Northern Policy Institute
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February 18, 2016

North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data

Figure 2: Gold Prices in Canadian Dollars per Troy Ounce, 2005–15

 Since 2012, however, the price of gold has fallen, particularly when measured in globally traded US dollars. The price has not fallen as much when valued in Canadian dollars because of the recent depreciation of that currency against the US dollar.

—  Karl Skogstad and Ayman Alahmars, author of The Mining Industry in Northwestern Ontario: An Analysis of Recent Developments and the Strategy for Success

New In January

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

The Mining Industry in Northwestern Ontario: A new research report published by Northern Policy Institute examines nine potential mining projects that have been proposed in the North since 2010. According to authors, Karl Skogstad and Ayman Alahmar, the region could still see a renewed mining boom that was predicted three years ago if it prepares now for the next rise in commodity prices.
Read the full Research Report here.

Northern Reflections on 2015: Northern Policy Institute's senior policy analyst, Mike Commito, provides some “Northern Reflections” on 2015 and what 2016 may bring in his newest blog. Read the full Blog here.
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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

Angus presents $3.5-million plan to subsidize regional bus lines: Common Voice Northwest executive director Iain Angus presented a plan to the Kenora District Municipal Association that he sees as a solution to health-related travel across the region.
Read the full story.

Library Honoured: The Cochrane Public Library was honoured recently with the Minister's Award for Innovation Small Library Category. This provincial award was presented to Cochrane for their Next Chapter program. Read the full story.

A Supervised Safe Injection Site in Thunder Bay? (Français): A study to determine the feasibility of opening a supervised safe injection site will be undertaken in March. The study will include interviewing stakeholders and drug users to determine public attitudes towards a new safe injection site. Read the full story.
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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North

Cloverbelt Local Food Co-operative
The Cloverbelt Local Food Co-operative is a unique program that aims to increase food security in Northern communities by encouraging diverse and sustainable local food production. The Co-op is the first online-based food co-operative in Ontario, allowing members to order from food producers online. Cloverbelt has food pick-up locations across Northern Ontario, including its hub location in Dryden and other locations in Kenora, Sioux Lookout, Ignace, and Upsala.

 The Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op includes dozens of producers selling a wide variety of products, including meats, eggs, fruit, vegetables, bread, wine, beauty products, knit goods, and more. The Co-op is responsible for connecting these producers with individuals across the region and helping more Northerners embrace sustainable eating.

Read more about the Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op here.
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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities


Featured Municipality

Census District: Nipissing
Population: 820
Population Density: 0.4/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 1,224
Median Age: 53.3
Employment Rate: 45.3%
Participation Rate: 59.5%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Construction – 17%
  • Accommodation and food services – 15%
  • Public administration – 16%
  • Retail trade – 8%
The municipality of Temagami is full of varied wildlife and historical significance. Temagami houses some of the world's oldest rock formations, as well as artifacts and stone drawings dating back to 6000 B.C.

Garden River First Nation

Featured First Nation

Census District: Algoma
Population: 1,107
Population Density: 5.1km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 437
Median Age: 32.6
Employment Rate: 43.6%
Participation Rate: 50.6%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Public Administration – 26%
  • Arts, entertainment and recreation – 15%
  • Health care and social assistance – 11%
  • Construction – 9%
  • Retail trade – 6%
Located near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Garden River First Nation Reserve was officially created in 1850 with the signing of the Robinson-Treaty. The Garden River First Nation Community Centre is a community hub where various events are held, ranging from conferences and political meetings to educational workshops and social gatherings.

*Based on 2011 Census and NHS data

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Jobs North

Employment and training opportunities in Northern Ontario

Job Vacancies and Wages – Northeast Ontario
In the second quarter of 2015, of the 7,030 vacant jobs in Northeast Ontario, 38% of them are in the sales and service occupations, followed by trades, transport and equipment operators (21%) and occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (12%). See Figure 2.

Figure 2. Vacant occupations in Northeast Ontario, Q2 2015

Table 1 breaks down the specific number of vacancies as well as their average offered hourly wage for the position. It excludes any overtime, tips, commissions or bonuses associated with the position and represents the lowest value of pay range if the vacancy is being advertised with a pay range.
In Q2 2015, the highest average offered hourly wage rate in Northeastern Ontario was $28.65 among management occupations, while the lowest rate is $12.55 in sales and service occupations. The average offered rate of all vacant occupations was $17.15 per hour.

Table 1. Vacant Occupations and Average Offered Hourly Wage, Northeast Ontario, Q2 2015

Source: Statistics Canada, custom tabulation.

*Note that values do not sum to total due to suppressed data.

Monthly Polls

Your opinion can help direct Northern Policy Institute's research

Last Month's Poll Results

The number of jobs requiring post-secondary credentials continues to increase in Ontario. How should Northern Ontario keep up?

  1. Increase access to education (e.g., satellite classes, mobile classrooms, etc.) — 42.9%
  2. Reduce the stigma surrounding trades and college diplomas — 42.9%
  3. Culturally-tailored education for Indigenous people — 14.3%
  4. Other — 0%

This Month's Poll

Which northern issues should the federal government prioritize?

Sneak Peek

Get an exclusive preview of our upcoming projects and publications

The Northern Ontario Question:

An excerpt from an upcoming Northern Policy Institute paper on Northern Ontario governance

[…]  Northern Ontario is a remarkable oddity in world terms. If it were in Europe, it would be the largest member of the European Union. If it were in Russia, it would have a parliament of its own. Around the world, regions of similar size and or population generally have legislatures of their own.

Northern Ontario is an anomaly within Canada as well. If it were a province, it would be the third largest by area and the eighth largest by population, ahead Newfoundland (with Labrador) (Table 3). Its population is over seven times that of the three northern Territories together. Its Indigenous population alone is double that of any of Canada’s northern territories.

By comparison, tiny Prince Edward Island, with 18.8% of the population and 0.7 % of the area of Northern Ontario, has a 27 person legislative assembly equivalent to Ontario’s, its own bureau of statistics and a full complement of ministries.  […]

— Excerpt by David Robinson

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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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