Northern Policy Institute
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North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data

Youth Participation, Employment, and Unemployment:
Canada, Ontario, and Northwestern Ontario

There are some positive signs. In recent years youth participation and employment rates have been slightly higher than provincial and national levels. Additionally, 
           youth unemployment in the region has generally been
lower than in Ontario and Canada.

--- James Cuddy, author of Settling Down in the Northwest: Stability and Opportunity in the Northwestern Ontario Labour Market

New In July

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

Federal Economic Agenda for Ontario: The Mowat Centre, in partnership with Northern Policy Institute, has released their paper: A Federal Economic Agenda for Ontario. The paper outlines 33 recommendations across six key issue areas with a focus on policy steps the federal government can take to help Ontario grow. 
Read the full Research Report here.

Policy in a Pub: Northern Policy Institute, the Thunder Bay Community Economic Development Commission and The Centre of Excellence for Sustainable Mining and Exploration partner to bring our very first Policy in a Pub event to Thunder Bay. Guest speaker John van Nostrand led a discussion about Canada’s future, arguing in favour of a second wave of investment and immigration into Canada’s north in order to rebuild the nation. Watch his presentation here.
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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

Timmins Economy Performing Well This Year: The Conference Board of Canada predicts continued economic growth for Timmins in 2016, with an estimated growth in GDP of 2.4% this year and 2.3% in 2016. Read the full story.

Thunder Bay Housing Starts Jump Upward in June: Housing starts in Thunder Bay, Census Metropolitan Area (CMA) were trending at 116 units in June, up from 107 units in May according to Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC). Read the full story.

Federal Government Invests in Downtown Sioux Lookout: Downtown revitalization continues in Sioux Lookout with improvements to its downtown area after receiving federal funding for a portion of the $2 million project.
Read the full story.
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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North

How Adaptive Reuse Is Changing Sault Ste. Marie’s Mill Square
What was once an old paper mill has now become a burgeoning "cultural hub" for Sault Ste. Marie, ON due to adaptive reuse, says Northern Policy Institute intern Mandy-Jean Masse. Thanks to private investment in 2012, in place of St. Mary's Paper now stands Sault Ste. Marie's Mill Square, which "houses artists, entrepreneurs and businesses, while also being headquarters to the Algoma Conservatory of Music and Algoma University Fine Arts department."

 Mill Square now stands as an example of the potential that adaptive reuse has in renewing and growing Northern Ontario communities.

Read Mandy-Jean Masse's blog on how adaptive reuse is changing Mill Square here.
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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities


Featured Municipality

Census District: Cochrane
Population: 8,196
Population Density: 97.4/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 4,049
Median Age: 47.7
Employment Rate: 54.1%
Participation Rate: 57.3%
Major Employment Industries: Retail trade, Health care and social assistance, Construction, Educational services, Manufacturing
Kapuskasing is host to a variety of festivals, including its annual Lumberjack Heritage Festival. The event, which celebrates its 16th birthday this year, includes log rolling competitions, live entertainment, and a variety of street vendors. The festival also features bull-riding and other rodeo-style attractions.

Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve

Featured First Nation

Census District: Manitoulin
Population: 2,592
Population Density: 6.3/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 1,139
Median Age: 32.2
Employment Rate: 39.6%
Participation Rate: 48.2%
Major Employment Industries: Health care and social assistance, Public administration, Educational services, Construction, Retail trade
As one of Ontario's largest First Nations reserves, Wikwemikong's annual cultural festival is a much-anticipated event, and is in fact one of the largest Pow-Wows of its kind in North America. The Wikwemikong Cultural Festival is a multi-day celebration that includes traditional Anishinaabe dancing, art, and cuisine, as well as drum competitions and interactive workshops.

*Based on 2011 Census and NHS data

Nominate Your Community

Monthly Polls

Your opinion can help direct Northern Policy Institute's research

Last Month's Poll Results

Rank the following issues from 1-7, with 1 being most important, and 7 being least important.

  1. Infrastructure – 24%
  2. Targeted Strategies for Sectors and Regions – 24%
  3. Workforce Development – 17%
  4. Federal Transfers – 12%
  5. Trade & Investment – 12%
  6. Innovation – 7%
  7. Immigration – 2%
These results come from responses to our Federal Economic Agenda feedback form. Read our proposed Federal Economic Agenda for Ontario.

This Month's Poll

Last month you told us that “infrastructure” was your number 1 policy issue. Now it is time to tell us what KIND of infrastructure is most needed.

Of the following infrastructure investments, choose which one you feel is most important:

Sneak Peek

Get an exclusive preview of our upcoming projects and publications

Two Visions:

An excerpt from an upcoming Northern Policy Institute paper

[…] I want to tell you the story of two visions. One of these visions will dominate the future of the Indigenous peoples of Northwestern Ontario. We can see examples of each vision every day in our cities and towns. I also want to tell you that we have the power to choose one of these visions, one of these futures. We can choose to do nothing and maintain a status quo that will result in a plethora of sociological and economic problems that our grandchildren will have to solve, or we can choose to face the root causes of those problems now, and bring proven strategies to bear that will disrupt a causal cycle that results in layers of dysfunction in our community. I want to tell you that we have a choice. I want to impress on you that we have the power to choose our future, but the tipping point, the point where one choice evaporates and the other dominates, the point of no return, is close at hand. […]

Excerpt from the upcoming paper, Supporting Teachers and Improving First Nations, Métis, and Inuit School Success in Provincially Funded Northwestern Ontario Schools: A Strategy for Change, by John A. Hodson and Julian Kitchen

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Northern Policy Institute is Northern Ontario's independent think tank.  We develop and promote research, evidence and policy opportunities to support the growth of sustainable northern Ontario communities.  

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