Engagement Process: Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy

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The world is changing. In an era of intense global competition, Canadians must build on past achievements, address challenges head on, and work to seize new economic opportunities that position us for the future.

To help the territories compete in this new reality, the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency (CanNor) is working with territorial and Indigenous governments, industry, Indigenous communities and organizations, and academia to develop a Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy. The purpose of this strategy is to help stimulate economic growth, which reflects the unique advantages of each territory.

To inform the development of this strategy, CanNor will be holding in-person roundtables and teleconferences in the three territories with a broad range of partners and stakeholders in early 2019.

Learn more about the Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy.

What have we heard so far?

In summer 2017, CanNor held a series of roundtables in the territories to inform renewal of its economic development programming. Our territorial and Indigenous partners, as well as other Northern stakeholders, highlighted a number of challenges in the territories that hamper the pace of development, including a significant infrastructure deficit and a higher cost of doing business related to remote locations, harsh environment, and sparse population distribution.

Based on collected feedback, CanNor is proposing the following action areas to focus the Agency's activities, in collaboration with its partners and stakeholders, over the next five years. Actions will integrate the existing work of territorial governments (e.g. Northwest Territories' Economic Opportunities Strategy). Initiatives to promote innovation will be included in all areas of action.

Proposed Action Areas

Resource extraction sectors

Support the sustainable development of the resource extraction sectors in a manner which increases community capacity and maximizes jobs and wealth within the territories.

Economic diversification and innovation

Foster the sustainable growth of other economic sectors, such as tourism, with an initial focus on strengthened entrepreneurship and Northern innovation.

Infrastructure investments and development

Leverage upcoming investments and the ongoing operation of major infrastructure projects to maximize local and regional economic opportunities.

Skilled workforce

Help build a Northern workforce and equip Northerners with the tools, skills, and experience they need to succeed in the workforce, now and into the future.

Who is being engaged?

It is essential that the views of those most directly involved and affected help shape the foundation of the Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy. Because there is strength in diversity, this engagement paper invites input from:

  • territorial and municipal governments
  • industry
  • businesses
  • women, youth, and recent immigrants
  • economic development organizations
  • colleges and research institutes
  • individual Canadians

Given the critical role played by Indigenous people and governments in the Northern economy, CanNor will also have focused engagement with Inuit, First Nations, and Métis governments and organizations.

At its core, the strategy is about growing the economy, attracting investment, and creating middle class jobs for Northerners and all Canadians. To do this, we need to think boldly and work together to focus our efforts on advancing territorial strengths.

What do we plan to ask?

Beginning in January 2019 and ending in March 2019, we plan to ask the following four questions:


Are the four proposed action areas the right ones? If not, what would be your top four?


For the economic diversification action area, what three sectors should be prioritized? How should Tourism be supported?


For each action area, what specific activities should CanNor advance in collaboration with its partners?


How can Indigenous economic development corporations and the private sector be engaged to increase the effectiveness of the four proposed action areas?

What we heard

From January to March 2019, CanNor undertook a series of engagement activities to inform the development of the Pan-Territorial Growth Strategy. The broad range of views, considerations and ideas brought forward from individuals, communities, and organizations have been summarized in a "What we heard" report. This information will help guide CanNor's strategic approach towards future investments and activities in the territories.

We sincerely thank all those who participated. The final strategy will be developed and launched in 2019.

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