Latest Policy Bytes

Gentrification and the North: Culture Injection, City Protection

August 6, 2014 - We hear that Sudbury is taking steps toward a more energetic and enticing downtown. The new School of Architecture, approval for two new restaurant patios, the “Lululemon” pop-up store on Cedar, as well as the management turn-overs and facelifts of several notable eateries in the CBD are used as examples of ‘good progress.’ There is much left to do however to attract people to live, and not just work or visit, downtown. The newly proposed $12 million-dollar transformation of the old brewery on Lorne Street by developer, Greg Oldenburg, is a big step forward on this front. The possibilities of this project, assuming that it reaches fruition as expected, are substantial. Commercial space, residential space, general revitalization; these are the first steps in a larger social project that is taking place – much needed downtown gentrification.

Grassroots models best hope for native education reforms

July 23, 2014 - Canada’s Assembly of First Nations (AFN) descended upon Halifax for its 25th annual meeting this week, and one of the most contentious issues on the table was First Nations education reform. Chiefs representing half of the 630 First Nations across Canada were there, in large measure, to decide on the next move after rejecting the Harper government’s Bill C-33, aimed at completely revamping on-reserve education.

Who Does Northern Policy Institute Work For?

July 22, 2014 - Simply put, we work for you, the people of Northern Ontario. We have an independent Board that sets our strategic direction and a staff that implements it, but that direction and the decisions related to it, are informed by the views of every northerner that connects with us.

Governance Options for the Ring of Fire

July 16, 2014 - Many questions abound when it comes to the issue of mineral development in the Ring of Fire (RoF) region of Northern Ontario. These questions – which are top of mind for many in industry, government, academia – include concerns about who will pay for the necessary infrastructure and how it will be organized, planned, managed and implemented. All big issues. In a paper I recently wrote for the Northern Policy Institute on the topic, I suggest a properly-designed transportation Authority model could be more effective than a traditional Crown corporation to meet the infrastructure needs in the RoF. The Authority model would maintain the same core elements as formulated in federal Airport/Port Authorities, but would obviously need to be tailored to fit the unique challenges of RoF development. An effective model would place the onus and risks on all the stakeholders and not just the provincial government and taxpayers, while maintaining elements of independence, inclusiveness, risk sharing, market-driven, political independence and legislated legally-binding powers.

Focus on Growing, Diversifying and Partnerships: Agriculture and Food Processing in Northern Ontario

June 2, 2014 - In support of efforts by the Province to identify the challenges and opportunities regarding the agriculture and food processing sector, an inaugural conference was recently held in Dryden, Ontario to shed light on new development strategies. The ‘For the Love of Food & Farming’ conference was organized by the Kenora District Soil & Crop Improvement Association with the support from the Dryden District Agricultural Society, Cloverbelt Local Food Co-op, Dryden District Horticultural Society and Food land Ontario. There were several speakers in attendance that shared a wealth of knowledge, but those guests who spoke specifically to Northern Ontario were: Leo Hunnakko, an expert in northern climate greenhouse design, Jen Springett, President of Cloverbelt Local Co-op, and Alan Mol, President of Ontario Soil and Crop Improvement Association.

What is NPI?

May 13, 2014 - Let’s start with what NPI is NOT.