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A New path for Northern Ontario: Governance and Economic Development Considerations for a Strong and Sustainable North


October 17, 2019 | David MacKinnon
There is a serious need to revitalize and rethink the current governance and economic development practices of Northern Ontario. Indeed, as this report shows, there are areas of economic and governing weakness in Northern Ontario that need to be addressed. To do so, the author conducts key informant interviews with a range of business and government leaders from across Northern Ontario in order to expand upon the recommendations published in “A New Northern Lens: Looking Out Is as Important as Looking In” (2015) and “Northern Governance in Northern Ontario: Taking Ownership of the Future” (2016).

Some of the recommendations include:
1. Northerners should take greater responsibility for their region and provide specific guidance to governments, rather than the reverse.
2. Reviewing and adapting the socio-economic strategies practiced by other Indigenous communities and groups ought to be seriously considered.
3. An appropriately designed new micro loans program for Northern Ontario ought to be implemented. Such a program could be complementary to the Community Futures program.
4. Northern Ontario’s business, municipal, and Indigenous leaders, and provincial organizations should develop and present to the Ontario government a plan to implement regional governments throughout the North.

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