SUDBURY -- Canada's Minister of Economic Development, Melanie Joly, is on a fact-finding tour of the country, hearing from various people and groups.

On Monday, Joly was in Sudbury focusing on funding opportunities where Ottawa can help support business ventures.

Joly is also the federal minister in charge of tourism, and sees good things in that area for northern Ontario.

"I think that in the past, tourism was quite snubbed by the federal government, and I decided, along with my team, to make sure to create a new federal strategy. We've invested $65 million in new projects, and I'm happy to see that many businesses across northern Ontario were able to get some funding, but I think that we need to do more. We'll be announcing also regional development investment groups to make sure that along with Destination Canada and FedNor, and also with the BDC (Business Development Bank of Canada) and EDC (Export Development Canada), we can see how we can attract private capital to make sure we create really a strong tourism sector. And so I'll be continuing to work on that," said Joly.

Joly says northern Ontario is in a good position to grow its tourism industry.

"Sometimes we have a feeling, and I think, you know, a lot of people have that feeling that the federal government is very far.  At the end of the day, we need to make sure that we are closer to people's needs and people's realities. People across the country and especially here in northern Ontario, should know that the federal government has their back. And so, we've done a lot of work to support entrepreneurs, a lot of work to make sure that business leaders can invest and create new jobs. We've created 1.1 million jobs over the past four years, but success has been uneven across the country and we need to make sure that Canadians know that we've got their back," said Joly.