Canada’s Northern Strategy focuses on three primary goals: to develop a diversified and sustainable economy, to build social infrastructure, and to foster reconciliation with Indigenous peoples. These three key priorities form a foundation for the region, which is undergoing rapid changes. The growth of Aboriginal institutions, climate change, and the growth of the Northern and Aboriginal governments are all affecting the region. Moreover, youth are transforming the region by their very numbers.
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples
The Department of Norstrat, is working on a reconciliation strategy to promote meaningful and effective engagement with Indigenous peoples. It is working with Indigenous leaders and partners on different paths toward reconciliation.
Reconciliation is a process of shifting relationships, power and knowledge. The process involves individual efforts as well as institutional efforts. Ultimately, the goal is to develop new and constructive agreements that will promote mutually beneficial outcomes.
Reconciliation occurs in the context of evolving Indigenous-Crown relationships. It focuses on recognizing and implementing Indigenous rights. It requires a renewed fiscal relationship and a climate for resource development that is supportive of both the Crown and the Indigenous nations. Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples in Canada is an ongoing process that will require flexibility and innovative solutions to best achieve its objectives.
Strengthening social infrastructure
The Government of Canada is building social infrastructure as part of its northern strategy. These investments will help to address unique needs in the North. They will also help to improve the quality of life for the middle class and strengthen Canada’s economy.
These investments will include the creation of new public transit networks and funding for new service extensions. This will create a strong, urban transportation network that can support inclusive cities. It will also provide new jobs and opportunities for Canadians.
Other investments will focus on building affordable housing and preventing homelessness. These investments will support early learning and education, health care, and community services. These investments will help improve the quality of life for people in the North.
Growing a diversified and sustainable economy
With the release of the Arctic and Northern Policy Framework, the Government of Canada is taking a new approach to its work in the North. This framework focuses on economic growth, sector development and infrastructure.
It is a profound shift in direction for the Government of Canada. It will guide investments from now to 2030. It is an opportunity to build a stronger Arctic and a more sustainable economy. The people of the Arctic and North must be more fully integrated into Canadian society.
The policy framework addresses issues such as employment, health, education and community infrastructure. It also outlines Indigenous approaches to the implementation of the policy. It will serve as a roadmap for the federal government’s investments in the region.
Closing the gaps between the region and the rest of Canada
The Government of Canada has developed a new Arctic and Northern Policy Framework. This framework aims to address social and environmental issues facing Canada’s Arctic and North.
The framework includes measures to strengthen transportation infrastructure in the region. One example is the restoration of a rail line in Churchill. This opens the door for economic opportunities in the area.
Another major focus of the framework is employment. This is addressed through improved educational programs and increased opportunities for local higher education. In addition, research into climate change resilience is underway. This is a significant undertaking, as is tracking species distribution and mapping climate change impacts.
Health care services are also a challenge in the region. Many communities lack access to skilled professionals, which can make it difficult to provide quality healthcare. Moreover, a lack of affordable housing can negatively affect social and health outcomes.
Youth are transforming the region by their very numbers
A rising generation of youth could be a critical force in building accountability for public service and economic transformation. But while many countries were caught up in the global wave of democratization in the 1990s, there is still much work to be done.
In sub-Saharan Africa, 375 million young people are expected to reach working age by 2030, or the equivalent of the populations of Canada and the United States. While there are many positives to this demographic bulge, some nations are also experiencing the challenges of state stability, poor education, and insufficient security.
In addition, many citizens are struggling with inadequate infrastructure and healthcare, and illegitimate elections. These issues can be improved through better policymaking and more robust institutions, but only if the right solutions are enacted.
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