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Feds loan $30 million to 8 Waterloo tech companies

Melanie Joly made the announcement on Wednesday morning.
Melanie Joly made the announcement on Wednesday morning. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang

The federal government announced funding to boost Waterloo Region’s tech sector.

Economic Development Minister Melanie Joly said Wednesday the funding will be close to $30 million in eight tech companies in the Waterloo Region.

Read more: Canada’s biggest companies getting new loans, financing to weather COVID-19

“This will create 500 new jobs and will also maintain 300 jobs,” she said during an online announcement.

“We wanted to make sure that we would invest in key companies that had a lot of potential … to make sure that we would protect the jobs, but also (so) that we could help them scale and create new jobs,” she said.

An aide told Global News that money will be loaned to the eight firms.

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Joly said the measures are also being made to protect Canadian companies that could be vulnerable to foreign takeovers during the pandemic.

Among the other moves, the federal government is ensuring firms have access to the wage subsidy and CIBA accounts and the IRA program, she said.

Read more: Coronavirus: Ottawa to keep closer eye on foreign takeovers to protect Canadian firms

“My colleague, (Minister of Innovation, Science and Industry Navdeep) Bains, who’s in charge of the Investment Canada Act, has clearly stated that there would be some heightened obligations on the part of foreign companies because we want to make sure that we protect our Canadian tech startups and Canadian companies,” Joly said.

The eight companies are in barbecue manufacturing and medical, information and communications technology.

The biggest slice of the pie went to Axonify, which will receive $7.2 million, followed by Onward Manufacturing ($6.1 million), and Dejero Labs ($5 million).

The other companies are Intellijoint Surgical ($4.8 million), SSIMWAVE ($4.2 million), KA Imaging ($1 million), TeTechS ($700,000) and Shimco North America Inc. ($676,000).