Government of Canada investing nearly $1.4 million in the building construction sector in Northwestern Ontario
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Government of Canada investing nearly $1.4 million in the building construction sector in Northwestern Ontario


Federal funding will help support economic growth while addressing housing and industry demandsThe Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services, Minister responsible for FedNor, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Superior North, recently announced a FedNor investment of $1,380,000 in Smart Modular Canada, a Thunder Bay-based business that designs, manufactures, ships, and installs modular buildings. FedNor’s investment will help Smart Modular Canada expand operations. Minister Hajdu was joined by Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River, in making the announcement.This investment will support a quickly-growing business in a criticalsector, and will foster continued economic growth in Northern Ontario by supporting other sectors in the region. This initiative will allow Smart Modular Canada to meet market demands, which includes addressing housing gaps in First Nations communities and infrastructure needs in natural resource sectors such as mining and forestry.Smart Modular Canada also provides training programs that develop needed trade skills. The company has focused on youth in First Nation communities, offering training for the workers, as well as both mentoring and career opportunities in the construction industry.

This investment is anticipated to create 15 jobs and to triple production of modular homes while also reducing waste.

Quotes“Investing in housing construction innovators like Smart Modular is key to building more affordable housing. This investment will help scale up a one-of-a-kind Northern Ontario business. On top of creating good-paying jobs in the region, it also provides concrete support to remote and Indigenous communities that have important housing needs.”• The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for FedNor“This is a fantastic investment: it’s going to create jobs and build our economy by growing a local business. It will also help address a serious need as many communities in Thunder Bay and the surrounding district struggle with affordable housing. Smart Modular Canada provides a unique service in Northern Ontario, and so supporting them means not only a chance to multiply successes but also to fill a gap.”• Marcus Powlowski, Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay—Rainy River

“We are proud to partner with FedNor in building Northern Ontario. This investment is going to help us to keep expanding, to create new, high-skill jobs, and to meet the housing needs of the region.”• Bill Boulton, President of Smart Modular CanadaQuick facts


• Smart Modular Canada’s mission is to manufacture affordable, quality homes and buildings they can be proud of.• Smart Modular Canada is the only modular home manufacturing facility in Northwestern Ontario.* Their facility, equipment, and technology, as well as their highly-skilled workers, allow them to provide high-quality housing builds year round and more efficiently compared to on-siteconstructed.• The funds announced today are provided through FedNor’s Northern Ontario Development Program (NODP), through which FedNor invests in projects led by municipalities, First Nations, and other organizations and institutions that support community economic development, diversification, job creation and self-reliant communities in Northern Ontario.* Since 2015, FedNor has provided more than $314 million in NODP funding to support 894 projects across Northern Ontario.

Patty Hajdu, MP“ Smart Mod is an amazing local company that has integrated into the local economy and buys a lot of the product they are using to build their modular homes from local suppliers. Most importantly they are building housing solutions for First Nations communities, remote communities and can be transported even by ice road.We contribute to the First Nations communities to be able to help them purchase these homes.”“ There is no one silver bullet to end the housing crisis either in theFirst Nations communities or off, but every little bit helps. This company has over 25 skilled people employed which helps our local economy. This is a win win situation.”

Marcus Powlowski, MP>“ This is a great industry for NW Ontario because we produce so much wood locally, so why not use the wood locally and not export those jobs to Southern Ontario or the US or somewhere else. The wood comes from either Atikokan or the local Resolute sawmill and other raw materials locally. This is a good advantage for NW Ontario. The whole idea of Federal investment is we put some money in but that money multiplies and creates jobs locally and won’t disappear.”“ Having a better supply of housing is critical especially in smaller communities where it is harder to get local contractors to go to. We are trying to address the housing crisis as a government. Traditionally the province is most involved in housing but there has been times when the Federal government has been more involved as well.”

Bill Boulton, Smart Modular Canada“ These funds will really help us. We learned pretty quickly when we started three years ago that in order to get more houses out the door and with the quality we want, we needed to automate. Now we have C & C equipment in order to build our own cabinets in house, where before we had to buy them from out of the province. Also we are going to build more components and vertically integrate everything in the building so we don’t depend on outside sources which is very important.”“We have 12 to 14 houses at a time going through the plant and try to get one out every 2 1/2 days out the other end.We want to double that. We design build and install modular buildings.“Three years ago we opened this business with 6 people in a small section of this building. We got more and more orders and with in months took over the entire 76,000 square foot building.We have had great support along the way.”“ When we get the automation in place by April,we will build the house in reverse of what we are doing now. The floor will be built first and it will move down the shop floor. The exterior walls will all be built separately including drywall etc. and then will be assembled with a crane system inside wall first, then outside and roof and then finish the inside. By having many of the components prefinished it will speed up the process.”

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