The Research Program

Research Publications

The Canadian Northern Corridor Research Program includes multiple studies, across several areas of expertise, to address the many facets of the corridor concept including financial, legal, geographical, socio-economic, environmental, regulatory, governance and policy dimensions. The purpose is to provide the information and analysis necessary to establish the feasibility of the Canadian Northern Corridor.

Research Areas


Recent Publications

Canadian Northern Corridor: Recent Research Overview

Canadian Northern Corridor: Recent Research Overview

This document summarizes the Canadian Northern Corridor's completed research through September 2021. It includes Key Messages from the Program's School of Public Policy publications and aims to give policy makers, stakeholders, and other interested parties a comprehensive overview of the work accomplished by CNC researchers through the first full year of the CNC Research Program.

Download Full Overview (English)

 

Existing and Pending Infrastructure Projects: Potential Compatibility with the Canadian Northern Corridor Organization and Governance

Existing and Pending Infrastructure Projects: Potential Compatibility with the Canadian Northern Corridor

Alaz Munzur

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 15 • Issue 5 • January 2022

Rigorous planning of a multi-modal corridor at a national scale involves identifying current and future infrastructure needs and determining opportunities for co-location of linear infrastructure. Ensuring compatibility of such a major and complex infrastructure expansion with existing and planned projects is necessary to avoid potential redundancies, minimize environmental impact, optimize resource allocation and enable long-term, sustainable economic growth. For this purpose, this paper reviews linear infrastructure projects in Canada's North and near-North that could potentially constitute a segment of the Canadian Northern Corridor (CNC).

Key Messages (English)

Summary (English)

Messages clés (Français)

Résumé (Français)

 

Critical Mineral Mining in Canada Strategic and Trade Dimensions

Critical Mineral Mining in Canada

Alaz Munzur

The School of Public Policy Publications
Infrastructure Policy TrendsDecember 2021

Critical minerals mining can help drive clean technology development, accelerate Canada's clean energy transition and industrial transformation.

Nordicity and its Relevance for Northern Canadian Infrastructure Development Geography and Engineering

Nordicity and its Relevance for Northern Canadian Infrastructure Development

Katharina Koch

Polar Geography
Ahead-of-print • October 2021

Canada’s northern regions have unique geospatial characteristics which are based on differences in biodiversity, climate, ecosystems and socio-economic conditions. Together, these distinct conditions challenge the prevailing “one-size fits all” northern infrastructure development approach which is often based on southern conceptions of the North. This paper, published in Polar Geography, examines the need to capture Canada’s northern complexity in order to support a comprehensive but differentiated northern policy approach. The research also emphasizes the importance of including Indigenous Knowledge into any type of future northern infrastructure development strategy. A School of Public Policy Publications paper based on this research is forthcoming in early 2022.

Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline in Retrospect Strategic and Trade Dimensions

Mackenzie Valley Gas Pipeline in Retrospect

Alaz Munzur

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 14 • Issue 33 • November 2021

The lengthy regulatory and review processes to assess major infrastructure development projects and lack of long-term planning are often viewed as sources of conflict between the economic objectives and environmental conservation and culture and heritage preservation. Cancelled and stalled infrastructure projects can offer valuable insight into this and can lead to better decision-making processes around infrastructure development in Canada. For this purpose, this piece provides a retrospective look at the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline.

Summary (English)

Résumé (Français)

 

Northern and Arctic Security and Sovereignty: Challenges and Opportunities for a Northern Corridor Strategic and Trade Dimensions

Northern and Arctic Security and Sovereignty: Challenges and Opportunities for a Northern Corridor

P. Whitney Lackenbauer and Katharina Koch

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 14 • Issue 20 • August 2021

This paper offers a distinct perspective by linking security and sovereignty to core issues of infrastructure development, climate and environmental change and Indigenous rights. By raising both potential benefits and security risks or vulnerabilities associated with the Canadian Northern Corridor (CNC) Concept, it reveals the need for careful, ongoing assessment by relevant rights- and stakeholders, including defence and security practitioners. The paper closes with potential research avenues that might be pursued to gain further knowledge and understanding of the security implications of the CNC Concept, and to explore possible ways to anticipate and mitigate undesirable side effects.

Key Messages (English)
Summary (English)
Messages clés (Français)
Résumé (Français)

Implications of an Infrastructure Corridor for Alberta's Economy Economic Outcomes

Implications of an Infrastructure Corridor for Alberta's Economy

Trevor Tombe, Alaz Munzur and G. Kent Fellows

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 14 • Issue 7 • February 2021

Depending on the geographical area they serve and the modes of transport and types of connections they promote, infrastructure corridors can create trade-offs and synergies between different kinds of economic, social, and environmental outcomes. Yet the implied effects can vary across different regions, population segments and industries. A complete review of a proposed infrastructure corridor package involves a rigorous analysis of all of these potential effects. This paper focuses on quantifying potential gains from reductions in trade costs on Alberta’s economy and identify the importance of improved access to lower cost transportation options like rail for select commodities.

Key Messages (English)

Summary (English)

Messages clés (Français)

Résumé (Français)

 

Constraints in the Canadian Transport Infrastructure Grid Strategic and Trade Dimensions

Constraints in the Canadian Transport Infrastructure Grid

Jean-Paul Rodrigue

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 14 • Issue 6 • February 2021

Transportation infrastructure supporting corridors is complex, capital intensive and subject to an array of constraints in construction, maintenance and upgrade. These constraints include physical and environmental restrictions, level of transport demand, financial capabilities, construction and maintenance capabilities and costs, and regulatory oversight. Due to its geographical attributes, Canada has unique constraints on the development and operation of its transport infrastructure.

Key Messages (English)

Summary (English)

Messages clés (Français)

Résumé (Français)

 

The Canadian Northern Corridor: Planning for National Prosperity Foundational Studies

The Canadian Northern Corridor: Planning for National Prosperity

G. Kent Fellows, Katharine Koch, Alaz Munzur, Robert Mansell and Pierre-Gerlier Forest

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 13 • Issue 28 • December 2020

This paper is a follow-up to the School of Public Policy's initial publication on the corridor concept published by Sulzenko and Fellows (2016). In it, we give a summary of the broad scope of the Canadian Northern Corridor (CNC) concept and The School of Public Policy's CNC research program.

Key Messages (English)

Summary (English)

Messages clés (Français)

Résumé (Français)

 

Governance Options for a Canadian Northern Corridor Organization and Governance

Governance Options for a Canadian Northern Corridor

Andrei Sulzenko and Katharina Koch

The School of Public Policy Publications
Volume 13 • Issue 27 • November 2020

In this paper, the governance process is divided into four main stages: i) Developing the initial policy framework; ii) Deciding on a corridor route; iii) Reviewing and implementing project proposals; and iv) Managing ongoing operations and oversight. For each stage, different governance options are outlined and then critically examined.

Key Messages (English)
Summary (English)

Messages clés (Français)

Résumé (Français)