Archived — Backgrounder: About the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
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About the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario)
In Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government committed to providing short term stimulus to communities hard hit by the recession while delivering long-term funding designed to promote economic growth, job creation and innovation. Budget 2009 provided $1 billion over five years for a new economic development agency for southern Ontario.
On August 13, 2009, Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally launched the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario). This new agency is charged with delivering federal government economic development programs tailored to the specific priorities of workers, businesses and communities in southern Ontario.
The Prime Minister announced his intent to have Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear assume responsibility for the Agency and that B.A. (Bruce) Archibald will serve as the agency's first President. Further announcements on the staffing and location of district offices are to be expected throughout the fall.
In its first year of operation, FedDev Ontario will focus on putting economic development programs into action. The Agency will assess immediate opportunities and needs, and then bridge into broader program initiatives once the agency is fully operational.
FedDev Ontario and Industry Canada will work with community stakeholders to identify and support projects that address current economic challenges.
The Agency will initially use existing programs and partnerships to expedite the provision of funds. This will start money flowing immediately into southern Ontario communities and businesses.
Funding in the first year will be approximately $206 million, including operating costs, focused on three priority areas: economic development, diversification and community development.
The Southern Ontario Development Program has been established to promote economic development, economic diversification and job creation. A core program, it will deliver close to $100 million in funding over 2009-10.
FedDev Ontario will help southern Ontario communities diversify their local economies, including into a wider range of value-added and technology driven products and services. It will provide the tools for its partners in the region to build on their strengths, positioning southern Ontario to succeed in the knowledge-based economy.
Programs to be Administered by FedDev Ontario
Southern Ontario programs to be administered by, or in conjunction with, FedDev Ontario include:
Community Adjustment Fund in Ontario
The Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) is a short-term economic stimulus for communities impacted by the global recession. Part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Fund supports projects that create jobs and maintain employment in and around communities that have been most severely affected by the economic downturn.
Funding is available for eligible projects that can be completed before March 31, 2010. Applications for 2010-2011 CAF project funds will be accepted by FedDev Ontario later this year.
National Research Council –Industrial Research Assistance Program
The National Research Council's Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) stimulates wealth creation for Canada through technological innovation. It provides financial and technological assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises, targeting those engaged in research, development, adaptation, adoption, or commercialization of innovative products, services or processes.
IRAP already has $67.3 million in funds available, and will receive an additional $27.5 million to further build the innovative capacities of southern Ontario's small and medium-sized enterprises.
Community Futures Program
Ontario's Community Futures Program will receive an additional $30M from the Community Adjustment Fund in 2009-2010. The Community Futures Program assists rural and northern communities to strengthen and diversify their economies.
The Program is implemented through Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), located in communities across the province, including 37 in rural southern Ontario. Small and medium-sized enterprises as well as non-profit organizations can receive repayable financing and important support services.
Business Development Bank of Canada
The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will invest a total of $50 million in southern Ontario through venture capital firms and the BDC's own programs. These funds will help develop a high-performing, sustainable venture capital industry in the region.
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