Northern Policy Institute Fifth Anniversary Gala - Sudbury, Ontario (Cancelled) 

We regret to inform you that Northern Policy Institute’s Fifth Anniversary Gala has been cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances that are out of our control. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to you or your organization. We are issuing full refunds for anyone who has purchased a ticket or table. For questions, please contact: or call 705-949-2301 ext. 3141. 


Charles Cirtwill, President & CEO
Northern Policy Institute

Northern Policy Institute (NPI) celebrated 5 years in 2018. To celebrate this milestone we would like to thank those who have contributed to our success. Going forward, NPI is committed continue reesearching, collecting and disseminating evidence to support the growth of sustainable Northern Ontario communities.

For details on the Thunder Bay Gala on October 18, 2018, click here.

First came Plan Nord, then came the joint governance of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory. A deal, which covered a “territory the size of Italy” according to the CBC. In 2012 the municipality of James Bay ceased to exist, instead the Cree and non-natives living in the territory were tasked to govern their region jointly. "There are no precedents," for this action said then Quebec Premier Jean Charest.

This historic agreement did not come about quickly or at a single stroke, nor did it mark the end of progress in the Cree-Quebec and Cree-Canada relationship. Jean Charest played a critical role in decades of negotiation and progress. Working in partnership with the Cree people, Charest sought to give meaning to the words self-government, cooperation and reconciliation.

The Cree-Quebec relationship is a model routinely held out for others to follow. Charest will provide the Quebec perspective on the creation of the Eeyou Istchee James Bay territory and the sacrifices, compromises and hard stances needed to make real progress towards a true nation-to-nation relationship and the benefits accruing to both sides by sharing power and the risks associated with exercising that power.

    Background reading that may be of interest for attendees to the Gala:

      Jean J. Charest - Biography

      Jean J. Charest is a renowned former Canadian politician and lawyer. He was born in Sherbrooke, Québec and received both his undergraduate degree and law degree from Université de Sherbrooke.

      Charest was first elected as Member of Parliament for Sherbrooke in 1984 then held the position of assistant deputy speaker of the House of Commons from 1984 to 1986. He was appointed Minister of State for Youth as the youngest person ever to serve in the federal Cabinet. By winter of 1989, he was deputy leader of the House of Commons.

      Charest ran for the leadership of the federal Conservatives in 1993, and finished a strong second to Kim Campbell. He was one of only two Conservative Members of Parliament elected in the 1993 campaign.

      In 1995, Charest again made history when he was appointed leader of the Conservative party – the first French Canadian to ever do so. In the 1997 election, the Charest Conservatives secured 19% of the national vote. Charest was a powerful voice in the 1995 Québec Referendum, playing a significant part in preventing the separation of Quebec from the rest of the country.

      In 1998, Charest became leader of the Québec Liberal Party. As Leader, he won three consecutive elections in 2003, 2007 and 2008. In February 2009, he was made a commander of the Legion of Honour by President Sarkozy of France.

      Charest resigned as Québec Liberal Party leader in 2012, ending a 28-year career in politics. He has since returned to the practice of law, joining the firm McCarthy Tétrault LLP as a full equity partner.