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The School of Public Policy and CIRANO Launch Ambitious Research Effort to Gauge Feasibility of a “Northern Corridor” – Multi-Purpose Northern Right-of-Way for Resource Exports

by ahnationtalk on June 18, 2015702 Views

For Immediate Release June 18th, 2015

The School of Public Policy and CIRANO are pleased to announce that they are undertaking a major research project designed to gauge the feasibility of a “Northern Corridor” – a game-changing multi-use right-of-way that could meet Canada’s pressing need for resource transportation routes across Canada and to ports on three coasts.

Claude Montmarquette, CEO of CIRANO characterized the proposed Northern Corridor as “a potential answer to several problems. Namely, how to safely transport resources of various kinds away from densely populated Southern regions, how to increase Canada’s access to foreign markets, create greater economic opportunities for people living in northern Canada, and how to overcome the regulatory log-jam that has characterised attempts at building more southerly rights-of-way for years.”

At a press conference held today at the National Press Theatre in Ottawa, Jack Mintz, Claude Montmarquette and Andrei Sulzenko shared the podium to outline the research plan, and drive home the importance of a new transportation route to Canada’s future. “A large, single, multi-use right-of-way could allow the construction of a rail line away from towns and cities, and pipelines that make it to ports. The reality is that the window of opportunity for Canada to take advantage of the international demand for our renewable and non-renewable resource is not infinite, and could already be closing. Canada needs new markets. A single right-of-way could radically accelerate Canada’s progress towards market diversification and creates a literal and figurative bridge across Canada’s regions,” said Jack Mintz, Director of The School of Public Policy.

Now, The School of Public Policy and CIRANO will undertake the initial paper by fall of this year. The paper will identify the areas of further study required. Then, a subsequent phase of more detailed research on key issues including: system design and rationalization; costing and financing; public policy support; and economic, social and environmental impacts will begin.

Pending the result of the initial feasibility study, the proponents of Northern Corridor will help facilitate stakeholder engagement and work towards a federal decision on how to proceed by 2017.

Map, research and discussion document can be found at


Jack Mintz

Jack Mintz was appointed the Palmer Chair in Public Policy at the University of Calgary in January 2008 and Director of The School of Public Policy.

He also serves on the boards of Imperial Oil Limited, Morneau Shepell and is chair and Vice-President of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. He has been appointed to the federal Panel on Healthcare Innovation in 2013-14 as well as the Minister of Finance’s Economic Advisory Council since December 2008.

Mintz received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 for service to the Canadian tax policy community. Alberta Venture magazine has recognized him as one of the fifty most influential Albertans in 2008, 2010 and 2013. The Financial Post named him one of the five most influential Canadians in regulation in 2012.

Andrei Sulzenko

Andrei Sulzenko is a public policy consultant, specializing in micro-economic, innovation, and trade and investment issues. Since 2005, his consulting practice has involved numerous policy related assignments, mainly for departments and agencies of the federal government. He has also worked for government-sponsored, private sector led, expert panels and advisory bodies, including the expert panels on competition policy, on private sector innovation and on defense procurement.

As a consultant, Mr. Sulzenko has advised directly and indirectly departments/agencies of Industry, International Trade, Health, Citizenship and Immigration, Agriculture, Food Inspection, Border Services, Public Works and Government Services. He has also provided pro bono advice to various non-profit policy oriented institutions and served as fellow and adjunct professor at Queen’s University’s School of Policy Studies.

Mr. Sulzenko worked for the federal government from 1972 to 2004 in progressively challenging assignments, culminating in his position as Senior Assistant Deputy Minister, Policy at Industry Canada from 1996-2004, where he was responsible for micro-economic policy and analysis, marketplace legislation and foreign investment review. In 2003 he was awarded the Head of the Public Service Award for Excellence in Policy.

Mr. Sulzenko’s experience over more than forty years provides him with a deep understanding of economic analysis and policymaking and a comprehensive knowledge of issues related to economic development, trade and investment, research and innovation, and government procurement.

Claude Montmarquette

Holder of a PhD in economics from the University of Chicago, Claude Montmarquette is president, chief executive officer at the Center for Interuniversity Research and Analysis of Organizations, (CIRANO), and Professor Emeritus of economics from the University of Montreal. He has held the Chair ¨ Bell – Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec¨ in experimental economics for many years. He is the author or editor of eight books and over 70 scientific articles, and more than 55 public policy papers.

Over the course of his career, Professor Montmarquette has been a Guest Professor in several universities, has chaired many committees for the Government of Quebec, and served on many others, both nationally and internationally. He is an elected fellow of the Royal Society of Canada (1998), voted a Great Montrealer in 2010 and named member of the Order of Canada in 2013. He also received the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Medal in the same year. Claude Montmarquette was honored with a degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from McGill University in 2013.


Media contact:

Morten Paulsen 403.220.2540



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