Refocused Northern Ontario Heritage Fund
The McGuinty government is refocusing the mandate of the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC) to advance its Northern Prosperity Plan goals of fostering job creation and strengthening northern communities.
The NOHFC is a flagship government program that supports regional economic and community development and responds directly to northern challenges. An operational service agency chaired by the Minister of Northern Development and Mines, its board of directors is drawn from regions and sectors across the North.
The NOHFC was created in 1988 to stimulate small-business growth, assist single-industry communities, foster development of new technology, support long-term economic growth and encourage diversification of the northern economy. In 1996, it was redirected toward infrastructure and development opportunities. Private sector companies could no longer apply for funding.
Now, the newly refocused NOHFC will return to working with northern entrepreneurs, companies and business organizations while, at the same time, continuing to support vital infrastructure and community development projects that enhance quality of life and stimulate economic activity.
To help create jobs and foster growth in the northern economy, the NOHFC will deliver targeted programs under the following new themes:
- Enterprises North Job Creation Program
- Northern Ontario Young Entrepreneur Program
- Northern Ontario Youth Internships and Co-op Program
- Infrastructure and Community Development Program
Emerging Technologies and Telecommunications
- Assistance Supporting Emerging Technology Projects in Northern Ontario
Energy Conservation Opportunities
- The Small Business Energy Conservation Program
These NOHFC programs will not duplicate or replace other initiatives but instead will complement other provincial programs and strengthen Northern Ontario's communities and economy. They will work with other government initiatives as part of the Northern Prosperity Plan to increase the number of sustainable jobs and private sector employment opportunities available in Northern Ontario.
Details of the new NOHFC programs and application booklets will be released early in the new year.
This initiative builds on other Northern Prosperity Plan initiatives underway, such as:
- $256 million for the Northern Highways Program
- A renewed Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC)
- Northern Development Councils
- The Ontario Mineral Industry Cluster Council, which is working to foster a rising standard of living from Ontario's mineral industry and win more prosperity for communities.