Southern Ontario Spotlight - April 2020

Southern Ontario Spotlight



Government of Canada COVID-19 response

FedDev Ontario is here to help

FedDev Ontario is here to help

This is an unprecedented situation for all Canadians. FedDev Ontario is aware of the pressures that businesses, organizations and communities are facing as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We are taking action. We are answering calls and emails and finding ways to help.

This edition of the newsletter is dedicated to sharing information with our clients and stakeholders as we navigate this challenging time together.

For existing FedDev Ontario clients:

If COVID-19 is affecting your operations, you are encouraged to contact your project officer as you may be eligible for flexible arrangements.

For example, we are:

  • Considering alternative project activities and costs;
  • Accelerating the reimbursement of claims and advances;
  • Adjusting cashflows across fiscal years, adjusting project milestones and activities;
  • Extending 2019-2020 performance reporting deadlines to June 1, 2020.

For clients in repayment: we are applying a three-month deferral on repayments to June 30, 2020, to relieve some of the pressure you may be facing during this difficult time. Your project officer will work with you to formalize these deferrals into an amended repayment schedule and may explore other repayment strategies to meet your unique needs.

If you are a tourism operator or small- or medium-sized business or organization impacted by the sudden shifts in the economy, we can also help you navigate the support available. Please call your project officer, or if you are not an existing client, please call the FedDev Ontario office at 1-866-593-5505 .

Contact your local Community Futures Development Corporation to learn about COVID-19 response measures available to businesses in your region.

Additional support is detailed below and continues to be announced as the situation evolves.

You can also find information and resources like a self-assessment tool, stats and the latest updates on the new Government of Canada COVID-19 app.

The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan

The Government of Canada is closely monitoring the COVID-19 global challenge and its impact on business and workers, as well as the broader economy.

The Honourable Mélanie Joly, Minister of Economic Development and Official Languages and Minster responsible for FedDev Ontario, is working to support businesses and communities through this challenging time. Minister Joly is a member of the Cabinet Committee on the federal response to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), and has been engaging with businesses, workers, chambers of commerce and associations across the country to understand their needs and ensure they know that the regional development agencies are available to help guide them through the measures and flexibilities available. In our region, Minister Joly took part in the COVID-19 Virtual Business Support Forum Series hosted by the Burlington Chamber of Commerce, as well as a virtual meeting with the Oakville Chamber of Commerce, to discuss how best to support companies through this time of uncertainty.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has announced a number of new measures as part of the Government of Canada's COVID-19 Economic Response Plan, which builds on the more than $1 billion COVID-19 Response Fund in place to support all Canadians through this challenging time.

These measures included in the Economic Response Plan provide $27 billion in direct support to workers and businesses, plus $55 billion to meet liquidity needs of businesses and households through tax deferrals to help stabilize the economy.

The Plan includes:

  • A Business Credit Availability Program (BCAP) to support financing in the private sector through the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) and Export Development Canada (EDC). This includes:
  • A 75 percent wage subsidy for qualifying SMEs for up to three months;
  • The new Canada Emergency Response Benefit, which will provide $2,000 per month to qualified workers who have lost income because of the pandemic;
  • Deferral of income tax payments owing on or after March 18, as well as allowing businesses and the self-employed to defer GST/HST payments and duties owed for imports until June;
  • An Insured Mortgage Purchase Program;
  • Augmenting credit available to farmers and the agri-food sector through Farm Credit Canada;
  • Flexibility in the Canada Account limit to allow for additional support to businesses in exceptional circumstances;
  • Enhancing the Work-Sharing Program to help employers who are experiencing a downturn in business due to COVID-19 and their workers.

For more information, visit Government of Canada’s COVID-19 Economic Response Plan.

Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19

Canadian manufacturers needed to help combat COVID-19

Canada’s Plan to Mobilize Industry to fight COVID-19 builds on the COVID-19 Response Fund to support Canadian businesses to rapidly scale up production or re-tool their manufacturing lines to develop products made in Canada that will help in the fight against the virus.

