Ontario’s Northern Regions look to make their communities more welcoming
March 1, 2021
Communities in rural and northern Ontario came together to lay out short and long-term plans to grow their population.
This includes the “Come North” 10-point action plan released in January 2021.
Northern Ontario is facing labour shortages as well as an aging and declining population. For this reason, more than 300 people representing over 100 organizations came together for two conferences in February 2020 to address northern Ontario’s population issue.
They discussed how to make their communities more welcoming to immigrants and other Canadians. The two conferences were held in Temiskaming Shores and Thunder Bay.
The communities identified that they must work together, develop a plan and a brand as well as update the plan every year.
One main point in the action plan includes focusing on becoming more welcoming to newcomers as well as current residents in the communities.
Another point focuses on combatting racism; those who combat racism and those who promote immigration need to work together with newcomers to minimize racism and promote reconciliation with Indigenous people.
These conferences were held pre-pandemic. The effects of the pandemic only amplified the need for addressing the population issue and welcoming more immigrants to help with economic recovery.