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Future of Northwestern Ontario ....Be Part of Creating the Solution

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Wendy Landry Common Voice



THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO -----  September 11, 2016  (LSN) Common Voice Northwest (CVNW) is hosting a one-day conference in Thunder Bay designed to assist the region in preparing for a significant population shift over the next 25 years. 

With the population of Northwestern Ontario projected to shrink by 50,000 or more people between now and 2045 Common Voice Northwest is hosting a one-day conference to start the process of figuring out what to do about this fundamental change.  “From an economic stability perspective that means we will need 25,000 new workers just to keep current businesses, industries and public institutions running” said CVNW Chair, Wendy Landry. “The challenge facing the region is how can we replace those people and those workers that support both the public and private sectors,” added Landry.    

Common Voice has invited the entire leadership in the region to come together, to learn the details of this population shift and to explore ways of expanding our population while maintaining the existing population and workforce. “While we recognize that the faster growing Indigenous population of the region is a clear part of the solution, we also must recognize that growth in itself will not meet our needs” said Landry. “Our challenge is how do we increase migration into the area from elsewhere – elsewhere in Canada and elsewhere in the world.”  

Registration is well underway and organizers are confident that a good cross section of the regional leadership will be in attendance.  

The conference is being held back to back with the NOMA Fall Conference and is being held at the Victoria Inn and Conference Centre on Arthur Street West. Registration forms are available on the NOMA website.

 Common Voice Northwest Fall Conference
The Future of Northwestern Ontario
….Be Part of Creating the Solution
Draft Agenda
September 22 & 23, 2016
Victoria Inn and Conference Centre
Thunder Bay
Thursday, September 22
Registration 5:00 PM to 8 PM
Welcoming Reception: 6 PM to 8 PM – Sponsored by North Superior Workforce Planning Board
Friday, September 23
Breakfast and Registration: 7:30 AM – 8:30 AM
Welcome & Overview: Wendy Landry, Chair, CVNW (8:30 to 8:40 AM)
1. Keynote Address (8:40 AM to 9:25 AM)
a. Overview of the Demographic Challenge that the Northwest is facing
i. Madge Richardson, Executive Director, North of Superior Workforce Planning Board
ii. Charles Cirtwill, President, Northern Policy Institute
2. Indigenous Challenges and Opportunities (A) 9:25 AM to 10:15 AM)
a. Sectorial Overview: Presenter TBD
b. Round table discussions
1. Economic Participation
2. Education and Training
3. Infrastructure
4. Youth – the next generation
3. Refreshment Break (10:15 AM to 10:30 AM)
4. Migration Challenges and Opportunities (B) 10:30 AM to 11:30 AM)
a. Sectorial Overview: Presenter Paul Wodja, Youth Program Facilitator, Thunder Bay Multicultural Association
b. Round table discussion
1. Economic Participation
2. Education and Training
3. Infrastructure
4. Youth – the next generation
5. Lunch (11:30 AM to 1:00 PM)
(Concurrent with Women in Politics Luncheon held elsewhere in the Victoria Inn)
6. Families and Communities – Challenges and Opportunities (C) 1:00 PM to 1:50 PM)
a. Sectorial Overview: Henry Wall, CAO, Kenora District Service Board
b. Round table discussion
1. Economic Participation
2. Education and Training
3. Infrastructure
4. Youth – the next generation
Refreshment Break (1:50 PM to 2:05 PM)
7. Summation Report and Prioritization Session 2:05 to 3:00 PM
Common Strategic recommendations of each round table
1. Economic Participation: Charmaine McCraw, Labour Force Researcher, Northern Policy Institute
a. Establishing Priorities
2. Education and Training: John DeGiacomo, Executive Director, Anishinabek Employment & Training Services
a. Establishing Priorities,
3. Infrastructure; Mark Wright, Administration CAO/Economic Development, Municipality of Greenstone
a. Establishing Priorities
4. Youth – the next generation: Nathan Lawrence, President, Northwestern Ontario Associated Chambers of Commerce,
a. Establishing Priorities
9. Next Steps
a. Follow up, coordination, funding and communications
b. Establishing and/or confirmation of Implementation Task Forces
1. Economic Participation
2. Education and Training
3. Infrastructure
4. Youth – the next generation
10. Adjournment
Common Voice Northwest will work towards the implementation of recommendations from the conference over the next twelve to 24 months.


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