PM launches new Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario
August 13, 2021

– Prime Minister Stephen Harper officially launched the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario) today.  The launch is the final step in fulfilling a key commitment in the Harper Government’s Economic Action Plan.

“The global recession has created challenges in every region of our country, including Southern Ontario,” said the Prime Minister.  “This is a region with distinct needs, and the people of Southern Ontario deserve economic programs delivered in ways specifically tailored to their own priorities.  FedDev Ontario is one more tool to ensure that workers and businesses in Southern Ontario have the resources they need to succeed.”

The Harper Government is already investing in the region, including a partnership with the province to expand Highway 8, a vital transportation link.  Construction is underway, creating local jobs and opportunities.  When complete, it will make driving in the region easier, safer and faster.

The Prime Minister also announced his intent to have Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear assume responsibility for the Agency and that B.A. (Bruce) Archibald has been appointed Agency President.  In the coming weeks, Minister of State Goodyear will embark on a major tour of Southern Ontario to engage workers, businesses and community leaders.

“I look forward working with provincial and municipal leaders, business and non-profit organizations, universities and colleges throughout dynamic and diverse Southern Ontario,” said Minister of State Goodyear.  “We all share a common goal – a southern Ontario that attracts and keeps the jobs of the future.”
The Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario will be Canada’s fifth regional development organization.  A sixth regional development organization for Canada’s North is also planned.

FedDev Ontario will support restructuring, community and business development, innovation and commercialization initiatives as well as other measures to promote economic diversification.  It builds on the significant investments already being implemented through Canada’s Economic Action Plan.

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Highway 8 - improving highway infrastructure and
creating jobs in Southern Ontario

Infrastructure investment stimulates economic growth, creates jobs, supports stronger communities and enhances the overall prosperity of Ontarians.

On June 15, 2021 the governments of Canada and Ontario announced they were providing funding to make improvements to Highway 8, outside of Kitchener in Southern Ontario.  This is a priority project for funding under the Government of Canada’s 2009 Economic Action Plan, and the Government of Ontario’s 2009 Budget.

With a total project cost of $70 million, the governments of Canada and Ontario have each set aside up to 50 percent of total eligible costs, to a maximum contribution of $35 million each.

This investment is for the final phase of improvements to Highway 8 between Highway 7/8 (Conestoga Parkway) and Highway 401.  The first phase covered a six kilometre stretch of Highway 8, including the addition of new lanes, twinning of the bridge over the Grand River, highway resurfacing and the construction of bus bypass shoulders on northbound and southbound lanes from Grand River to Sportsworld Drive. 


The Honourable Gary Goodyear
Minister of State (Science and Technology) (FedDev Ontario)

Gary Goodyear was first elected to the House of Commons in 2004 and was re-elected in 2006 and 2008.  On October 30, 2008, he was appointed Minister of State (Science and Technology) by Prime Minister Stephen Harper.  Prior to entering federal politics, he practised chiropractic medicine and worked as an advisor to investment firms in the biomedical industry. 

Former Public Relations Director and Past President of the College of Chiropractic Sports Sciences in Toronto, Dr. Goodyear taught at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College and the University of Waterloo.  He was co-designer of a three-year post-graduate sports fellowship program and co-author of “Practice Guidelines.”  He has worked with many athletes, both amateur and professional, and served as medical services chair of the Ontario Special Olympics.

Dr. Goodyear attended the University of Waterloo, specializing in kinesiology and psychology, before graduating from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.  He worked his way through university as a meat packer, labourer and janitor.

A native of Cambridge, Ontario he is married to Valerie and they have two children.  He enjoys scuba diving, writing and rebuilding motorcycles.


