Policies for 11 priority sectors

2.2.2 The Province will focus economic development strategies on the following existing and emerging priority economic sectors and the distinct competitive advantages that Northern Ontario can offer within these sectors:

a) advanced manufacturing
b) agriculture, aquaculture and food processing
c) arts, culture and creative industries
d) digital economy
e) forestry and value-added forestry-related industries
f) health sciences
g) minerals sector and mining supply and services
h) renewable energy and services
i) tourism
j) transportation, aviation and aerospace
k) water technologies and services.

2.2.3 Economic development strategies for existing and emerging priority economic sectors will examine opportunities to:

a) strengthen networks and collaboration among businesses, industry, the education and research sectors, economic development organizations and northern communities
b) attract investment
c) grow and retain existing competitive businesses, including export development activities and diversification into value-added business opportunities
d) respond to labour market needs and opportunities through education, training and entrepreneurship supports
e) support research tailored to the Northern Ontario context to inform business development and infrastructure planning
f) improve the clarity and efficiency of the provincial regulatory and legislative framework
g) integrate sector considerations in labour market and infrastructure planning.

2.3.1 In addition to the matters identified in Policy 2.2.3, economic development initiatives undertaken by the appropriate parties to grow and diversify each existing and emerging priority economic sector, should include but not be limited to the measures described in Policies 2.3.2 through 2.3.12.

2.3.2 Advanced Manufacturing

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the advanced manufacturing sector should include:
a) supporting innovation, research and commercialization of value added products and services in the existing and emerging priority economic sectors
b) working with prospective investors to identify Northern Ontario opportunities.

2.3.3 Agriculture, Aquaculture and Food Processing

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the agriculture, aquaculture and food processing sector should include:
a) undertaking and disseminating research focused on northern climatic and environmental conditions
b) identifying opportunities for developing the bioeconomy within this sector, including innovative uses of agriculture/food processing, biomass, and collaboration among producers, processors, the forest industry, biorefineries and the biopharmaceutical industry
c) identifying land improvement and environmental sustainability needs
d) expanding production in the North to contribute to a sustainable local food source for Northern Ontario residents
e) exploring opportunities for complementary economic activities on agricultural land, as appropriate
f) supporting buy-local initiatives that increase consumer awareness of Ontario-produced foods and encourage Ontarians to buy locally, including Northern Ontario products
g) marketing and branding that showcases environmental stewardship, innovation and food safety
h) supporting development of production, processing and distribution systems.

2.3.4 Arts, Culture and Creative Industries

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the arts, culture and creative industries sector should include:
a) creating opportunities for cultural and artistic expression in urban, rural and remote communities, particularly among youth
b) promoting incentives for film and television, interactive digital media, and computer animation and special effects
c) expanding access to information and communications technology infrastructure
d) celebrating the unique cultures and histories of the peoples of Northern Ontario
e) supporting postsecondary education and training programs in digital media.

2.3.5 Digital Economy

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the digital economy sector should include:
a) expanding access to information and communications technology infrastructure to address current and future needs of businesses, organizations and private citizens
b) supporting postsecondary education and training programs in digital media
c) encouraging adoption of current information and communications technologies.

2.3.6 Forestry and Value-Added Forestry-Related Industries

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the forestry and value-added forestry-related industry sectors should include:
a) marketing that showcases Ontario as a global leader in environmentally sustainable forestry and forest stewardship
b) maximizing the value from the timber resource and optimizing the use of unused fibre
c) providing a greater role for market forces in the pricing and allocation of Crown timber
d) creating financially self-sufficient business entities to manage Crown forestry resources on an economically efficient scale
e) supporting ongoing collaboration among the Province, industry and other partners through a cluster council
f) encouraging and promoting opportunities for wood construction and the use of wood in public building projects
g) optimizing forestry’s role in carbon trading and sequestration opportunities
h) identifying opportunities for developing the bioeconomy within this sector, including innovative uses of forestry biomass, and collaboration between pulp and paper mill operators and future biorefineries in Northern Ontario and the chemical, energy, plastics and automotive industries
i) adopting innovations in the replanting and regeneration of Ontario’s forests
j) supporting research and commercialization expertise in the health, use and regeneration of Ontario tree species, climate change adaptation, and forestry-based bioproducts
k) expanding access to forest resource information
l) facilitating the entry of new participants and entrepreneurs, including Aboriginal businesses, co-operatives and commercial developers.

