Tag Archives: Government of Canada

FedNor pledges funds for NORCAT’s surface facility, technology hub

FedNor, the Government of Canada’s economic development organisation for Northern Ontario, has pledged C$519,000 ($393,468) of investment to help the Northern Centre for Advanced Technology (NORCAT) continue to deliver its services to local entrepreneurs as well as implement an important new technology development project.

As part of this total, C$429,000 was provided through FedNor’s Regional Relief and Recovery Fund to assist NORCAT in bridging the financial gap caused by COVID-19. Specifically, the funding is helping to keep the organisation’s staff working and construction on track for the innovation centre’s state-of-the-art surface facility at its Underground Testing Centre, in Greater Sudbury.

The remaining C$90,000 will help NORCAT establish a technology hub to accelerate software, gaming, and app development in Greater Sudbury, FedNor said. Once fully operational, the new incubation space will help local tech entrepreneurs start-up, scale-up and access new markets.

Back in July 2019, FedNor agreed to invest C$1.4 million in the surface facility.

“Innovation centres are important hubs of technology, research and subject-matter expertise where knowledge is shared, and ideas and concepts can transform into viable business ventures,” FedNor said. “As our economy recovers from the impacts of COVID-19, the Government of Canada is working hard to ensure Northern Ontario innovation centres and the entrepreneurs they support, are well positioned to take part in our nation’s economic recovery.”

Don Duval, CEO, NORCAT, said: “NORCAT is proud to partner with the Government of Canada, through FedNor, to ensure technology, innovation and skills training can continue to thrive in the region.

“As Northern Ontario’s largest innovation centre, we are thankful that the investment from the Regional Relief and Recovery Fund will allow us to maintain our operations, keep our community members working and allow us to continue building on our strategic initiatives to accelerate the growth of innovative companies that will drive future economic and social prosperity for Canada.”

Canada provides investment for clean oil and gas projects in Alberta

The Government of Canada has announced C$72.3 million ($54.4 million) in funding for three clean technology projects in Alberta’s oil and gas sector.

The recipients, Canadian Natural Resources Ltd and Titanium Corp, are working on an in-pit extraction process that separates oil sands ore into solids, bitumen and water; new steam turbine generator technology to help produce power for its facilities; and a technology designed to remediate oil sands tailings.

Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, Amarjeet Sohi, said: “These projects provide Alberta’s oil and gas sector with solutions that will help reduce pollution, drive clean innovation and create good jobs.

“Accelerating clean technology development is a key component of our government’s approach to promoting sustainable economic growth as Canada moves toward a low-carbon economy.”

As part of the funding, which will reportedly leverage more than C$415 million in investments, Canada Natural will receive C$5 million from the Clean Growth Program (CGP) to further develop an in-pit extraction process that separates oil sands ore into solids, bitumen and water at its Horizon oil sands mine site. This will reduce the number of diesel trucks and the amount of power needed, according to the government. At the same time as this, Emissions Reduction Alberta is investing C$5.6 million to support this project through its Oil Sands Innovation Challenge.

Canadian Natural will also receive C$22.3 million from the Low Carbon Economy Fund (LCEF) for a new steam turbine generator technology for power production at its Athabasca oil sands project (AOSP) facility. This new technology is expected to reduce emissions. The AOSP is owned by Canadian Natural, Chevron Canada Ltd and Shell Canada Ltd.

Titanium Corp, meanwhile, will receive a total of C$45 million from the CGP and LCEF for a technology designed to remediate oil sands tailings at Canadian Natural’s Horizon oil sands site. “The project has the potential to create a new high-value minerals industry for Western Canada by facilitating the recovery of valuable minerals (zircon and titanium-bearing minerals) from oil sands tailings,” the government said. An additional C$10 million has been committed by Emissions Reduction Alberta to further support this project, it added.

Tim McKay, President of Canadian Natural Resources, said: “Canadian Natural, and Canada’s oil and natural gas sector, recognise the need to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensities and we have been able to leverage technology and Canadian ingenuity to deliver significant results. In fact, Canadian Natural’s Horizon oil sands operations has reduced our GHG intensity by 31% from 2012 to 2017. At today’s production levels, that’s equivalent to taking 665,000 cars off the road.

“Canada’s oil and natural gas should be considered a premium product and have a major role for decades to come in providing responsibly produced, low GHG-intensity oil and natural gas to growing economies while reducing overall global GHG emissions.”

Scott Nelson, President and Chief Executive Officer, Titanium Corporation, said: “This significant funding commitment from the Government of Canada is a critical step in advancing the first implementation of our Creating Value from Waste™ clean technology. Government and industry support and collaboration has been invaluable in moving our project forward and developing this made-in-Canada solution for the benefit of all stakeholders.”

The Creating Value from Waste project at Canadian Natural’s Horizon oil sands site includes a design for a commercial scale plant that entails building a new facility next to existing bitumen froth treatment plants and applying a secondary stage of treatment before the waste from froth treatment enters the tailings pond. The Creating Value from Waste tailings remediation technologies are designed to reduce the environmental footprint of tailings ponds by recovering valuable bitumen, solvents and minerals, resulting in a cleaner tailings stream.

Natural Resources Canada’s CGP is a C$155-million investment fund that helps to advance emerging clean technologies toward commercial readiness so natural resource operations can further reduce their impacts on air, land, and water, while enhancing competitiveness and creating jobs.

