Latest Policy Bytes

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Plugging into Potential: How Broadband Availability Can Play a Role in Attracting Newcomers

January 14, 2019 - In 2016, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) declared that broadband internet [i] is a basic service that should be accessible to citizens no matter where they live. For Northern Ontario communities it’s those last five words that are key – no matter where they live. Unfortunately, there are still unserved/underserved populations that can be found near towns such as Hearst, Sault Ste. Marie, Cochrane, Sioux Lookout, and Kenora (Fig. 1 & 1.2).

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Health care co-operation between Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba

December 16, 2018 - When it comes to health care accessibility, the residents of Northwestern Ontario don’t exactly have it easy. There is only one hospital in the area capable of providing major surgeries: the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre (TBRHSC). For individuals outside of Thunder Bay, say Kenora, driving six hours to a major hospital is not a quick task. Toronto is a plane ride away for more advanced surgeries or procedures, although this may not be wallet-friendly for everyone. Thankfully, the City of Winnipeg and its regional hospital are a mere two hours west of Kenora, but there’s just one problem – it’s in a different province.

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Climate Change and Northern Ontario by 2050

November 26, 2018 - The science of climate change has moved from theory to fact. Next step is reality. Even with global best-efforts to reduce carbon emissions, temperatures are expected to rise for at least 25 years and storms will grow in intensity. What could these projections mean for the economy of Northern Ontario and its transportation system? This piece is the first in a series of articles that address scenarios that could play out by 2050.

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Coffee lovers – in for a treat

November 19, 2018 - Copper Country Coffee Roasters, a local coffee roaster based in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, started off in June 2018 as part of the Sault Ste. Marie Economic Development Corporation’s (SSMEDC) “Summer Company” program which helps local youth kickstart their companies, and has grown exponentially since. The company roasts and sells local coffee beans by the bag and also has a body scrub and is currently working on developing other products such as flavoured coffees.

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Much Ado About Ontario's Carbon Tax

November 5, 2018 - Opponents of a carbon tax in Ontario, especially those holding elected office, are in a pretty sweet spot right now. Simply put, there will be a carbon tax in Ontario come the first of January 2019 and they can blame someone else for it. So, if it is a dismal failure, they win, big.

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Science North Summer Science Camps

October 22, 2018 - Since 1987, Science North, a not-for-profit organization, has engrained itself into many Northern Ontario communities and has become a major tourist attraction. Its primary focus is to be the leader in informal science education for youth and adults across Northern Ontario.

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Considerations for Northern Ontario on Capitalizing on the Growing Mainland Chinese Tourism Market

October 9, 2018 - The Mainland Chinese (MC) outbound tourism market is increasing at one of the fastest rates globally and is the biggest tourism market in the world thanks to its large population and growing middle class. Given how the Chinese visiting market to Canada has grown rapidly (12 per cent growth between 2016 and 2017 alone), these visitors represent an opportunity for tourism development in Canada as they are spending more than individuals from elsewhere. As well, many mainland Chinese travellers are looking to experience the natural beauty and diverse culture that Canada has in spades. This group may also represent an opportunity for Northern Ontario to increase its tourism demand.

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Homelessness in Ontario's North

October 1, 2018 - Homelessness can take many forms. For example, the Homeless Hub outlines four different typologies: unsheltered, emergency sheltered, provisionally accommodated, and at-risk. Each form of homelessness varies, from those living in public spaces with minimal security to those who have temporary housing, or those living in an emergency shelter to those who are on the verge of experiencing homelessness (couch-surfing, unsafe housing, etc.). Homeless Hub further emphasizes that an individual does not always remain in one form of homelessness and can experience it in multiple forms.