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Notes from Northern Proposed Growth Plan.docx

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Western University
Geography 2011A/B
Wendy Dickinson

Notes from Northern Proposed Growth Plan In NA economic and community success is increasingly based on knowledge creativity and innovation where higher education and skills training are basic requirements Planning will first need to focus on ways to use existing investments and assets much more effectively 2008 population of Northern Ontario was 808448Projected to show modest growth in urban centres Greater Sudbury Thunder Bay Sault Ste Marie North Bay and Timmins Strong population growth of Aboriginal communities and a dramatic decrease in the rate of people leaving the region over the last 5 years are key factors affecting the Norths population growth Relative youth of Aboriginal communities is an important asset of North Median age of 29 compared to 44 of nonaboriginal population this younger pop representsof the Norths labor force within the next generation In 2008 the unemployment rate for the Aboriginal population was 16 more than double the rate of the nonaboriginal people Reversing these trends improving access to health care and expanding educational opportunities for Aboriginal youth are all preconditions for future success in the region Building innovation in economy also a critical precondition for success Needs to make the move from strictly resource extraction to technological innovation and value added goods The role of the service sector also has a key role in integrating roles and creating employment opportunities Incorporating information tech is another critical precondition for economic successInvestments in broadband for health education and research sectors have already stimulated new economic growth for knowledgebased activities and are helping to improve service delivery for northerners Building on these advancements in a more holistic manner will help establish a network that connects the North to the world Purpose of the Plan Requires that all partners and participantsgovernments industry communities and aboriginal communitieswork together to put the building blocks in place 5 key elementso First while wealth in natural resources represent a huge potential critical that innovation and emerging research be applied to the core sectors of forestry mining and agriculture to expand economic opportunity in the bioeconomy and green energy fields Innovation and increased tech use must occur in tourism health and education to promote new product development and grow expertiseo Second improving the health status and educational attainment of northerners and recognizing the additional challenges of accessibility barriers faced by Aboriginal communities are also critical priorities
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