The Economic Participation Task Force is comprised of community leaders from different areas of the Northwestern Ontario Region.
The vision of the Task Force is to help create vibrant communities with growing opportunities and sustainable services for all people at all phases of life in Northwestern Ontario.
The mission of the Task Force is to coordinate and support the efforts of organizational and community leaders in addressing the infrastructure issues impacting Northwestern Ontario.
Objectives of the Task Force:
Objective One: Support the development of economic infrastructure in Northwestern Ontario.
Economic infrastructure includes both macro and micro issues such as taxes and regulatory regime, access to transportation, hydro, and internet, and social infrastructure access, including daycare. The impact of the cost of living and recreation in remote areas will also be considered.
A key factor in economic infrastructure is Human Capital. This factor will include short- and long-term human resources needs in all economic sectors, including the service sector. Emphasis will be placed on finding solutions that merge public, private and labour organizations’ needs. The retention of human capital is key to all partners .
Objective Two: Support the growth and full participation of Indigenous and non-Indigenous people in the economy of Northwestern Ontario.
To drive the economy forward more effectively, all members of the region must be fully and equally engaged.
One key element of this idea is the inclusion in the economy of the Indigenous members of Northwestern Ontario, as well as other racialized and/or marginalized groups whose access to the economy may be limited or challenging.
This task force will focus on creating more effective partnerships with identified groups (e.g. First Nations, newcomers, people in precarious employment, Francophones, etc.) and support them in gaining access to skills training, which in turn will help them to create, improve and leverage their human capital in the economy.
In addition, this task force will determine ways to eliminate the biases and roadblocks that hinder participation in the economy.
Special attention will be given to determining ways of increasing support for and funding the education and training of Indigenous students, both on and off reserve, while eliminating the biases and roadblocks that hinder Indigenous participation in the economy.
Objective 3: Support entrepreneurs, innovators and businesses in growing the economy.
This topic will focus on how to improve support for innovators, entrepreneurs and business by supporting or facilitating partnerships, governmental support or currently established relationships with other regions and institutions.
Items to improve this support might look at mechanisms to lower costs, leverage business relationships more effectively or reach out to sister cities for innovative or best practices.
Other ideas to be potentially explored in supporting businesses include incentives and benefits, diversification and accessing investment capital to support business interests.
Special attention will be given to building an entrepreneurial culture in remote communities
Other ideas and innovations are also to be explored.
Objective 4: Support key strategic influencers to work together to move the economy forward through enhanced communications and collaboration within Northwestern Ontario.
Focus in this section could identify ways for our key influencers to move the economy ahead by addressing initiatives or activities that could be undertaken with First Nations, newcomer, civic and public orders of communities to communicate and work together more effectively.
This work might include how to find ways to influence change or affect improved communications between bureaucracies or by improving the legislative and collaborative decision making processes that are encountered at all levels of the economy and between the sectors involved.
This Task Force work could find ways to highlight and communicate regional successes yet at the same time establish champions that could influence visibility for regional issues such the decreasing workforce pool, the promotion of our smaller communities, the cost of living, internet access or diversity.
Objective 5: Identify the appropriate resources, partners and processes required to facilitate greater participation in the economy.
This section will focus on influencing the appropriate government resources and processes available to target and coordinate important regional economic issues.
It will also highlight the relevant efficiencies and challenges to accessing resources.