THUNDER BAY – Dr. George Macey, Chair of Common Voice Northwest today welcomed the announcement by the Government of Ontario on the details of the Northern Policy Institute. “The announcement of the Northern Policy Institute is a major milestone for the people of Northwestern Ontario. The Northern Policy Institute gives Northwestern Ontario an opportunity to have valuable input into Northern public policy,” said Dr. Macey.
“I want to acknowledge and thank the work of the North Superior Workforce Planning Board and the Common Voice Northwest Policy Institute Committee members for their leadership in developing the concept. I also want to thank our partners, the Northwestern Ontario Municipal Association and the Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce for their work in convincing the Government of Ontario to create the Northern Policy Institute. And finally I want to particularly thank MPP and Minister Michael Gravelle for his continued support for the concept”.
In 2006, the North Superior Training Board, now the North Superior Workforce Planning Board commissioned Dr. Livio Di Matteo, of Lakehead University to prepare a report which outlined strategies to assist Northwestern Ontario in pursuing opportunities within the knowledge economy. In this report, it was recommended that consideration be given to creating a
Northwestern Ontario Research Institute to analyze business, scientific, economic and social issues and generate information and advice that could be applied to the region’s economy.
On January 16, 2007, under the banner of Forging the Future, an Economic Vision for Northwestern Ontario, the Regional Recovery Committee (the forerunner of Common Voice Northwest) included a recommendation for the creation of a Northwestern Ontario Policy Research Institute. This recommendation was based on the NSTB Di Matteo report and was supported by a broad cross-section of the leadership of Northwestern Ontario.
The North Superior Workforce Planning Board then commissioned Dr. Di Matteo to further explore this recommendation and in 2007 the Board released “A Policy Institute for Northwestern Ontario: Need, Models and Structure”. This report also included a recommendation that an implementation committee consisting of key regional partners be struck to bring about the creation of the Policy Institute and this was done. The Committee operated under the auspices of Common Voice Northwest.
In their response to the Proposed Growth Plan for Northern Ontario, CVNW requested that the Northern Ontario Growth Plan be amended to include the establishment of a Northern Ontario Public Policy Institute (NOPPI) in partnership with universities, colleges, Aboriginal organizations, regional and community stakeholders to focus on Pan-Northern public policy issues. NOMA and NOACC also provided similar input to the Growth Plan.