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2017 State of the North Conference Report - You, Me and Our 780,000 Neighbours: How Northern Ontario can Continue to Work Toward a Sustainable and Prosperous Future

November 14,  2019 |  Northern Policy Institute

In 2017 Northern Policy Institute (NPI) held its first ever State of the North (SOTN) conference in Timmins, Ontario. The theme focused on ‘Responding to Northern Ontario’s Demographic Shift’ and aimed to bring together decision makers, community leaders, experts, and innovators to explore the state of Northern Ontario from an economic, social, and environmental perspective. Through this knowledge-sharing event, participants could take what they learned and engage in solution-based discussions. During the inaugural two-day event, over 150 decision makers and community leaders from across Ontario’s northern regions explored evidence-based solutions to address the demographic challenges facing northern communities, specifically the socio-economic impacts of a shrinking and aging population. In particular, participants considered the roles that migration, engagement with Indigenous communities, and local governance can have on improving the sustainability and growth of the North.

Alongside a presentation on the state of Ontario’s northern regions by NPI President and CEO Charles Cirtwill, which focused on key social, environmental, and economic indicators to measure growth, the conference hosted three panels and a keynote by Aime Dimatteo, Director General of FedNor. Finally, in addition to these talks, the audience was given an opportunity to participate in a series of table discussions. These responses were then compiled, anonymized, and analyzed at a high level so as to avoid identifying any one individual. These results help inform NPI’s research agenda, which relies on engagement with residents across Northern Ontario. Such a process helps us to provide timely and appropriate policy solutions.

 

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