The Plan includes direct support through the Strategic Innovation Fund to companies undertaking research and development on medical countermeasures including vaccines and medical supplies. It also includes the COVID-19 Challenge Program, led by the National Research Council of Canada, which brings together government, academic and private sector partners to help meet the needs for personal protective equipment, sanitization, diagnostic and testing products, therapeutics and disease tracking technology. It also taps into a national network of 1,800 members, and the support of Innovative Solutions Canada to help companies commercialize products more quickly.

Thousands of Canadian companies have offered their expertise and capacity to meet the country’s need for personal protective equipment and critical health supplies. This is an amazing testament to the innovation and support available across the country.

We are stronger when we work together.

If you are a Canadian manufacturer or business that can assist Canada in meeting the need for medical supplies, your help is needed. Click here to register your business.

If your innovations could help the Canadian health system respond to this crisis, click here to learn more about the NRC’s COVID-19 Challenge Program and to register.

The Ontario government has also created an online portal, Ontario Together, to identify the province’s supply challenges and solicit ideas, supplies and proposals from businesses to respond. Visit the portal to learn more and make an online submission. For more information, read Minister Fedeli’s memo.

Canada's plan to mobilize science to fight COVID-19

Canada's plan to mobilize science to fight COVID-19

On March 23, the Government of Canada announced $275 million in support for coronavirus research and large-scale efforts towards countermeasures. The funding will help to advance projects that are already underway by university researchers and others to respond to COVID-19, and ensure domestic supply of potential vaccines and treatments. Support includes:

  • $192 million for new projects that will be prioritized under the new Strategic Innovation Fund COVID-19 stream to deliver direct support to Canadian companies including biotech companies AbCellera and Medicago for large-scale projects;
  • $11 million for the University of Saskatchewan’s Vaccine and Infectious Disease Organization – International Vaccine Centre (VIDO-InterVac), one of the largest and most advanced infectious disease research facilities in the world;
  • $15 million for the National Research Council of Canada to upgrade its Human Health Therapeutics facility in Montréal to develop, test and scale-up promising vaccine candidates to be ready for industrial production; and
  • Support for BlueDot, a Toronto-based digital health firm with a first-of-its-kind global early warning technology for infectious diseases. The Government of Canada will use BlueDot’s disease analytics platform to monitor the spread of COVID-19 and inform decision-making.

These measures are part of a whole-of-government strategy to help ensure the capacity of Canada’s healthcare system, support international and domestic efforts, and mitigate the economic impacts on Canadians and Canadian business.

CME to catalogue companies interested in supporting COVID-19 response

CME to catalogue companies interested in supporting COVID-19 response

Manufacturing industry association Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters (CME) is supporting Canada’s response to COVID-19 by cataloguing companies interested in supporting the production of medical devices. CME is collecting information on companies and their capabilities in the following categories:

Current Manufacturers: Manufacturers of N95 masks, viral swabs, gloves, face masks, hand sanitizer, ventilators, medical devices, and isolation gowns;

Relevant Expertise: Companies with expertise that is relevant to medical machinery and supply. These could include clean-room manufacturing, fine metal tooling, etc.;

Research and Biotech: Manufacturers with expertise and facilities that can be used for testing, and or development of other research-related responses; and

Ancillary Support: Companies that can support those ramping up medical equipment production by adding to their supply chain or providing temporary labour support.

Companies seeking to be catalogued by CME can submit their information at


FedDev Ontario recipients support COVID-19 response

FedDev Ontario clients mobilize to supply personal protective equipment and medical supplies
FedDev Ontario clients mobilize to supply personal protective equipment and medical supplies

Niagara College representatives help load boxes containing more than 30,000 personal protective equipment donations for Niagara Health. Photo courtesy of Niagara College.

FedDev Ontario clients mobilize to supply personal protective equipment and medical supplies

Companies and organizations across the country are rapidly shifting their focus to help meet Canada’s growing demand for the necessary products and supplies to safely and properly treat COVID-19. The following FedDev Ontario-clients are some of the many contributing to the response through swift innovation:

Thank you to everyone for your incredible efforts.

