The region of Northern Ontario has experienced prolonged socio-economic decline since the 1980s, and the continuation of these trends presents a threat to the sustainability of communities in the region. This study argues that current regional economic development policy for Northern Ontario has been ineffective in promoting sustainable development. Using a comparative case study analysis, involving secondary data collection, a review of academic and grey literature, and a jurisdictional scan, the region is placed in a broader Canadian context. Three policy options are identified and analyzed based on their ability to effectively promote sustainable development in the region, their cost, their ease of implementation, and their political viability. It is recommended that the federal government increase funding through the Federal Economic Development Initiative for Northern Ontario (FedNor) by implementing an Indigenous-focused program in the near term, while engaging the Government of Ontario to implement collaborative Regional Economic Planning Agencies in the long term.
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Thesis advisor: Gross, Dominique
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