News Release Article from  Government of Canada

FedNor Invests More Than $1.2 Million to Help Northeastern Ontario Communities and Businesses Adopt New Technologies and Grow

February 10, 2017 – North Bay, ON – Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario – FedNor

The Government of Canada is investing $1,285,000 to enable communities and businesses to adopt and benefit from information and communications technologies, spur innovation and create good middle-class jobs.

Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming, made the announcement today, on behalf of the Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor. Of the total, $885,000 will enable Blue Sky Net to provide information and communications technologies training, education and awareness throughout the region, helping local residents and businesses prepare for success in the global economy.

The remaining $400,000 will be used by Blue Sky Net to deliver its BEAM initiative, designed to assist small and medium-sized enterprises develop digital skills and incorporate innovative technologies into their operations. Since its inception in 2011, the program has supported 287 businesses and helped leverage $580,000 in private sector investments, while creating more than 110 full-time jobs in the region.

Quick facts

  • The funding announced today is provided through FedNor's Northern Ontario Development Program, which supports projects that promote sustainable community economic development, enhance business development and growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region.
  • Blue Sky Net is a not-for-profit organization with a mandate to support technology development, including Information and Communications Technology-related (ICT) activities. The organization's current priorities include promoting broadband infrastructure deployment, ICT awareness and the adoption of ICT applications in the Districts of Nipissing, Sudbury East and Manitoulin Island, as well as parts of the Almaguin Highlands region.
  • Blue Sky Net's Broadband for E-business and Marketing (BEAM) program provides eligible businesses with up to $5,000 to implement e-business solutions such as search engine optimization, social media integration, database integration for storefront management, customer relationship management, and electronic data interchange.


"New technologies are transforming how we live, work and conduct business, which is why our government is committed to helping people, communities and businesses access the tools and resources they need to succeed in today's global economy. This strategic investment will assist local businesses to streamline their operations, accelerate growth and create good-paying jobs that will grow the middle class."

– The Honourable Navdeep Bains, Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor

"By encouraging organizations to integrate e-business solutions into their operations, the Government of Canada is helping to modernize our regional economy and create meaningful middle-class employment here at home in Northern Ontario. The funding announced today will promote sustainable economic development, enhance business growth, and facilitate innovation throughout the region."

– Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming

"On behalf of Blue Sky Net and the region we serve, I wish to thank the Government of Canada for its investment in broadband, innovation and technology-based solutions for Northeastern Ontario. Today's announcement is a strong show of support for our organization and the work we do to enhance technology development and ICT-related activities to drive our economy forward in a meaningful and significant way."

– Dennis Higgs, Board Chair, Blue Sky Net

Associated Links


Barclay Babcock
Communications Officer - FedNor

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Hon. Navdeep Singh Bains FedNor Economics and Industry

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