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McGuinty Government Committed To Enhancing Opportunities For Youth In The North

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McGuinty Government Committed To Enhancing Opportunities For Youth In The North

Government Launches Dialogue On Young People

THUNDER BAY - The Ontario government is seeking input from northerners on how to create opportunities that would encourage young persons to build their futures in Northern Ontario, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.

"We're on the side of northerners - including those who want their sons and daughters to find opportunity in Northern Ontario," said Bartolucci. "That's why we are working to create northern communities that are tremendous places for young people to live, to work, and to build lives."

Bartolucci announced the dialogue on youth strategies at the first joint meeting of the Ontario government's four Northern Development Councils (NDCs) in Thunder Bay on June 6.  The NDCs, with the assistance of northern youth, will provide a range of ways for northerners to contribute their thoughts and suggestions on creating opportunities for youth in Northern Ontario.  On Wednesday, June 14, a discussion paper and survey will be posted on the NDC website (www.ndc.gov.on.ca) for northern input.

The out-migration of youth and young adults is a serious concern to northern communities, who regard the outflow as a threat to their viability and a detriment to the vibrancy of community life. They are looking for ways to retain young northerners, attract newcomers and encourage expatriates to return to live in Northern Ontario.

Bartolucci also took the opportunity to introduce the new Far North Northern Development Council, whose members are drawn from the remote region's First Nations communities, the municipalities of Moosonee and Pickle Lake, and the private sector.

"Over the past year, members of our three existing councils - representing the five major cities, the northwest and the northeast - have provided excellent advice on several priority issues," he said. "We now welcome our newest members from Ontario's Far North, and I look forward to their input on Far North issues."

This is just one way the McGuinty government is promoting northern prosperity by enhancing opportunities for young northerners. Others include:

•    Providing work experience for northern youth through an internship and co-op placement program

•    Investing in northern schools, including $15.4 million to keep good schools open and $6.6 million to repair and improve schools

•    Creating 75,000 more opportunities in postsecondary education for qualified students throughout the province.

The northern-focused dialogue will help the government build on the many initiatives it has introduced, and will be introducing, as part of its broad commitment to Ontario's youth.

Ontario's NDCs are part of the government's Northern Prosperity Plan for building stronger northern communities. The Northern Prosperity Plan has four pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.

Laura Blondeau
Minister's Office - Sudbury
(705) 564-7454    

Lisa Zanetti
MNDM-Northern Development Councils Unit



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