New platform coordinates COVID-19 efforts across the province
New platform coordinates COVID-19 efforts across the province

OCE works in partnership with government, industry and academia to commercialize innovation and build a strong provincial economy.

New platform coordinates COVID-19 efforts across the province

Not-for-profit organization Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is calling on innovators to register for its new COVID-19 Collaboration Platform and collaborate to help meet the increasing demand for essential products and services. The Platform catalogues the capabilities, barriers and needs of participating companies so their efforts can be coordinated with other response initiatives from across the province. Among the requested items and services are N95 masks, gloves, gowns, and security, nursing, IT, food and laundry services.

Join the Collaboration Platform by completing a short intake form on the OCE website.

nGen invests $50 million to support companies responding to COVID-19
nGen invests $50 million to support companies responding to COVID-19

NGen leads Canada’s Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster, managing $230 million in funding from the Government of Canada to leverage Canada’s manufacturing and technology strengths to build world-leading advanced manufacturing capabilities.

nGen invests $50 million to support companies responding to COVID-19

Hamilton-based not-for-profit, Next Generation Manufacturing Canada (nGen), is investing $50 million in Supercluster funding to support Canadian manufacturers and companies as they produce technologies and products for Canada’s COVID-19 response. nGen’s program will fund the rapid production of critical healthcare products such as ventilators and peripherals, virus screening test kits, gloves, gowns, masks and sterilization chemicals and equipment. Funding will be available to Advanced Manufacturing Supercluster members across Canada for projects that can have an immediate impact in the next four to 12 weeks.

Companies looking for support in producing critical products to fight COVID-19 can register with nGen as a Supercluster member, review nGen’s COVID-19 Project Guide and indicate their interest at

Valley Heartland CFDC clients adapt to support COVID-19 efforts
Valley Heartland CFDC clients adapt to support COVID-19 efforts

Top Shelf Distillers is working around the clock to produce 20,000 units of hand sanitizer per week with its augmented production line.

Valley Heartland CFDC clients adapt to support COVID-19 efforts

Clients of the Valley Heartland Community Futures Development Corporation (CFDC) are quickly adapting their business processes to support response efforts and provide some sweet relief for those quarantined at home. FedDev Ontario supports the following businesses from Lanark County and North Leeds through the Community Futures Program:

  • Top Shelf Distillers will produce up to 20,000 bottles of hand sanitizer with ingredients supplied by funding recipient Shandex Soap (Perth Soap Co.);
  • Dairy Distillery transformed its operation to produce approximately 1,500 litres of hand sanitizer per week, even redistilling 10,000 bottles of finished Vodkow back into pure alcohol to  produce 4,000 litres of surface sanitizer; and
  • Four women entrepeneurs teamed up to create Bubbles & Bites, a new business offering trendy boxes of Kombucha or iced tea, baked goods and/or fruit pies, with online ordering and contactless delivery.

LinkedIn Highlights

If your business can help supply personal protective equipment (PPE) like gloves, masks and surgical gowns, sanitizer, wipes, ventilators and other medical equipment and supplies, let the Government of Canada know!

The Canadian Business Resilience Network will provide businesses with the tools they need to mitigate the impacts of #COVID19, as well as up-to-date information on federal government programs.

Learn more:

The #COVID19 Misinformation Dashboard by the Social Media Lab at Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University’ tracks and visualizes debunked coronavirus claims from a network of trusted fact-checkers from around the world.


Organizations like InkSmith, University of Waterloo, 3D Printing Canada, Ontario Tech University, Reko International Group Inc. and Niagara College Research & Innovation are using their facilities to make face shields and other gear to be used by health-care workers.

Visit the below sites for more on how you can help Canada meet the need for medical supplies:


COVID-19: Key resources

Latest updates, precautionary measures and travel advice
Coronavirus disease (COVID-19)

Latest updates, precautionary measures and travel advice

Business resources: COVID-19
Business resources: COVID-19

Resources for businesses affected by COVID-19

COVID-19 information

How FedDev Ontario is assisting southern Ontario businesses


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The Government of Canada is not responsible for the accuracy, currency, language or the reliability of the content nor does it endorse the sites.