Canada establishes FedNor as a standalone agency

FedNor is now a standalone agency
FedNor is now a standalone agency

Agency status positions FedNor to better respond to the needs of businesses, organizations, municipalities and First Nation communities throughout region

Sudbury, Ontario – “The people of Northern Ontario clearly expressed their desire to have a strong voice at the table and for the region to have its own independent agency. We heard you. By making FedNor a standalone agency, we are giving it more autonomy over its administration, and more independence, ensuring it is well positioned to respond directly to the unique needs of businesses, organizations and communities across Northern Ontario,”  states Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor.

The federal government has now changed the status of FedNor to a standalone agency.

Canada’s Regional Development Agencies (RDAs) are critical to accelerating recovery efforts, fueling the economy, creating jobs, and maximizing growth opportunities in municipalities and Indigenous communities across the country.

Terry Sheehan, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister responsible for FedNor, on behalf of the Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minister responsible for FedNor, today announced the creation of the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, better known as FedNor. FedNor, which previously operated as an initiative of Innovation, Science and Economic Development Canada, will now function as a standalone agency for economic development in Northern Ontario.

Since 1987, FedNor has served as the federal economic development organization for Northern Ontario, helping entrepreneurs start and grow businesses and create the conditions for the development of strong, dynamic and inclusive regional innovation ecosystems. Following through on its commitment in Budget 2021, the Government of Canada is establishing FedNor as a standalone agency, giving it more independence to enable it to better respond to the region’s economic development needs. Transforming FedNor into a standalone agency was a decision made in response to feedback and significant support from community and business leaders.

Addressing the economic impact of COVID-19

As part of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, FedNor has demonstrated its ability to quickly deliver special programs such as the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to support businesses and organizations  impacted by the pandemic. FedNor is also delivering four additional programs that will inject nearly $83 million in new funding into the region over the next few years. These new programs were launched earlier this summer and include the Canada Community Revitalization Fund, Tourism Relief Fund, Jobs and Growth Fund and the Aerospace Regional Recovery Initiative.

Now one of Canada’s seven Regional Development Agencies, FedNor will be better positioned to respond to Northern Ontario’s needs with an array of strategic and well-funded programming. Businesses, communities and organizations are invited to contact FedNor or visit its website at ( to find out how, together, we can strengthen and grow the region’s economy.

Quick facts

  • FedNor is the Government of Canada’s economic development organization for Northern Ontario. It works closely with businesses and community partners to build a stronger Northern Ontario. FedNor offers programs and services, as well as financial support of projects that lead to job creation and economic growth.
  • The Honourable Mélanie Joly is the Minister responsible for Canada’s seven regional development agencies, including FedNor.
  • Since its inception in 1987, FedNor has invested more than $1.4 billion to support over 7,500 projects, which helped create and maintain more than 87,500 jobs in municipalities and First Nation communities across Northern Ontario.
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