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Dr. David Robinson

Let's help the South find itself

Northern Ontario would do much better if southern Ontario understood itself. We in the North need to help the south with its midlife crisis so the south can finally loosen the apron strings and let us develop.

Northern Ontario as a pop can

Single-industry towns only exist to supply an outside market. The U.S. Navy wants nickel? Build a nickel town. Chicago needs pine to rebuild after the Great Fire? Build logging towns.

When good people say bad things

I genuinely like politicians. The ones I know are all smart people with good people skills. Some of them even buy me lunch. It bothers me when a politician I like pushes a policy that I know is dumb.

New forest framework: Roller skates for dinosaurs?

This is not a trick question. What is the job of the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines and Forestry (MNDMF)? The name of the ministry seems to say that it is responsible for three things. The first one is northern development.

Lost in the woods

The Growth Plan for Northern Ontario is based on a simple prediction. The majority of communities in Northern Ontario will continue to decline.
This column is a Trojan Horse

This column is a Trojan Horse

The year 1990 was the high point in development planning for the North. The most dramatic and successful initiatives came from a southerner, David Peterson. Peterson was elected in 1985.
The Capital 'N' and the Great Eraser

The Capital 'N' and the Great Eraser

How many teachers in Northern Ontario tell their students that the name of the region is spelled with a capital "N?" It isn't a trivial question. If teachers think "northern Ontario" is the correct spelling they are giving their students a signal.

From one fossil to another: put the kids in charge

Dear Michael Gravelle: Just having our own Facebook page doesn't magically turn old fogies like us into citizens of the 21st century. We have to learn to think like natives of the information age. And you and I are not doing too well, Michael.
Warming up the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario

Warming up the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario

It can’t be an accident that no one likes the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario. It took a lot of work to produce a document with so little content. The major result seems to be that more and more Northerners are talking about seceding from Ontario.
Northern Growth Plan: stuck in the twilight zone

Northern Growth Plan: stuck in the twilight zone

  Here in Ontario's Twilight Zone, words have strange meanings, plans are not plans, empty talk is bold action, growth is declining population.