Economic Development Initiative –
Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the Economic Development Initiative (EDI)?
  2. How does the EDI fit within the Government of Canada's priorities?
  3. How is the EDI being delivered?
  4. How much funding will be available through the EDI?
  5. What are the objectives of the initiative?
  6. Who can apply for EDI funding?
  7. How do I apply?
  8. I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?
  9. If I have more than one project, is more than one application required?
  10. What is the deadline for applications?
  11. When do projects need to be completed?
  12. What types of projects would be approved under the EDI?
  13. What is the EDI review and approval process?
  14. When will I find out if my project has been approved?
  15. Will participation in this initiative have any tax implications for businesses?
  16. What are the anticipated results of the EDI?
  17. How do I get more information about the initiative?
  18. Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?
  19. Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

1) What is the Economic Development Initiative?

The Economic Development Initiative (EDI) is the key economic development initiative under the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018: Education, Immigration, Communities, the Government of Canada's strategy for official languages.

Through the Roadmap, the Government of Canada is investing $1.1 billion across 15 federal departments and agencies with a focus on three pillars that will ensure the vitality of English and French in Canada through education, immigration, and communities.

Across Canada, the Government of Canada is providing a total of $30.5 million from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018 for EDI. During this period, the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) will invest up to $4 million in funding in southern Ontario.

FedDev Ontario is responsible for delivering EDI in southern Ontario.

2) How does the Economic Development Initiative fit within the Government of Canada's priorities?

As the key economic development initiative for official language minority communities (OLMCs) under the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-2018, EDI contributes to the Government’s priority of creating jobs, promoting economic growth through investment, and supporting the economic development of OLMCs. EDI will continue to strengthen innovation, entrepreneurship, partnerships, and diversification of economic activities in OLMCs.

3) How is the EDI being delivered?

EDI is delivered by the regional development agencies across Canada. In Ontario, EDI is being delivered through FedDev Ontario for southern Ontario and through Industry Canada / the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) for northern Ontario.

Industry Canada is responsible for the coordination and evaluation of the EDI on a national level.

4) How much funding will be available through the EDI?

Across Canada, the Government of Canada is providing a total of $30.5 million from April 1, 2013 to March 31, 2018 for EDI. During this period, FedDev Ontario will invest up to $4 million in funding in southern Ontario.

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5) What are the objectives of the initiative?

FedDev Ontario will provide funding to eligible recipients to support:

  • Strategic Community Economic Planning projects that will enhance the economic base and competitiveness of Francophone communities and small and medium-sized enterprises; and
  • Business and Economic Development projects that respond to the needs, and foster economic growth of community-identified industry sectors, including knowledge-based and manufacturing industries. This priority area will also support internships for youth and workers in transition.

6) Who can apply for EDI funding?

Recognizing that EDI is designed to meet the needs of Ontario’s Francophone communities (the OLMCs in Ontario), eligible recipients normally include Francophone or bilingual organizations located in southern Ontario that provide programs or services in French to the Francophone community. This includes organizations such as:

  • Community economic development corporations;
  • Not-for-profit organizations and sector associations;
  • Private sector organizations; and
  • Post-secondary institutions that offer full-time programs of study in French.

7) How do I apply?

There is a single-phase application process in which applicants must submit the following:

  1. A completed application form; and
  2. Mandatory information requirements.

Incomplete applications cannot be assessed and may be deemed ineligible.

Applicants should refer to the Application Process section of the program guidelines for details.

Prior to submitting an application, potential applicants are strongly encouraged to contact the Agency at 1-866-593-5505 for help with their application and to discuss other government programs that may be applicable to their opportunity.

8) I am having trouble opening the application. How do I access it?

The application is accessible through the EDI home page and linked from the Quick Links menu. The application is in PDF format and will open automatically within Internet Explorer if you click on the link. However, if you are using another browser, right-click on the link and select ‘save target as’ or ‘save link as’ to download the file to your computer before opening with a PDF reader. Please note that the PDF application has been optimized for use in a Windows environment and may not work as expected in other operating systems.

Once the application form is complete, it can be submitted electronically by clicking on the 'Submit' button at the bottom of the form. Please note that you must include the additional application information requirements with your application.

If you are unable to access, complete or submit your application using the online application tool, please call the toll free line at 1-866-593-5505 for an alternate format.

9) If I have more than one project, is more than one application required?

Yes. If an organization has more than one project, a separate application is required for each project. Organizations are not limited in the number of applications that they may submit, but must rank the priority of the projects on their application forms.

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10) What is the deadline for applications?

The application process for EDI is ongoing. Applications will be reviewed as they are received. Applications will be received until funding is fully committed.

11) When do projects need to be completed?

Multi-year projects will be considered, however, all project activities must be completed by March 31, 2018.

12) What types of projects would be approved under the EDI?

Eligible activities include incremental business and economic development activities. This would normally include activities undertaken in French by, or for the benefit of, a Francophone client group. In the area of Strategic Community Economic Planning, eligible activities are those that enhance the economic base, sustainability and competitiveness of Ontario’s Francophone communities. For Business and Economic Development, eligible activities are those that respond to identified needs and foster the economic growth of identified Francophone community industry sectors such as knowledge-based and manufacturing industries.

13) What is the EDI review and approval process?

Please see the Application Review section of the EDI Guidelines.

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14) When will I find out if my project has been approved?

FedDev Ontario will notify applicants as soon as possible when their projects have been assessed.

15) Will participation in this initiative have any tax implications for businesses?

Financial assistance from government programs may have tax implications for businesses. It is recommended that advice be obtained from a qualified tax professional.

16) What are the anticipated results of the EDI?

EDI is expected to contribute to improved economic development of OLMCs enterprises and communities in southern Ontario. This supports the Roadmap outcome related to increasing the vitality of both official languages, allowing these communities to contribute to Canadian society and to developing Canada’s prosperity.

17) How do I get more information about the initiative?

For more information on FedDev Ontario's Economic Development Initiative, please email us or call 1-866-593-5505.

18) Would it benefit me to use a consultant to complete my program funding application?

FedDev Ontario works directly with the organization applying for funding, also known as the “named applicant” (e.g., the SME or NFP). Some organizations hire a consultant to support the preparation of a program funding application. It is not a requirement to use a consultant to apply for funding.

19) Can I use a past employee of FedDev Ontario as my consultant?

Former Government of Canada employees who work as consultants must comply with the Policy on Conflict of Interest and Post-Employment. After the post-employment limitation has passed, any statements made by a past employee about their ability to secure funding belongs solely to that individual.

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