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Governance in Northern Ontario

Governance in Northern Ontario: Economic Development and Policy Making

Copyright Date: 2013
Pages: 232
  • Book Info
    Governance in Northern Ontario
    Book Description:

    This book analyzes economic development policy governance in northern Ontario over the past thirty years, with the goal of making practical policy recommendations for present and future government engagement with the region.

    eISBN: 978-1-4426-6285-8
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-vi)
  3. Foreword
    (pp. vii-x)
    Patrice Dutil

    In its 2012 budget, the government of Ontario announced that it would phase out its support of the Ontario Northland Transportation Commission (ONTC), an agency that operated the Ontario Northland Railway, the Ontario Northland Motor Coach Services, and Ontera, a telecommunications company. The news barely registered in southern Ontario, but in northern Ontario the declaration resonated deeply. The potential loss of the Ontario Northland Railway, a service that was practically bred in the bone of the territory, stung particularly hard. It dated back to the earliest years of the twentieth century and had long been symbolic of the optimism and...

  4. Acknowledgments
    (pp. xi-2)
  5. 1 Introduction
    (pp. 3-15)

    Regional economic development policy is an intrinsically multidimensional field of study. Comprehensive research into it inevitably will include consideration of certain political and institutional facts. The chapters in this volume, therefore, seek to highlight and examine the political and institutional dimensions of regional economic development policy governance in northern Ontario. For the purposes of the discussions in this volume, the distinction between economic growth and economic development is worth noting. Economic growth focuses on macroeconomic indicators of how well an economy is doing, as often measured by the expansion (or contraction) of its gross domestic product. Economic development, however, shifts...

  6. 2 Regional Economic Development and Socio-economic Change in Northern Ontario
    (pp. 16-42)

    Northern Ontario has an economy that is unique in contemporary economic terms. Its development was based almost entirely on the resource needs of twentieth-century industrialism.¹ Unlike other regions, it had no real experience with nineteenth-century forms of agricultural development or “competitive” capitalism. Apart from the region’s Aboriginal communities, almost all of northern Ontario’s communities were created by large resource- or transportation-based corporations, often in partnership with the provincial government, to extract natural resources for use elsewhere.² Unfortunately for northern Ontario, twentieth-century industrialism is becoming more and more imperilled as a sustainable form of economic development. Yet the absence of experience...

  7. 3 Administering Regional Development Policy in Socio-economically Disadvantaged Regions
    (pp. 43-57)

    This chapter focuses on evaluating the capacity, relevance, and integrity of existing institutions of economic development policy governance in northern Ontario in the light of exogenous and strategic challenges confronting the region. I address two main questions. First, what is the nature of the existing institutional infrastructure of regional economic development policy implementation in northern Ontario? Second, how can these mechanisms be altered to improve coordination and partnerships between the various levels of governments and organized community interests in the region?

    I begin by sketching the background of regional economic development policies and programs in the northwestern region of northern...

  8. 4 Results Measurement and Economic Development in Northern Ontario
    (pp. 58-75)

    The Ontario government’s 2009Places to Grow – Better Choices, Brighter Future: Proposed Growth Plan for Northern Ontarioassured that “a set of performance indicators will be developed to measure implementation of this Plan. Performance measures will be monitored and actions and strategies will be adjusted to ensure the Plan’s successful realization.”¹ By June 2010 work “to determine how the Growth Plan will be put in place, monitored and measured”² was in progress.

    In this chapter I argue that the development and use of performance indicators is a part of contemporary public sector management commitments, and I demonstrate their implementation internationally,...

  9. 5 First Nations Inclusion: A Key Requirement to Building the Northern Ontario Economy
    (pp. 76-93)

    Society in general does not really understand the perspective of First Nations people. In fact, the First Nations are often referred to as the “Indian problem” and as a burden to society. There is a sense – a mistaken sense – that First Nations are completely satisfied to live in the vicious cycle of dependence and social handouts. Mainstream society does not realize that an innate pride and sense of honour beats in the hearts of this land’s original people. And this comes from knowing that we have strong principles, values, and traditions. We also have legal contracts – treaties – in place. Moreover,...

