that are expanding, have confidence in the economy and are hiring and continuing to invest.”

The $2.5 million will be going towards:

  • Canadore College – receiving $978,000 to purchase and install equipment at the Innovation Centre for Advanced Manufacturing and Prototyping, providing industry partners with access to state-of-the-art technologies, while helping local companies remain competitive and grow.
  • Drillco Mining and Exploration – receiving $500,000 to market its innovative clean-tech modular drilling system by building two demonstration prototypes to showcase to prospective mining industry clients.
  • Nordic Minesteel Technologies – receiving $500,000 to help bring an innovative battery-powered jack to market and prepare its facility for full-scale production. The jack will assist with heavy truck repair.
  • Nordic Minesteel Technologies – receiving $150,654 to design and build a smaller, mobile version of a remote-controlled, battery-powered jack for lifting large mining trucks.
  • Boart Longyear Canada – receiving $374,035 to purchase and install new equipment and software to increase production of its wireline system, used by operators of oil and gas wells.

The five projects being run through four companies will create 15 manufacturing jobs in North Bay.

Peter Chirico, who sits on the board of the NOHFC, says that the jobs being created through the investment will have a ripple effect for the North Bay economy.

“These are manufacturing jobs that will last. These people will be buying houses and contributing to our economy so these investments will be critical moving forward especially coming out of COVID,” he said.

Chirico was praised by Fedeli for his role in helping the businesses with funding applications.

Mayor Al McDonald says that the funding announcement is indicative of the similarities between Fedeli’s and North Bay’s goals.

“Our interests are aligned: we want to grow our city and they want to grow our province. Today’s announcement is showing his commitment to our local businesses that are employing more and more people in our city,” McDonald noted.

Last week, FedNor announced a $6.7 million investment into the area’s manufacturing sector, with the company DrillCo also receiving a portion of the federal funds. McDonald says that the support of all levels of government is telling of the North Bay business community.

“I think it speaks to confidence. Confidence in our local businesses to invest their money and confidence in all three levels of government that are doing their part in supporting the environment of success for business and industry,” McDonald said.

The NOHFC promotes economic development across Northern Ontario by providing financial assistance to projects that stimulate growth, job creation and skilled workforce development.