2.3.7 Health Sciences

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the health sciences sector should include:
a) leveraging Northern Ontario’s expertise in electronic and distributed health delivery systems and technology into new business and export opportunities
b) identifying opportunities for developing biopharmaceuticals and promoting cross-sector collaboration
c) investing in health sciences research and development.

2.3.8 Minerals Sector and Mining Supply and Services

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the minerals and mining supply and services sectors should include:
a) marketing that showcases Ontario as a global leader in environmentally sustainable mineral development and stewardship
b) creating new value-added resource sector opportunities through research, development and application of advanced processing and manufacturing technologies
c) expanding the mining supply and services industry, increasing exports, and supporting particular areas of competitive advantage including deep mining techniques and clean technologies
d) improving timeliness and clarity in regulatory processes, supported by a one window, co-ordinated process for approvals
e) expanding geoscience mapping and data collection and public access to resource information to expedite the discovery and development of new minerals and other resources
f) investing in research and innovation that improves the efficiency of industry operations, with an emphasis on extraction and exploration technologies, environmental technologies, and mine closure and rehabilitation processes
g) enabling new mining opportunities
h) facilitating partnerships among communities and industry to optimize community employment and benefits
i) facilitating the entry of new participants and entrepreneurs, including Aboriginal businesses, co-operatives and commercial developers.

2.3.9 Renewable Energy and Services

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the renewable energy sector should include:
a) facilitating the entry of new participants and entrepreneurs, including Aboriginal communities, co-operatives and commercial developers, in the development of renewable energy generation and sustainable energy solutions
b) attracting investment by enabling municipalities and local distribution companies to invest in community-based renewable energy projects
c) identifying and promoting manufacturing and service industries related to renewable energy generation
d) undertaking an approach to energy planning that supports regional needs by applying staged, flexible options that effectively address the unique needs and priorities of all communities, including those not connected to the grid, as well as the industrial sector in the North
e) promoting Northern Ontario as a location for renewable energy investment, research and commercialization.

2.3.10 Tourism

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the tourism sector should include:
a) investing in strategic public infrastructure and the provincial parks system to improve the competitiveness of the tourism industry and enhance the visitor experience
b) improving training and skills development in strategic areas such as e-technology, marketing, business planning and customer service to enable the tourism industry to better serve domestic and international travelers
c) encouraging regional co-operation to expand and diversify Northern Ontario’s tourism offerings and increase tourism visitation and receipts
d) encouraging regions and communities to undertake cultural planning that identifies opportunities for promoting tourism, including Aboriginal niche tourism  opportunities, and building on the presence of a strong Francophone community to tap into French-speaking markets
e) encouraging new, flexible and high-quality tourism products for domestic and international visitors
f) linking Northern Ontario tourism to provincial and national marketing campaigns and promoting the uniqueness of the Northern Ontario experience.

2.3.11 Transportation, Aviation and Aerospace

1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify the transportation, aviation and aerospace sector should include:
a) capitalizing on Northern Ontario’s extensive knowledge and experience in air transportation to rural and remote communities
b) encouraging the development and application of innovative aviation technologies, training and infrastructure.

2.3.12 Water Technologies and Services
1. Efforts by the Province, industry and, where appropriate, other partners, to grow and diversify emerging opportunities in the water, wastewater and stormwater technologies and services sector should include:
a) supporting and promoting research opportunities
b) encouraging collaboration among Northern Ontario’s water technology industries and key water users, including communities, and forestry, mining and renewable energy sectors