  10. 6 A Historic Overview of Policies Affecting Non-Aboriginal Development in Northwestern Ontario, 1900–1990
    (pp. 94-114)

    In the mid-1970s, in one of the foundation works exploring the history of political economy in Ontario, H.V. Nelles provided the first in-depth examination of the impact that resource development played in shaping the politics in Ontario.¹ Building upon the work of Harold Innis and Donald Creighton, Nelles turned his attention to the “new” staple economy of the twentieth century – mines and forests.² And yet while Nelles’s work remains the most detailed examination of the government of Ontario’s role in the exploitation of natural resources and the resource politics at the heart of central Canadian economic development, the adversarial nature...

  11. 7 Destiny Delayed? Turning Mineral Wealth into Sustainable Development
    (pp. 115-136)

    Metal mining has been and will continue to be a distinctive feature of the economy of northern Ontario. All of Ontario’s twenty-eight metal mines are in the north of the province, and they produced $7.4 billion worth of metals in 2008,¹ most of which was exported (mineral production in southern Ontario is predominantly of construction materials, such as gravel). A region commonly is considered to be specialized if it has an industry whose share of the regional economy is 1.4 or more times its share of the general economy. By that criterion, northern Ontario is both specialized in and dependent...

  12. 8 Agri-Food Policy in Northern Ontario: Is It Possible to Steward a Local or Regional Agri-Food Economy?
    (pp. 137-161)

    In geopolitical terms, northern Ontario is at least half as big as Europe; its scattered settler and indigenous populations and its economic history have created issues and concerns quite different from those of other areas of the province. Northern Ontario is really four Norths: the North of cities, the North of small towns, the North of resource extraction, and the North of indigenous peoples. We could add a fifth North, the fictitious one that animates the imagination of southern Ontario: the frozen, inhospitable, wild, and untamed frontier North. Each of these Norths has developed specific policy needs and articulates a...

  13. 9 The Forgotten Industry in the Forgotten North: Tourism Developments in Northern Ontario
    (pp. 162-184)

    With the exception of some farming areas around Thunder Bay, the Rainy River district, and within the Clay Belt near Timiskaming, northern Ontario can be best characterized as a landscape featuring the Canadian Shield and the Hudson Bay lowlands. It is a largely sparsely populated rural region containing vast tracts of wildlands. Most of the population is concentrated in major urban centres such as Thunder Bay, Sault Ste Marie, Sudbury, North Bay, and Timmins, with the remainder in First Nations and smaller non-Aboriginal communities, the latter mostly dependent upon primary resource-extractive industries such as mining and forestry.¹

    In this chapter...

  14. 10 Forest Tenure Systems for Development and Underdevelopment
    (pp. 185-207)

    Development is stalled in northern Ontario. The amount of labour required to harvest and process timber continues to decline. Population in much of the region is falling. In retrospect there was an astonishing failure in the second half of the twentieth century to convert an enormous natural resource base into the foundation for sustainable economic development.

    Some of the most respected and prominent forestry economists in Canada have written that the forest tenure system is one of the fundamental causes of the underdevelopment of Canada’s forestry regions. In 1998 Haley and Luckert pointed out that “the Crown tenure system, designed...

  15. 11 Conclusion
    (pp. 208-214)

    Many of the chapters in this collection were first presented at a workshop at Laurentian University in the fall of 2009 where the authors, discussants, and participants examined the economic development of northern Ontario. As with many discussions that take place in marginal regions, those present were united by their sense of community and shared identity. The book began with basic questions: can we demonstrate that – as is widely believed in northern Ontario – the region’s economic development has not kept pace with that in other parts of the province and the country? If we are correct in identifying this problem...

  16. Contributors
    (pp. 215-216)
  17. Back Matter
    (pp. 217-218)