Rural Development Institute, Brandon University

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Over 350 people gathered North of the 53rd parallel in Manitoba on October 16th and 17th for the Linkages in the North Conference. Hosted in The Pas by University College of the North, the conference focused on northern economic development. With a demonstrated commitment to northern research in Manitoba, the Rural Development Institute was pleased to participate in the event. A few key themes/topics and messages from the event:

  • The adaptation required for the changing job market which was presented by the Royal Bank of Canada. RBC’s study “Humans wanted: How Canadian youth can thrive in the age of disruption” looks at how the workforce is changing to help us prepare for it. One recommendation was that youth need a foundation of skills rather than skills in one career path to be prepared for the changing job market.
  • Expect to see growth opportunities in the technology, media and telecommunications sector in the future as presented by the Deloitte Group.  Examples included: 5G, smart speakers at a discount, quantam computers as the next super computers and 3D printers.
  • Partnerships are needed to create northern economic prosperity. Examples were the partnership between the Artic Gateway Group, governments and indigenous communities that have helped rebuild the railway to Churchill here in Manitoba. Another featured example was Plan Nord where Quebec’s Grand Council of Crees came together with government to promote the potential for mining, energy, tourism, and social and cultural development in Québec’s North. 
  • The Look North report is fueling a movement to grow the economy in Northern Manitoba which was highlighted at the conference through resources distributed and a presentation by Gary Merasty of the Communities Economic Development Fund. 
  • Senator Patricia Bovey highlighted the Special Senate Committee‘s report on the Arctic entitled Northern Lights: A wake-up call for the future of Canada

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