Anyone thinking of making policy affecting Ontario’s Northern regions would be well served to get in a car and drive around the place for a few days.
Anyone thinking of making policy affecting Ontario’s Northern regions would be well served to get in a car and drive around the place for a few days, or even a few weeks, once every year or so.
Now that I think about it, the next time I get that phone call asking, “If you were premier/prime minister, what is the one thing you would do to help Northern Ontario?” that will be my answer: put the deputy ministers on a bus and drive them around the North for meetings at least once every two years.
Don’t fly them in; drive, and stop, regularly. Also, make sure the bus does not have free Wi-Fi – force them to depend on the cell coverage that the rest of us experience daily.
I just spent 10 days doing the Highway 17-11 loop. I learned a lot on this trip, as I always do when I travel around the North. I learned many things policymakers in Ottawa and at Queen’s Park should know. I can tell them (so can you), but learning it firsthand would, I think, have a greater impact. But, to start the ball rolling, here are a few of the observations I made in my latest effort to experience, just a little, Ontario’s diverse Northern regions:
First, Northern Ontario is NOT a single region. It is very much a group of regions, each with its own unique economic, geographic, and social challenges and opportunities.
For the rest of this column: https://www.northernontariobusiness.com/columns/opinion-ten-days-on-the-road-in-northern-ontario-1475549