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Northern Ontario Citizen Engagement Forum. (FedNor Update).

When northerners are asked for their opinion, they don't hold back. That became clear at a series of regional consultations that will culminate in the Northern Ontario Citizen Engagement Forum in Sault Ste. Marie, November 14-17, 2002. The goal of the regional consultations was to identify the barriers to economic prosperity and youth retention, and more importantly, to come up with possible solutions to key northern challenges.

Participants presented a wide variety of ideas they believe would make the North a better place to live. More significantly, many voiced their desire to see the consultations' findings put into action, rather than sit on a shelf collecting dust.

Discussions at the forum will centre around access to capital, access to a competitive and innovative business environment, as well as infrastructure and telecommunications requirements. In more general terms, discussions will touch on improved quality of life including health, education and lifelong learning.

A federal action plan will be developed in early 2003.

"This document and its recommendations will represent the collective voice of Northerners," says Andy Mitchell, Secretary of State (Rural Development) (FedNor). "Once the forum is completed, we will look at the options available for action so that we can focus our actions to meet the challenges facing our communities."
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Publication:Northern Ontario Business
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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