John van Nostrand gave a presentation on the Mid-Canada Boreal Corridor at Northern Policy Institute’s Policy in a Pub event in Thunder Bay. Below is an extract from the published presentation.
“There is, in Canada, a vast landmass that, by and large, is little talked about. It stretches from Newfoundland and Labrador to the Yukon, occupying the area between our nation’s tree line and the most populous swath of our country to the south, where 80 percent of all Canadians reside. It is temperate and habitable, home to 75 percent of our Aboriginal population. It also contains approximately 75 percent of our untapped wealth in terms of minerals and forest products.
This vast, resource-rich landmass is the Mid-Canada Boreal Corridor, and it is the site of significant activity that, for years, has been, and continues to be, a significant contributor to our collective economic prosperity, not to mention Canada’s identity. All of this activity – mining, oil and gas, and forestry – is occurring, it should be noted, in the absence of any plan, federal or provincial, to effectively guide the development of this landmass.
The lack of a strategic plan for this corridor is not a recent concern. Retired major general and author Richard Rohmer was advancing a vision for its prudent development and population as early as 1968, when Pierre Trudeau was Canada’s newly elected prime minister. Rohmer recognized that this landmass had the potential to be the nation’s most important economic belt for the next 50 years, thus necessitating a strategy for its development. A series of conferences followed, but Rohmer was unable to secure Trudeau’s support for such a plan and nothing came of it. Subsequent attempts to revisit the idea have proven equally fruitless.”
To download the full transcript of the presentation, click here.