Anthony Rota
Hon. Anthony Rota
Member of Parliament for Nipissing—Timiskaming
Government of Canada invests over $1.1 million to support broadband, technology and workforce solutions in Northeastern Ontario
January 23, 2024

Anthony Rota, Member of Parliament for Nipissing–Timiskaming, today announced Government of Canada investments totalling $1,110,810 for two projects that will help businesses attract skilled workers and innovate and access new technologies to make them more productive and competitive.

Rota says, “Communities and businesses across the region will benefit from Government of Canada investments in Blue Sky Net and the City of North Bay. This FedNor funding will help Northeastern Ontario harness the power of technology and innovation to support business and economic growth, create jobs and attract and retain skilled workers. Today’s announcement will help businesses enhance their productivity and competitiveness, leading to more good-paying jobs that support local families and strengthen our regional economy.”

As part of the announcement, FedNor funding of $1,034,050 will support the ongoing operations of Blue Sky Net (BSN) for a three-year period, enabling the organization to deliver a variety of information and communications technology (ICT) activities in the Nipissing–Timiskaming, Sudbury East, Manitoulin and Parry Sound East regions. As part of the initiative, BSN will work with local stakeholders to assess ICT trends and talent gaps and identify and implement solutions to increase skilled talent to support digital industries. They will also coordinate local and regional broadband deployment and help increase digital technology adoption and awareness.

Susan Church, Executive Director of Blue Sky Net says, “This strong show of support from FedNor and the Government of Canada demonstrates confidence in our work to spur innovation, support skills training and help businesses adopt new technologies and processes. The funding announced today will help us improve connectivity and access to technology for business and residential consumers by expanding infrastructure, increasing knowledge, developing applications and investing in businesses.”

The remaining $76,760 is helping the City of North Bay develop and implement a workforce attraction and retention strategy designed to support North Bay employers. This two-year pilot project provides employers with access to human resources (HR) support and will focus on four key areas: identifying current resources; developing tools and training; providing one-on-one HR support; and hosting virtual job fairs and recruitment events. This project collaborates with local workforce organizations including the Workforce Planning Board (Labour Market Group), Employment Service Agency (YES Employment), Social Services Administration Board, North Bay & District Chamber of Commerce and career centres within North Bay post-secondary institutions.

Peter Chirico, Mayor of the City of North Bay says, “North Bay businesses are growing and our workforce attraction and retention strategy is helping them find skilled workers and address related challenges. We are pleased that FedNor recognizes the importance of this pilot project and the results our partnership initiative will deliver in the form of jobs, growth and a thriving business sector.”

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