August 13, 2010 - Northern Canada includes both the wealthiest and poorest regions in the country - web portal to help connect.
August 13, 2010 (Kitchener, ON) - - Ottawa - Canada's North is home to both the wealthiest and the poorest regions in the country, a stark dichotomy that illustrates both the challenges and opportunities in the North. The Conference Board of Canada illustrates this disparity in its first Here the North map, released today as part of the launch of the Centre for the North's web portal.
The first map in the series, Money Talks, shows that the census divisions with the top three median incomes in Canada are resource-rich northern regions (based on the 2006 census). They include northern Alberta (centered around Fort McMurray), the Fort Smith Region in the Northwest Territories (including Yellowknife) and Northern Rockies in British Columbia (centered around Fort Nelson). In each of these three communities, median income - the midpoint of the income distribution in the region - exceeds $35,000.
On the other hand, the five census divisions with the lowest median income are also in the North. Division No. 19, known as Northeast Manitoba, has a median income of just $9,822. The other four census divisions with the lowest median incomes are:
- Division No. 18 (all of northern Saskatchewan, including La Ronge)
- Central Coast (around Bella Coola in northern British Columbia)
- Division No. 23 (Churchill-Northern Manitoba)
- Division No. 22 (Thompson-North Central in Manitoba)
The "North"-as defined by The Northern Development Ministers Forum and adopted by the Centre for the North-consists of the three territories and the Northern regions of seven provinces.
"It can be argued that the North-South boundary is the most significant division in the country. The socio-economic conditions in northern communities is much different - and for the most part, significantly more difficult - than in those below the line," said Gilles Rhéaume, Vice-President, Public Policy of The Conference Board of Canada."
"Here the North" is a series of maps designed to illustrate similarities and differences between Canada's North and South and among northern regions. The first 10 maps will be published bi-weekly and available through the Centre for the North's portal, which is intended to provide a forum and resource on northern issues.
"This portal provides an internet-based resource for Northerners - and everyone interested in the North - to communicate and share their knowledge and perspectives on issues that impact northern regions, and the policies and strategies that will help achieve sustainable prosperity in Canada's North," said Rhéaume. "The portal is also a vehicle for the Conference Board to inform Northerners about the latest research findings coming out of the Centre for the North, and to elicit their feedback."
Powered by IGLOO Software, the portal includes:
- Centre for the North research publications (available to registered users);
- an opportunity for anyone to comment on the Centre's research and northern issues; and
- a monthly question for web visitors, the Northern Poll.
"The first question that we are asking northerners over the next month is what are the key factors that define a thriving community," said Rhéaume. "The answers provided will help us get northern perspectives on the issues that we are investigating."
About the Centre for the North
The Centre for the North is a Conference Board of Canada program of research and dialogue. Its main purpose is to work with Aboriginal leaders, businesses, governments, communities, educational institutions, and other organizations to achieve a shared vision of sustainable prosperity in the North. Over its five-year mandate, the Centre for the North will help to establish and implement strategies, policies and practices to transform that vision into reality.