Anthony Rota
Hon. Anthony Rota
Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming
Government of Canada invests over $300,000 to help local manufacturer improve competitiveness
July 26, 2023

Manufacturing is one of Canada's most important economic sectors, contributing to a large share (1.7 million) of Canada’s full-time, well-paying jobs across a wide range of industries. In Northern Ontario, manufacturers are helping to fuel recovery efforts by producing important goods for domestic and international markets, while creating jobs that support families throughout the region. As technology transforms the industry, the Government of Canada is continuing to help Canadian companies evolve, scale up and modernize their operations and processes to stay on the cutting edge.

Two investments from the Department of FedNor, totaling $309,100, will help Wabi Iron and Steel Corp. in New Liskeard achieve those goals.

The Hon. Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing-Temiskaming says “This investment will help create many new economic benefits across the Nipissing–Timiskaming area. Northern Ontario’s mining industry is a key economic driver that fuels social and economic growth, while creating jobs and opportunities for families throughout the region. The investments will allow the corporation to complete a marketing analysis and operational assessment under the Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario, as well as upgrade the foundry with equipment purchases. The investment ensures the maintenance of 100 jobs in the North which further contributes to Northern growth and improving the economy.”

Funding for Wabi Iron and Steel Corporation from the Regional Economic Growth through Innovation fund. $294,100 of the funding will enable the company to  refine and upgrade its manufacturing processes and facility by purchasing equipment and completing renovations to improve its operational efficiency and expand its product offerings.

Jeremy Birnie, CEO of Wabi Iron and Steel Corp. says, "Wabi Iron & Steel Corp operates in an ultra competitive environment where capital requirements are high, and profit margins are constantly being squeezed by low cost competition overseas and in the USA.  In this context, we must invest for the future to thrive and win.  The FedNor funding of $294,100 was critically important to our upgrade projects completed in early 2023.  FedNor’s support has been leveraged to install a total of $2,000,000+ of new upgrades.  Without FedNor support, this would not have been possible.”

Meantime a further $15,000 investment will support consulting costs associated with the completion of a marketing analysis and operational assessment under the Targeted Manufacturing Initiative for Northern Ontario. The contribution is expected to assist with identifying facility modernizations and streamlined operational processes that would ensure the company remains competitive.

Birnie says, “This funding [of $15,000] was instrumental in allowing us to proceed with this critically important consulting project.  Now complete, the project has identified various capital upgrades, process improvements, and facility changes that will lead to our improved competitiveness in the months and years ahead.  We sincerely appreciate support of this project from the Federal Government, and Anthony Rota specifically.” 

Furthermore, he adds, “Our goal is to have the company operations fully modernized, with significant capacity improvements completed by 2025.  To get there, we needed outside advice that this consulting project has provided.  Once our modernization project is complete, Wabi Iron & Steel Corp will be among the most efficient foundry operations in North America.”

Rota says, “Nipissing-Timiskaming is a strategic hub for manufacturers that produce important products for mining, forestry and much more. Investing in innovative businesses like Wabi Iron and Steel Corp. will support recovery efforts, create jobs, increase exports and maximize the economic potential and sustainability of our manufacturing sector.”

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