Ontario Newsroom

Growth Plan Aims To Strengthen Northern Economy

Archived News Release

Growth Plan Aims To Strengthen Northern Economy

McGuinty Government Releases Proposed Northern Growth Plan Strategy

Ministry of Infrastructure

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.

The 25-year plan proposes policies, programs and actions, and calls on governments and their northern partners to realize a shared vision. Key actions include:
  • 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.

Quick Facts

  • 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.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“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.”

Michael Gravelle

Minister of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry

“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.”

George Smitherman

Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure

“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.”

Rick Bartolucci

Member of Provincial Parliament for Sudbury

“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.”

Bill Mauro

Member of Provincial Parliament for Thunder Bay-Atikoken

Media Contacts

  • Joanne Ghiz

    Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry, Minister's Office


  • Amy Tang

    Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister's Office


  • Eric Pelletier

    MEI Communications Branch (French Media)




Business and Economy Environment and Energy Rural and North