Province Launches Northern Policy Institute
McGuinty Government Supporting Northern Economic Development
Ministry of Northern Development and Mines
Ontario is launching the Northern Policy Institute to boost the northern economy and help provide a stronger voice to Northern Ontario.
The institute, an independent, not-for-profit organization, will monitor the implementation of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario and make provincial policy recommendations for the region. It will work with northern municipalities, post-secondary institutions, research groups, Aboriginal organizations, francophone groups and industry to set priorities and directions for northern development.The Northern Policy Institute is proceeding under the direction of two advisors -- Dr. Brian Stevenson, president of Lakehead University, and Dominic Giroux, president of Laurentian University. They will provide guidance to the institute, which will be based out of their respective universities in Thunder Bay and Sudbury.
Investing in Northern Ontario's communities is part of the McGuinty government's plan to strengthen the economy. A strong northern economy creates local jobs and protects the services that mean the most to families -- health care and education.
- A search is underway for the founding Chief Executive Officer, who will oversee the institute's preparation of a five-year business plan.
- In April 2011 a questionnaire was sent to over 1,400 individuals and organizations seeking input on the mandate of the institute.
In extensive consultations across the north during the development of the Growth Plan, northern stakeholders were highly supportive of establishing a Northern Policy Institute. I am pleased to launch a public policy institute that will provide a northern perspective for provincial policies and programs that affect Northern Ontario. As a northern Minister and as a life-long northerner, I welcome any tool that ensures the unique needs of the north are understood and met."
The Northern Policy Institute is another example of how our government is delivering on the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, a 25-year vision for strengthening the northern economy. The plan was developed by northerners, for northerners and this institute will help provide an important northern perspective that will guide decisions now and into the future."
One of the guiding principles of the institute is to stimulate public engagement and dialogue and promote the viewpoints of Northern Ontarians. The institute will provide valuable and welcome opportunities to members of the public to share their ideas."
I'd like to give special thanks to NOMA and Common Voice Northwest for their strong advocacy of a policy institute throughout the Growth Plan consultation process as well as all northerners who shared that vision and, of course, to Presidents Stevenson and Giroux for their continued commitment to seeing us achieve this important goal for northerners."
The Northern Policy Institute's mandate complements the themes of the Growth Plan and sets the tone for a collaborative, evidence-based multi-sector approach engaging public and private sector partners to conduct research. The Institute will provide a northern perspective, grounded in quality research to guide the policy development and economic decisions of governments, communities, business and industry. Input from First Nations leadership will be an important part of the Northern Policy Institute's work, by including an Aboriginal perspective in developing policy recommendations affecting their communities as well as communities across the north."
Dr. Brian Stevenson
The Northern Policy Institute will focus on northern policy priorities in partnership with stakeholder groups from throughout Northern Ontario, including municipal associations, Francophone groups, labour groups, universities, colleges, Indigenous organizations and private sector industry. The institute responds to the expressed intent of northerners having a stronger say in policy directions affecting the north. This investment over the next five years will allow for policies that are proposed for and by the north, leading to better community engagement in the decisions that affect the day to day lives in our communities."