April 13, 2017 | Charles Conteh
New research from Northern Policy Institute suggests that Northern Ontario is made up of eleven distinct economic zones. To be truly effective, local governance, economic development planning, and government investment activities must recognize and allow for this diversity of communities. According to the report, economic development does not need rigid governance structures, but fluid platforms to address specific needs and explore shared opportunities.
The study relied on in-depth interviews with key actors across Northern Ontario to confirm the existence, strength, and breadth of particular economic sectors within their communities. These interviews were then supplemented with content analysis of economic sector drivers identified in the strategic economic growth plans of the various communities, and population estimates from census data.