Northern Policy Institute
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North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data

Statistics Canada’s recently developed concept of the metropolitan influenced zone (MIZ) disaggregates rural areas into four types of zones based on the degree of metropolitan influence, as indicated by the degree of commuting to any CMA or CA. A strong MIZ is one where at least 30 percent of the total employed labour force living in the census subdivision works in any CMA/CA urban core.

--- Bakhtiar Moazzami, author of 

It’s what you know (and where you can go): Human capital and agglomeration effects on demographic trends in Northern Ontario

New In November

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

Education Trends in Northern Ontario: Access to education remains a major barrier especially in rural and remote communities throughout the Northern Ontario. Making the Grade? Education Trends in Northern Ontario, written by policy analyst, Mike Commito, examines the trends in publicly available information about educational attainment and employment in Northern Ontario. Read the full commentary here.

The Importance of Interprofessional Care: Several government initiatives have occurred in the last fifteen years that point to the importance of interprofessional care as a strategy to improve access to health care. Northern Policy Institute's latest briefing note by Emily Donato investigates how interprofessional collaboration in health care can benefit rural and northern communities in the region. Read the full briefing note here.
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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

Drug strategy showing success: A large decrease in the number of intoxication-related arrests in Thunder Bay may be attributed to  the work of the Thunder Bay Drug Strategy. Read the full story.

Hospital launches NEO Kids Foundation: Health Sciences North has created a new foundation to raise funds for children's services, equipment and research. The NEO Kids Foundation will also work to build awareness for children's care needs. Read the full story.

‘Historic’ deal signed: The Master Education Framework Agreemnt was signed in Sault Ste. Marie by Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee of the Anishinabek Nation and Liz Sandals. The agreement between the province and Ontario First Nations is expected to advance the cause of aboriginal-run school boards and schools. Read the full story
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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North

Lessons from the Yukon for Northern Ontario? Tourism, First Nations and Regional Economic Development
Laurentian University will be hosting its next installment in the Goring Family Lecture Series: Lessons from the Yukon for Northern Ontario? Tourism, First Nations and Regional Economic Development. The lecture will take place on January 7th and will be presented by Justin Ferbey.

Ferbey currently occupies a deputy minister’s role as the President of the Yukon Development Corporation. He was previously the CEO of a First-Nation-owned economic development corporation known as the Carcross Tagish Management Corporation.

The purpose of the Goring Family Lecture Series is to bring eminent figures from academic circles, the business community, public life and the professions to Sudbury. Each lecture will focus on a different aspect of sustainable economic development and may draw on a variety of disciplines including, but not limited to, northern resource economies, social and economic issues related to development, issues related to northern design capacity, policy discussions and the global challenges of resource-based communities.

Admission to this lecture is free. To register and learn more, please click here.
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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities


Featured Municipality

Census District: Cochrane
Population: 5,090
Population Density: 51.6/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 2,401
Median Age: 45.1
Employment Rate: 57.5%
Participation Rate: 63.2%
Major Employment Industries: 
  • Manufacturing – 15.5%
  • Health care and social assistance – 15%
  • Retail trade – 13%
  • Construction – 10%
  • Accommodation and food services – 8%
Hearst has one of the highest percentages of francophone residents of any Northern Ontario community. Hearst is also host to one of Collège Boréal's campuses. Hearst has a vibrant art scene, as exemplified by the Place des arts de Hearst, home to many gallery shows and artistic events.

Couchiching First Nation

Featured First Nation

Census District: Rainy River
Population: 796
Population Density: 12.2/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 227
Median Age: 27.6
Employment Rate: 45%
Participation Rate: 53.2%
Major Employment Industries: 
  • Public Administration – 22%
  • Health care and social assistance – 17%
  • Accommodation and food services – 11%
  • Retail trade – 9%
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation – 9%

Couchiching First Nation is the "Gateway to Rainy Lake," located near Fort Frances. Couchiching has a rich history spanning centuries, and now features a variety of activities, events, and recreational facilities. In addition to its vast golf course, Couchiching First Nation also has a multi-functional arena where it hosts many events and sports activities.

*Based on 2011 Census and NHS data

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Jobs North

Employment and training opportunities in Northern Ontario

Northern Policy Institute is Hiring!

Our continued success depends on our commitment to the recruitment, retention and development of a talented and diverse team.  Northern Policy Institute is eager to connect with individuals who can make valuable contributions to our increasingly dynamic and innovative organization.  

We are currently accepting applications for the following positions: Researcher (Sudbury), Labour Market Analyst (Thunder Bay), Development & Public Relations Coordinator.

Find out more by visiting our Careers Page.

Monthly Polls

Your opinion can help direct Northern Policy Institute's research

Last Month's Poll Results

Winter is coming. What are your biggest concerns as you head out onto the roads in Northern Ontario?

  1. Proper snow removal – 75%
  2. Adequate salting – 12.5%
  3. Access to twinned highways – 12.5%
  4. Road Closures – 0%
  5. Access to rest areas or pullovers – 0%
  6. Other – 0%

This Month's Poll

Northern Ontario’s population is aging faster than the province as a whole, putting pressure on health care services. What is the best option to alleviate the demand for health care?:

Sneak Peek

Get an exclusive preview of our upcoming projects and publications

Supervised Injection Facilities:

An excerpt from an upcoming Northern Policy Institute paper

[…] A Supervised Injection Facility (also known as a Safe Injection Facility, a Safe-Injection Site, a Supervised Injection Site, Supervised Injection Center, SIF, SIS and other similar denotation), henceforth referred to as an SIF, is a legally-established and maintained facility where injection-drug users (Henceforth referred to as IDU) can self-medicate with drugs acquired before entry into the facility, while supervised by trained, medical personnel. In general, these facilities are highly regulated by their home governments, and require certain criteria to be met, often including that the users are not already visibly under the influence of intoxicants, (drugs, alcohol, etc) are not pregnant, and meet a certain age criteria, usually 18.There are often criteria for the total number of SIF in a region, but in spite of the strategic placement of these facilities, this can severely limit access for IDU, whose overall mobility may be limited. […]

---Excerpt from the upcoming paper, Supervised Injection Facilities by Alex Berryman.

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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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