Growth Plan Aims To Strengthen Northern Economy
McGuinty Government Releases Proposed Northern Growth Plan Strategy
Ontario has released a proposed Growth Plan for Northern Ontario designed to set the region's economy on a strong, globally-competitive footing.
The North's population will stabilize in the next 25 years. The proposed Growth Plan brings together the building blocks needed to prepare the region for shifts in the economy by growing Northern opportunities, strengthening its workforce, and enhancing northerners' quality of life.
- Maximizing the economic benefit of increased mineral exploration and production and strengthening the mineral industry cluster
- Strengthening partnerships among colleges, universities and industry to support research, and to educate and train northerners for careers in growing fields
- Building a new relationship with Aboriginal people to increase participation in the future economic growth of Northern Ontario and achieve better health status for aboriginal communities
- Developing complete networks to support stronger communities such as an inter-regional transportation network, enhanced broadband service, and a broader transmission network to increase capacity for renewable energy development
- Creating regional economic zones to help communities plan collaboratively for their economic, labour market, infrastructure, land-use, cultural and population needs
- Encouraging development and use of green technologies and demonstrating leadership in green building, and water and energy conservation.
Over the next few months, Northern Ontario residents, youth, Aboriginal peoples, community leaders, business, industry and other experts have the opportunity to help chart the future of the region by commenting on the actions recommended in the proposed plan.
A final Growth Plan will guide future policy development and infrastructure investments by the province.
- The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario is the second regionally-specific plan to be developed under the Places to Grow Act, 2005.
- Northern Ontario covers 800,000 square km, or 90 per cent of the province's land base.
- Northern-based mining, forestry, tourism and agriculture industries contribute more than $23 billion annually to Ontario's economy.
- In the next 20 years, Aboriginal youth will represent a quarter of the North's labour force.
“The true strength of the North is its people, their resourcefulness and their entrepreneurial spirit. We're harnessing these qualities to develop a Growth Plan for Northern Ontario that is built by northerners, for northerners. We look forward to reaping the benefits in an innovative, robust and competitive northern economy.”
“This Proposed Growth Plan brings us one step closer to our ultimate goal - a strong, diversified northern economy based on globally competitive industry, a highly qualified workforce, and successful collaboration among all northerners.”
“Keeping Northern Ontario strong and prosperous today and in the future is important to all of us, and a Growth Plan for Northern Ontario will give greater opportunities for economic prosperity in our community.”
“We worked very hard to ensure that Northern Ontario would be the second growth plan developed in Ontario. We look forward to the positive economic impact that this Plan will have in our region.”