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TON Summit Looks to Unlock Northern Ontario’s Potential

Regional leaders are coming together to discuss the future of Northern Ontario.

Transforming Ontario’s North conference aims to bring economic and municipal leaders from the regions more populated, rural and indigenous communities to discuss the developments and opportunities in the north. TON says over 87 per cent of Ontario’s landmass filled with a diverse selection of resources is right in this region and it’s time to set the stage for more development.

Organizing Committee Member Mark Holmes says the conference will take a more grassroots discussion approach to really discover the region’s full economic potential. “That discussion leads into the planning on how to make those jobs become real,” Holmes adds. “It transcends forestry, mining, energy production, tourism. Those are all sort of the main stage of Northern Ontario’s economy, but how do we do it better.” He says there will also be discussions on the brand new sectors like the film industry and tech sector bringing more jobs into the region. “People can work from there homes now with the proper connectivity so how do we set up ourselves to be apart of that whole technological revolution that is happening, and plan for the future.”

Organizers say the summit is happening before the municipal elections because of other timing. They say with the new provincial government currently looking at economic development, the summit can’t wait until the new municipal representatives are elected. TON says there will most likely be quite a bit of crossover from the current municipal governments and people who will be elected at the end of October.

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Committee Member Holmes says the provincial government will be involved in the summit discussions as well. “At the end, I think there is going to be a mandate issued that will outline the path moving forward and which level of government will be in charge of that.” Holmes says this way everyone will be working on the same plan at the same time cohesively.

The event will conference will take place from September 11th to 13th at the Tim Horton’s Event Centre in Cochrane.

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