Established in 1980, Northern Ontario Business provides Canadians and international investors with relevant, current and insightful editorial content and business news information about Ontario’s vibrant and resource-rich North.
Dave Robinson is an economist with the Institute for Northern Ontario Research and Development at Laurentian University. [email protected] His column was published in the February, 2011 issue.
Once upon a time there was a vast, resource-rich region – kind of like Northern Ontario. It was stuck in an old-fashioned development trap. You know, producing raw materials for other regions, with all the decisions being made outside the region, and almost all the revenue from selling off resources going outside the region.
One man was officially in charge of pulling the region out of that development swamp. He was in charge of all the forests and all the minerals. The Grand Minister of Mines and Forests struggled heroically to get the region moving. But nothing happened.
Unfortunately, the Grand Minister was relying on an outdated model of development. He was pinning his hopes on the Ring of Fire and on doing what the forestry companies want. After flirting with change, he backed away from increasing community control and putting wood in the hands of small local producers. It looked like he’d been hog-tied by the big companies. Continue Reading →