More than $7.9M promised to support forestry and mining in northeastern Ontario

Thanks to the provincial government’s chequebook, 16 different companies across the Sudbury and Algoma districts will get a financial boost to help support the forestry and mining sectors in northeastern Ontario.

"We want to make sure that companies are armed with the tools they need to respond to that market demand," said Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry Greg Rickford at a media event Monday morning.

More than $7.9 million is being divided up by the companies.

The founder and executive chairman of Symboticware in Sudbury, Kirk Petroski, said his company is receiving $500,000.

"What we’re getting is a financial support, a commitment, by the Ontario government to further demonstrate and commercialize one of our key technologies which allows for better, more efficient, and safer drilling operations for exploration drill companies," he said.

Adding that the funding is coming at the perfect time.

"It was a very challenging year for our industry for sure. The funding came at a very timely period where mobility was restricted. So the fact that we could demonstrate in northern Ontario the success of the technology was very critical to our business. In addition, it helped create some new jobs and maintain existing jobs that may have been more difficult during the COVID-19 pandemic," Petroski said.

With this funding from Queen’s Park, there is also a promise of creating and maintaining 112 jobs across the two regions.

"We put a particular emphasis on applicants demonstrating an ability to create new jobs, obviously protecting existing ones, and create meaningful opportunity for the next generation of young people who want to move here or who call this home and want to stay here," Rickford said.

Greater Sudbury Mayor, Brian Bigger said the investment will help the area bounce back from the challenges over the last year and a half.

"It is so, so important that we all focus on our post-COVID-19 recovery and continue to invest in economic development and growth and good jobs for people in northeastern Ontario, as well as Greater Sudbury," Bigger said.

Each of the 16 companies is getting different amounts of funding based on the projects. Black Bird Management Limited in Batchawana Bay is getting the most at over $2.6 million.