B.A. (Bruce) Archibald


PhD, Environmental Toxicology (with distinction), University of Guelph
Master of Science, Physiology/Biochemistry, University of Guelph
Bachelor of Science, Agriculture (Honours), University of Guelph


Since 2009
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Economic Development and Trade, Government of Ontario

2008 - 2009
Deputy Minister, Ministry of International Trade and Investment, Government of Ontario

2005 - 2008
Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario

2003 - 2005
Assistant Deputy Minister, Research, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada

2000 - 2003
Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy and Farm Finance Division, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Government of Ontario

1998 - 2000
Assistant Deputy Minister, Science and Technology Division, Ministry of Energy, Science and Technology, Government of Ontario

1996 - 1998
Director, Laboratory Services Division, Associate Professor, Department of Environmental Biology, University of Guelph

Acting Executive Assistant to the Deputy Minister, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario

1995 - 1996
Director, Crop Technology and Western Region, Agricultural Division, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario

Acting Director, Horticultural Research Institute of Ontario, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario

1993 - 1995
Manager, Environmental and Plant Health Programs, Agricultural and Food Laboratory Services Branch, Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs, Government of Ontario


Canada’s Economic Action Plan



In Canada’s Economic Action Plan, the Harper Government committed to providing short‑term stimulus to communities hard hit by the recession while delivering long-term funding designed to promote economic growth, job creation and innovation.  Budget 2009 provided $1 billion over five years for a new economic development agency for Southern Ontario.

On August 13, 2021 Prime Minister Stephen Harper formally launched the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).  This new agency is charged with delivering federal government economic development programs tailored to the specific priorities of workers, businesses and communities in Southern Ontario.

The Prime Minister announced his intent to have Minister of State (Science and Technology) Gary Goodyear assume responsibility for the Agency and that B.A. (Bruce) Archibald will serve as the agency’s first President.  Further announcements on the staffing and location of district offices are to be expected throughout the fall.

In its first year of operation, FedDev Ontario will focus on putting economic development programs into action.  The Agency will assess immediate opportunities and needs, and then bridge into broader program initiatives once the agency is fully operational. 

FedDev Ontario and Industry Canada will work with community stakeholders to identify and support projects that address current economic challenges. 

The Agency will initially use existing programs and partnerships to expedite the provision of funds.  This will start money flowing immediately into Southern Ontario communities and businesses.

Funding in the first year will be approximately $206 million, including operating costs, focused on three priority areas:   Economic development, diversification and community development.

The Southern Ontario Development Program has been established to promote economic development, economic diversification and job creation.  A core program, it will deliver close to $100 million in funding over 2009-10. 

FedDev Ontario will help Southern Ontario communities diversify their local economies, including into a wider range of value-added and technology driven products and services.  It will provide the tools for its partners in the region to build on their strengths, positioning Southern Ontario to succeed in the knowledge-based economy. 


Southern Ontario programs to be administered by, or in conjunction with, FedDev Ontario include:

Community Adjustment Fund in Ontario

The Community Adjustment Fund (CAF) is a short-term economic stimulus for communities impacted by the global recession.  Part of Canada's Economic Action Plan, the Fund supports projects that create jobs and maintain employment in and around communities that have been most severely affected by the economic downturn.
Funding is available for eligible projects that can be completed before March 31, 2010.   Applications for 2010-2011 CAF project funds will be accepted by FedDev Ontario later this year. 

National Research Council – Industrial Research Assistance Program
The National Research Council’s Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP) stimulates wealth creation for Canada through technological innovation.   It provides financial and technological assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises, targeting those engaged in research, development, adaptation, adoption, or commercialization of innovative products, services or processes.

IRAP already has $67.3 million in funds available, and  will receive an additional $27.5 million to further build the innovative capacities of Southern Ontario’s small and medium-sized enterprises.   

Community Futures Program

Ontario’s Community Futures Program will receive an additional $30M from the Community Adjustment Fund in 2009-2010.  The Community Futures Program assists rural and northern communities to strengthen and diversify their economies.

1The Program is implemented through Community Futures Development Corporations (CFDCs), located in communities across the province, including 37 in rural Southern Ontario.  Small and medium-sized enterprises as well as non-profit organizations can receive repayable financing and important support services.

Business Development Bank of Canada

The Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC) will invest a total of $50 million in Southern Ontario through venture capital firms and the BDC’s own programs. These funds will help develop a high-performing, sustainable venture capital industry in the region. 

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