It’s unlikely that military ships or helicopters will be built in Northern Ontario any time soon.  However, that doesn’t mean that the region can’t supply components for them.

The five major northern cities are working together to get fabrication businesses that supply mining and forestry to get in on also supplying the defence sector.

Ross MacDonald is a business development specialist with the Timmins Economic Development Corporation.  He says these companies probably don’t realize the potential.

“So there could be opportunities for companies that maybe fabricate specialized products for the mining sector, forestry sector to modify their processes to supply these smaller components and services to go into the larger project,” MacDonald says.

“The opportunities might not be readily obvious, but I do think that there’s a lot of expertise in our region that our companies provide the mining sector.  Those kinds of same requirements can easily be transferable to the defence sector.”

The government funded effort will last for three years.  MacDonald says that using northern products will help primary defence contractors fulfill their requirement for Canadian content.