Northern Policy Institute

March 2017

North by the Numbers

A visual take on Northern Ontario data

Job Opportunities by Occupation, Greenstone, Ontario

Source:, and on-the-ground research on local job boards

The data above suggests that opportunities exist for those who wish to stay or who wish to come to the community. Filling the jobs that are already here in Greenstone would create increased prosperity and create even more opportunity. This does not mean ignoring the pursuit of new employers, but it does mean not ignoring the potential of sustaining or expanding current ones either.


--- Amandine Martel and José-Karl Noiseux, authors of the Community Labour Market Report for Greenstone

New From NPI

Your monthly update on the work of Northern Policy Institute

Community Labour Market Report Series: Northern Policy Institute and the North Superior Workforce Planning Board – Your Local Employment Planning Council have teamed up to provide communities with greater access to labour market information at the very local level. The Community Labour Market series provides local labour market indicators to communities in the NSWPB region to assist leaders and organizations in the decision-making process. Read the first report here.


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       Northern Policy Institute's Blogspace




February 13, 2017 - Not So Remote North

“If we want our communities to grow and proper we collectively, and our leaders particularly, need a change in attitude.” Read the full post here.

February 27, 2017 - The Health of Hospice Care in Northern Ontario

“Ontario needs to develop and implement a comprehensive end-of-life care approach that allows its citizens to die with dignity, without overstretching the provincial healthcare budget.” Read the full post here.


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News in the North

The latest headlines from communities across Northern Ontario

Junior Canadian Rangers growing in popularity among northern First Nations: The Junior Canadian Rangers program is becoming almost too successful a youth program in Northern Ontario. Read the full story.

Population decline is a Northern Ontario thing, says mayor: Greater Sudbury is the only large urban municipality in Northern Ontario that experienced a positive growth. But is the newly released data enough to draw negative conclusions? Read the full story.

Northeast region will see a decrease in unemployment, predicts Ontario Economic Report: The inaugural Ontario Economic Report from the Ontario Chamber of Commerce is a landmark agenda aimed at shaping and informing future public policy. The OER includes entirely new economic analyses that demonstrate the difficult economic environment faced by Ontario businesses and consumers in 2017. Read the full story.

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Success Stories

Individuals and organizations helping to grow the North

The Yo! Mobile

Six years ago, grader operator Mario Dussault bought a short bus from a local bus line in Timmins, Ontario with a vision of feeding Timmins’ homeless population on the weekends, when other soup kitchens in the area are closed. Operating from roughly October-April each year, the Yo! Mobile is parked at Timmins City Hall every Friday and Saturday night to serve up food, shelter and warm clothing to the dozens of people who line up to get on the bus.

The first winter The Yo! Mobile was in operation, Dussault had roughly 2,000 people use the service. In the winter of 2015-2016, there were around 4,500. These shocking numbers prove how needed the service is, especially when temperatures are below zero and people have nowhere else to go.

No longer a one-man team, The Yo! Mobile is now operated by Mario Dussault and his associate Leo Drouin together with a cohort of volunteers to help ensure everyone gets the service they deserve. The community has been very generous with food and monetary donations in addition to their time. Once funded out of his own pocket, Dussault is thankful for the level of support provided by the people and businesses of Timmins.

Mario Dussault became an inductee of the Timmins Human Rights Wall of Fame in March 2016 for his dedicated work with the marginalized population of Timmins.

To see the impressive level of volunteerism for yourself, and learn more about the Yo! Mobile, please visit The Yo! Mobile's Facebook page.

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Northern Community Spotlight

This month's featured profiles of Northern Ontario communities

Census District: Kenora
Population: 1,202
Population Density: 16.5/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 711
Median Age: 48.1
Employment Rate: 45.8%
Participation Rate: 57.7%
Unemployment Rate: 19.8%
Major Employment Industries:
  • Sales and service occupations - 16.2%
  • Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - 14.6%
  • Occupations in education, law and social, community and government services - 7.9%

Ignace is a small town located approximately 240km west of Thunder Bay. The town boasts a wide variety of year-round outdoor activities for both visitors and residents. Hunting, fishing, canoeing and kayaking are all popular. The nearby Agimak Lake provides a gateway to both the Turtle River-White Otter Lake Provincial Park and the Trans Canada Trail water route.

Census District: Algoma
Population: 77
Population Density: 2.2/km²
Number of Private Dwellings: 38
Median Age: 44.3
Employment Rate: 38.5%
Participation Rate: 46.2%
Unemployment Rate: 33.3%
Major Employment Industries:

  • Business, finance and administration occupations - 14.7%
  • Trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations - 14.7%

Michipicoten First Nation and its surrounding lands include extensive coastline along the shores of Lake Superior. The area boasts a pristine and eco rich environment of unparalleled wilderness beauty, unpolluted waters and an abundance of wildlife, birds and indigenous plants.



*Based on 2016 Census and 2011 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 2,575 vacant positions in Northwestern Ontario, up by 390 vacancies from the quarter prior. Of these vacancies, 42.1 % were in sales and services occupation, 18.1% trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations, occupations in education, law and social, community and government services (9.7%), health occupations (6,8%), occupations in business, finance and administration (6,2%). The highest average hourly wage was offered by the management occupation sector ($32.00), followed by health occupations ($31.55) and natural and applied sciences and related occupations ($26.65).

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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


[…] The estimated return-to-schooling coefficients show the increased earnings, compared to the reference group, of obtaining different levels of education. Therefore, they represent the average rate of return to schooling at the national level. For example, obtaining a high school diploma increases a person’s earnings by 24.4 percent above the earnings of those without a high school diploma. Similarly, obtaining a trade or college diploma increases earnings by 27.0 and 44.1 percent respectively. A university degree increases earnings by 72.6 percent. The return to schooling estimates reflect higher productivity resulting from an increased level of education. In short, the return to education increases as the level of schooling rises, reflecting higher earnings commensurate with higher productivity as the level of education increases. […]

Excerpt from the upcoming research report, Northern Projections: Human Capital Series - Algoma District, by James Cuddy and Dr. Bakhtiar Moazzami


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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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