Sudbury·THE NEXT 40

'You aint seen nothing yet'—northern Ontario forecasted to be mining technology capital of the world

Thousands of northerners will likely still be working in mining and forestry by 2058, but in ways that we might not be able to imagine today.

The Next 40 marks CBC Sudbury's 40th anniversary by imagining what northern Ontario will be like in 2058

The mining industry is predicted to continue to be the driver of the northern Ontario economy, although very few workers are expected to be underground in the future. (Denis Dossman/CBC)

Unlike other parts of the country, Northern Ontario was built on jobs.

Towns and cities sprung up because there was work in the mines or the mills or in the forests or on the railways.

Since CBC signed on in the northeast 40 years ago, the focus has been on diversifying the northern economy... and moving away from resource industries.

But what about the next 40 years? Where will northerners be getting their paycheques in the year 2058?

Here's what some experts had to say to those questions:

Doug Morrison is the CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation. (Erik White/CBC )
Doug Morrison, CEO of the Centre for Excellence in Mining Innovation:
"There will always be mining here, the total number of people engaged directly in the mines in northern Ontario will decline, but we will turn ourselves into the mining technology capital of the world."

Richard Worzel, Toronto-based futurist: "It means that skills are going to become much more important. You're going to have to engage in life-long learning, not as a cliche, but as a reality. And it means you're going to be much more entrepreneurial than you are today."

NORCAT CEO Don Duval (Erik White/CBC )
Don Duval, CEO of the Northern Ontario Centre for Advanced Technology:
 "With the new investments in exploration technology, I think we're going to find things that we haven't even thought about."

Ed Struzik, author of Firestorm: How Wildfires Will Shape Our Future: "The bottom line is the timber industry is going to be challenged and they're going to have to adjust to that, but adjustments can be made in a positive way."

Hear more on this week's episode of our special series, The Next 40:

About the Author

Erik White

journalist

Erik White is a CBC journalist based in Sudbury. He covers a wide range of stories about northern Ontario. Connect with him on Twitter @erikjwhite. Send story ideas to erik.white@cbc.ca

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