THUNDER BAY – The promise of the north has been Canada, and Ontario’s greatest opportunity. For the province of Ontario, while most of the population lives in the southern region, it is really the North, and right now Northwestern Ontario where the greatest potential and greatest opportunities are situated.
From the early days of the fur trade, into the first mining and forestry booms, Northern Ontario has been a hub of economic activity.
There is promise in the region, growth is happening with planned expansion of transportation and energy.
There is the promise of mineral wealth in the region with the Ring of Fire, and other mining opportunities.
The potential brings with it change.
Dealing with that change will determine the future of the region, and likely the future for Ontario. Some of the groups in the North are adapting to change faster than others, and that is helping to ensure a better life for the people.
Areas of Change
In aviation, there is growth, the airport in Sioux Lookout is getting a major upgrade. The airport in Webequie First Nation is undergoing expansion. There are new suppliers boosting the services they offer to build the north.
There is change coming too in delivery of energy to the north.
Unlike any region of the province, energy plays a very increasingly important role.
There is development underway to boost Hydro One and other energy capacity.
Watay Power is moving quickly to expand the solar power potential for northern communities.
Education and Communications
Education increasingly is playing a vital role in the region. More and more young people are setting goals and reaching them. Many of the adults are getting upgrading and training.
Oshki Pim-O-Che is working with communities in innovative ways to reach the north.
There has been growth in the north in terms of faster Internet. Sioux Lookout and Pickle Lake are offering very fast high-speed Internet.
The role of communications in the north can’t be overlooked. Today via the Internet, increasingly the people know what is happening around the world.
The changes coming across the region are offering a very encouraging opportunity for everyone to benefit.