Northern Policy Institute
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North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data

Suppressed Census Subdivisions in Northern Ontario, by type and district 

Of the 278 Census Subdivisions in Northern Ontario, 107 of them were suppressed in the 2011 National Household Survey. In other words, 38 percent of communities in Northern Ontario do not have any NHS data. By comparison, this is
only true for
13 percent of the communities in Southern Ontario.

--- Excerpt from an upcoming paper on Canada's mandatory long-form census, by James Cuddy.

New In April

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

Dryden Mill Lessons for the Ring of Fire: Dr. Mark Kuhlberg uses the early history of the pulp and paper sector in Dryden, Ontario, to provide an object lesson about the reality of natural resource development projects in Northern Ontario.
Read the full Research Report here.

How Northern Ontario Should be Governed: Dr. David Robinson  says that Northern Ontario may not be able to explore full provincial status, but there are other potential structures that fall within the power of the provincial legislature. Read the full Research Report here.
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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

Third annual North Bay job fair attracted large crowds: Over 500 job seekers took part in North Bay's 3rd annual job fair at the Davedi Club, where 45 representatives were present to showcase their employers and provide advice on job seeking. Read the full story.

Timmins hosts summit on Aboriginal justice:  Professionals from almost every branch of the legal system were present for the first day of a two-day summit on the relationship between the courts and Indigenous people in Canada. Read the full story.

Attendance up at business expo: The Fort Frances Chamber of Commerce’s annual business and community expo  drew more than 1,000 people over two days this year, exceeding last year’s attendance. Read the full story.
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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North

Med Interpret: A Northern-Made App Changing Patient-Doctor Interaction
Communication between patients and medical professionals can become complicated when the two do not speak the same language. This issue was identified by L'Accueil Francophone de Thunder Bay and led to the creation of their English-to-French Interpretation Guide for Health Care Professionals, a document providing translations of common medical terminology in order to facilitate patient-doctor interactions. The success of this interpretation guide led to the creation of an app version of the guide, known as Med Interpret.

Med Interpret was developed in Thunder Bay by creative marketing company Design and Logic, and funded by the Government of Canada, the Department of Canadian Heritage, the Canada-Ontario Agreement on French-Language Services, the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long Term Care, and the Office of French Language Services. Med Interpret has been used in over 600 hospitals to great success, and its popularity among healthcare professionals continues to grow. This Northern Ontario-developed app shows the kind of creativity and technological ingenuity that thrives in the region today.

Learn more about Med Interpret and download the app here.
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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities

North Bay

Featured Municipality

Census District: Nipissing
Population: 53, 651
Population Density: 168.2/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 24,748
Median Age: 42.1
Employment Rate: 62.1%
Participation Rate: 56.8%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Retail trade - 15.7%
  • Healthcare and social assistance - 15.6%
  • Public administration - 9.4%
  • Educational services - 9.1%
  • Accommodation and food services - 7.2%

The City of North Bay is a popular Northern Ontario tourist destination due to its natural beauty; the city boasts several multi-use trails, forests, freshwater lakes, a ski hill, and much more. Also found in North Bay is the North Bay Farmer's Market, ranked one of Foodland Ontario’s Top 10 Farmer’s Markets.

Shoal Lake 40

Featured First Nation

Census District: Kenora
Population: 101
Population Density: 21.1/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 37
Median Age: 28.2
Employment Rate: 40%
Participation Rate: 33.3%
Major Employment Industries: 
  • Occupations in education, law and social, community and govenrment services - 33.3%
  • Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - 33.3%

Shoal Lake 40 is a small First Nations community partially located in both Northern Ontario and Manitoba. Shoal Lake 40 was recently visited by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as part of a documentary on the living conditions of Canadian First Nation reserve, due to the community's longstanding boiled water advisory. The currently-isolated community has received government funding for an all-weather road connecting it to the mainland, commonly known as Freedom Road.

*Based on 2011 Census and NHS data

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Jobs North

Employment and training opportunities in Northern Ontario

Job Vacancies and Wages – Northwest Ontario
In the third quarter of 2015 there were 2,765 vacant positions in Northwest Ontario, down by 320 vacancies from the quarter prior. 42% of vacancies are in sales and service occupations, followed by trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations (16%), business, finance and administration occupations (7%) and health occupations (7%). The highest average offered hourly wage by occupational category was in education, law and social, community and government services ($25.55), management occupations ($23.55) and trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations ($22.10).


Monthly Polls

Your opinion can help direct Northern Policy Institute's research

Last Month's Poll Results

As a postsecondary student, have you secured an internship position for the summer?

  1. Paid in Northern Ontario – 100%
  2. Unpaid in Northern Ontario – 0%
  3. Paid outside of Northern Ontario – 0%
  4. Unpaid outside of Northern Ontario – 0%

This Month's Poll

In our last newsletter we asked students if the increase in the Canada/Ontario Summer Jobs Grant had an impact on the availability and type of internships in Northern Ontario.

As an employer, has the increase in the Canada/Ontario Summer Jobs Grant  affected your business?  

Sneak Peek

Get an exclusive preview of our upcoming projects and publications

Food Security & First Nations:

An excerpt from an upcoming Northern Policy Institute paper

[...] First Nations communities suffer from food insecurity at much higher rates than the non Aboriginal population (Socha et al. 2012). The 2008 First Nations Regional Health Survey reported that more than 50 per cent of Aboriginal households in Canada are food insecure, with this incidence rising in more northern and remote communities (Thompson et al. 2012).

Food insecurity is known to be an important determinant to health (Dachner 2014; WHO 2013), contributing to high levels of diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease, as well as disproportionately high rates of obesity (Barbeau et al. 2015; Skinner et al. 2013). In First Nations communities across Canada, obesity rates are two and a half times that of the general population (Gates et al. 2013). These trends are particularly disconcerting considering the difficulty in accessing specialist care in remote areas (De Schutter 2012). These significant health implications are at least partially responsible for the lower life expectancy reported among Aboriginal Ca nadians, which is five to six years lower than non-Aboriginal Canadians (Barbeau et al. 2015; Skinner et al. 2013; Statistics Canada 2010). [...]

Excerpt from the literature review on food access in remote northern First Nations communities in Canada by Holly Dillabough 

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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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