Mayors and First Nation leaders from across northern Ontario are set to meet in Cochrane next week. They'll be hosted by Mayor Peter Politis, who wants to help unlock the north's economic potential.
"The pure irony to all this is the Ring of Fire itself would be going right now. That's a glaring example of what the expense is of not having a long-term plan that transcends government," he says, emphasizing the importance of a 20 or 30-year-plan.
Politis hopes to take their plan to Queen's Park, so they can move towards implementation, with the help of leaders from across The North.
"One of our challenges in Northern Ontario is that we're so fragmented. We have a very diverse population from the Indigenous folks to the francophone folks to the non-Indigenous folks," he said. "There's no plan to piece all that together."
Geographically speaking, Northern Ontario represents 87 per cent of the province's land mass, with half the population living in one of 300 rural communities, including 106 Indigenous communities.
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