The LCEF is divided into two parts:

  • The Leadership Fund provides up to C$1.4 billion to provinces and territories to leverage investments in projects and programmes that will generate clean growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions to support the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change;
  • The Challenge component provides over C$500 million in funding to support projects that leverage ingenuity across the country to reduce emissions and generate clean growth. The Challenge is being delivered through two streams:
    • The Champions stream, valued at C$450 million, was open to provinces, territories, municipalities, Indigenous communities and organisations, businesses and not-for-profit organisations;
    • The Partnerships stream, valued at C$50 million, was launched on December 20, 2018, and is targeting smaller applicants, including small businesses, not-for-profit organisations, smaller municipalities and Indigenous communities and organisations.

Canada government backs mine rehabilitation plan

The Government of Canada has invested C$184,000 ($138,978) in a climate change project that, the government says, lays the groundwork for the rehabilitation of the country’s abandoned and orphaned mines.

This project, led by the Mining Innovation Rehabilitation and Applied Research Corporation, will develop a comprehensive approach for evaluating rehabilitation plans for abandoned mines through a review of 15-20 sites in Ontario and the Northwest Territories, including an in-depth review of three sites, the government said.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to ensure that rehabilitation plans for today’s abandoned mines will address the climate change risks of tomorrow, while protecting the health and safety of Canadians as we enhance our stewardship of the land around us,” the government said.

Paul Lefebvre, Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Amarjeet Sohi, Canada’s Minister of Natural Resources, announced the investment: “Our government is supporting projects that help us expand our understanding of the impacts of climate change,” he said. “With this knowledge, we can help ensure today’s plans for abandoned and orphaned mine rehabilitation will reduce the climate-change risks of tomorrow.”

Today’s announcement supports the objectives of the Adaptation and Resilience pillar of the Pan-Canadian Framework on Clean Growth and Climate Change by turning scientific information and traditional knowledge into action, the government said. It is funded through Natural Resources Canada’s Climate Change Adaptation Program.

Zeal Motor Inc brings off-road FAT TRUCK to mine utility vehicle market

Zeal Motor Inc has launched the FAT TRUCK™, the first in a series of industrial off-road utility vehicles specifically designed for the transportation of personnel and materials in difficult terrains.

Recently established in the Bromont industrial park, Quebec, Zeal Motor said production of the FAT TRUCK, which will create 15 jobs in the manufacturing plant, should lead to solid future growth. The project has required an initial investment of C$1.5 million ($1.13 million).

The startup received C$573,300 in financial assistance from the Government of Quebec and the Government of Canada, which will allow it to grow and quickly break into the market, the Canada Economic Development for Quebec Regions (CED) said in a press release.

The CED added that the FAT TRUCK would meet the requirements of energy providers and mining companies.

Zeal Motor said: “The founders, Maxim O’Shaughnessy, Benoit Marleau and Amine Khimjee, all three experts in the field of industrial vehicles, are pursuing their mission of creating innovative products in this specialty market segment.”

O’Shaughnessy, President of Zeal Motor, said: “Until now, there is no efficient solution meeting the requirements and safety standards of the industrial sector. FAT TRUCK will address the specific needs of contractors working on power lines, pipelines, telecommunications and wind farms. Moreover, FAT TRUCK will become an essential vehicle for search and rescue.”

The US, Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian countries represent the company’s main target markets, it said, with several customers and international dealers having already shown a “keen interest”.

Through its Programme Exportation, the Government of Quebec granted Zeal Motor C$54,300 to help with the implementation of an international marketing strategy. In addition, Investissement Québec offered the company a C$150,000 loan guarantee.

The Government of Canada granted the business C$369,000 in financial assistance. The National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program provided a non-repayable contribution of up to C$150,000 for a research and development project to support Zeal Motor Inc. in developing a prototype model of this new type of vehicle.

For its part, CED granted the company a repayable contribution of C$219,000 under the Quebec Economic Development Program, which allowed Zeal Motor to finalise product development (final drawings, certification, patent) and launch marketing activities in Canada and the US.

Northern Ontario set for Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development

Manitoulin area residents, entrepreneurs, First Nations and communities are being encouraged to increase their participate in northern Ontario’s mining and minerals industry, as well as the aquaculture and business sectors, through a series of Government of Canada investments totalling more than C$3.4 million ($2.6 million).

The FedNor funding is aimed at supporting five initiatives that, among other things, will enable Waubetek Business Development Corporation to establish and operate a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Mineral Development for four years. Other funding recipients include LaCloche and Manitoulin Business Assistance Corp, Sheshegwaning First Nation and March of Dimes Canada.

Paul Lefebvre, Member of Parliament for Sudbury, made the announcement this week on behalf of Navdeep Bains, the Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development, and Minister responsible for FedNor.

“The goal of the Centre for Indigenous Mineral Development is to enhance the participation of the indigenous people in the mines industry, as well as to assist industry and government through information sharing and best practice protocols with Indigenous engagement,” the government said. “Access to information will help employers and prospective employees fill or secure jobs, and facilitate networking and business development opportunities.”

Martin Bayer, Chair, Waubetek Business Development Corporation, said: “In 2015, at the request of First Nation leaders throughout our region, Waubetek developed and launched a mining strategy that would help ensure meaningful engagement, build capacity and create much needed employment for our First Nation people and help foster more Indigenous businesses opportunities in the mining industry. The strategy was developed through engagement sessions with our community rights holders.

“Our First Nations’ primary interest is to ensure that we are adequately consulted when it comes to mining and exploration within our traditional territories and to ensure that we have more opportunities to participate in the benefits that might come from this development in a sustainable way, including meaningful jobs, business opportunities, joint management and care of the lands on which these projects operate.

“A Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development would help our communities build capacity and advance our interests and build a clearinghouse of industry information about things like leading practices and processes that are needed by our First Nations. We are grateful that FedNor also sees the benefits of helping to establish a Centre of Excellence for Indigenous Minerals Development.”