Northern Policy Institute
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February 2017

North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data


Number of immigrants per 10,000 people, Northern Ontario Districts, 2014/2015

Source: Author’s calculations based on Statistics Canada, CANSIM database, tables 051-0062 and 051-0063.


While Greater Sudbury attracted 9.7 immigrants per 10,000 people in 2014/2015 - the highest number of attracted immigrants per capita compared to all census districts in Northern Ontario - they still remain well-below provincial levels of 64.8 immigrants per 10,000 people.

--James Cuddy and Dr. Bakhtiar Moazzami, authors of Northern Projections: Human Capital Series - Greater Sudbury


New In January

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

Northern Projections - Human Capital Series highlights all 11 districts in Northern Ontario, and is part of an ongoing, collaborative effort between Northern Policy Institute and Northern Ontario Workforce Planning Board to provide evidenced based analysis for effective decision making in the region. Reports will examine past and present characteristics and trends in each district’s economy in order to forecast future challenges and opportunities. This month, we featured Greater Sudbury and Rainy River District. Visit to read the full reports.


Policy Bytes: This month, Northern Policy Institute unveiled a new logo and name for our blog. Policy Bytes offers readers 3 types of blogs: educational, policy advice, and success stories. Content is evidence-based, solution-oriented, and readily accessible to the everyday reader. Every voice must be heard. Not only can Northern Policy Institute staff, volunteers and guest authors produce Policy Bytes to be published on the Northern Policy Institute website, we also invite you, the readers to write for us. Read our newest post here. 

Interested in writing for us? Click here to find out more about our Policy Bytes guidelines.


Lessons from the Yukon: What can Northern Ontario learn from a community 4,500 kilometres away? A new commentary from the Northern Policy Institute shares the challenges and successes of Carcross/Tagish First Nation (CTFN), a small community in the Yukon Territory as it makes efforts to grow a sustainable and inclusive economy. Read the full commentary here.


Opening Doors For You: An innovative new project led by the North Superior Workforce Planning Board, your Local Employment Planning Council (LEPC), in partnership with Northern Policy Institute, will help employers identify and access existing supports to hire individuals from these growing labour pools. Learn more here.

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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

New program helps northern Ontario students find jobs close to home: College graduates across northern Ontario can now work closer to home thanks to a free program called Stay North, launched in September 2015. Read the full story.

Thunder Bay hospital has open door policy to care partners, 24/7: Thunder Bay's hospital is now allowing 24/7 patient visits — but not everyone is allowed access. Read the full story.

Northern MPs calling for complete overhaul of FedNor: Talks have picking up since late November when MP Charlie Angus, the NDP FedNor critic, introduced a bill in the House of Commons aimed at strengthening FedNor by making it a standalone agency.
Read the full story.

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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North


With recently completed renovations, Zante’s Bar and Grill in New Liskeard, Ontario is a great place to spend an evening. The mother/son team of Mairead O’Shea and Sean Laferriere have created an atmosphere that welcomes sports fans, music fans, and lovers of local and regional cuisine alike.

Zante’s has several Ontario craft beers on tap as well as 3 local wines, with taps that aerate the wine as it is dispensed. They also serve local beef, including a whopping 35oz Tomahawk steak. Desserts, sides and sauces are also sourced locally where possible.

On evenings and weekends, Zante’s hosts events such as Trivia Night, Rotary Bingo, and “Beer ‘n’ Board Games”. Live music entertainment is also a regular occurrence, as is the airing of sports events including World Juniors hockey and NHL hockey in the winter, and MLB baseball in the summer.
For the latest updates about events and promotions at Zante’s, visit their Facebook page or follow them on Twitter.

For more information, visit their website.

Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting, August 2015
L to R: Patrick Smits, Diane Hilts, Mike McArthur, Darcy Griffith, Mairead O'Shea, Jeff Laferriere (behind),
Sean Laferriere, John Vanthof

Photo by Sue Nielsen
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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities

Census District: Rainy River
Population: 192
Population Density: 3.0/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 95
Median Age: 32.3
Employment Rate: 51.7%
Participation Rate: 65.5%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Sales and service occupations - 13.0%
  • Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services - 10.4%
  • Business, finance and administration occupations - 7.8%

Neguaguon Lake 25D, also known as Lac La Croix First Nation, is a Saulteaux First Nation band government who reside in the Rainy River District of northwestern Ontario, Canada, along the Ontario-Minnesota border. It is approximately 200 km west of Thunder Bay, Ontario. 

Census District: Cochrane
Population: 1,024
Population Density: 1,842.1/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 388
Median Age: 28.7
Employment Rate: 56.0%
Participation Rate: 61.5%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services - 23.9%
  • Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - 12.2%
  • Sales and service occupations - 8.3%

Moosonee is a town on the edge of the Arctic circle. Self-declared "Gateway to the Arctic," the community is only accessible by train or plane. Animal watching as well as hunting and fishing are popular activities. During the fall and spring seasons, it's possible to go beluga whale and seal watching. On many nights it's also possible to see spectacular views of the Aurora Borealis (northern lights).

*Based on 2011 Census and NHS data
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Jobs North

Employment and training opportunities in Northern Ontario

Job Vacancies and Wages – Northwestern Ontario 2016 Q2

In the second quarter of 2016, there were 2575 vacant positions in Northwestern Ontario, up by 390 vacancies from the quarter prior. 42.1% of these vacancies were in management occupations, 18.1% were in the trades transport and equipment operation sector, and 9.7% were occupations in education, law and social, community and government services. The highest average offered hourly wage by occupational category were in management occupations ($32.00), health occupations ($31.55), natural and applied sciences and related occupations ($26.65).

Monthly Polls

Your opinion can help direct Northern Policy Institute's research

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Sneak Peek

Get an exclusive preview of our upcoming projects and publications

An excerpt from an upcoming Northern Policy Institute paper:

[…] Aroland First Nation’s workforce is young and growing, which represents an opportunity for the community, and for the region as a whole, as workforce shortages are looming across Northwestern Ontario. However, the participation and employment rates of Aroland First Nation members are low, as is the educational attainment of the population. These elements may pose challenges – and opportunities - for the community as it leverages its growing workforce to improve its economic and social well-being.  […]

--Excerpt from the upcoming publication Community Labour Market Report: Aroland First Nation, by Amandine Martel and José-Karl Noiseux

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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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