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Flin Flon has a thriving arts community.


ward lifting the sense of helplessness that has created inertia in the North. Tis includes the mining sector, which, it was agreed, had been the engine of growth for the past 80 years and could continue that way for at least as long again. Te Task Force learned that in 2015, the Manitoba mining industry was worth only $1.3 billion compared to Saskatchewan’s $8.5 billion and Ontario’s $10.7 bil- lion. Tey also learned that with a change in attitude by government and regulators, this can be turned around and mining can once again become the engine of growth for the North. While important, mining is only one source of growth and enterprise. Tere is also the forest industry. New- comer Canadian Kraft Paper Industries Ltd. sees oppor- tunities for expansion and wants to invest more. Te Task Force also saw the opportunities in agricul-


ture, not just on the vast Carrot River Valley, but in other centres where food can be produced locally given the right encouragement. As in all of Canada, the greatest potential, however, lies in the small and medium sized businesses that spring


Tourism at Churchill has huge growth potential.


up to meet a need, that scale up through finding new markets and that provide training and employment for local people. What is holding them back? A bureau- cratic system supporting a morass of limiting regulation and roadblocks. Twenty five percent of the workforce in the North works for government which does not build economies. First Nations potential feels “locked up” (the words used by the report) by structural and regulatory restraints, by long term government dependence and limitations on enterprise, says the report, which goes on to note that “the regulatory and structural constraints appear to be continuing the intent of their creation, to isolate and control the indigenous population.” Case in point? An idea to build a local inbound hunting and fishing in- dustry controlled by First Nations who could bring in people from crowded Asian countries and give them an authentic experience using local indigenous guides is im- possible because the guides currently have to be licensed by government and flown in from somewhere else. Small business feels locked up too, by environmental and regulatory rules established from outside by people


The port at Churchill. thehubwinnipeg.com


The waters of Hudson Bay teem with belugas in summer. Winter 2018 • 23


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