Revitalizing Governance and Economic Development

Northern Policy Institute

This new commentary by Northern Policy Institute shows that there are areas of economic and governing weakness in Northern Ontario that need to be addressed.

In 2015 and 2016, Northern Policy Institute (NPI) published two papers – “A New Northern Lens: Looking Out Is as Important as Looking In” (Mackinnon 2015) and “Governance in Northern Ontario: Taking Ownership of the Future” (Mackinnon 2016) that made recommendations for a different future path for Northern Ontario. To update and test these recommendations against real-world experience and information, key informant interviews were conducted with several business and government leaders from across Northern Ontario.

As a result of these and other conversations with Northerners, the original recommendations have been enlarged, alongside new themes, and revised recommendations have been developed to aid major change in Northern Ontario.

Recommendations are addressed to Northern Ontario’s business, municipal, community and Indigenous leaders, as well as provincial organizations and include:

  • Taking greater responsibility for their region and provide specific guidance to governments, rather than the reverse.
  • Reviewing and adapting the socio-economic strategies practiced by other Indigenous communities and groups ought to be seriously considered.
  • Implementing a new micro loans program for Northern Ontario.
  • Developing and presenting to the Ontario government a plan to implement regional governments throughout the North.

Read the full commentary, “A New Path for Northern Ontario: Governance and Economic Development Considerations for a Strong and Sustainable North” at


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