Implications of a Northern Corridor on Soft Infrastructure in the North and Near North


  • Julia Christensen



Disparities in health care, education and employment, housing and social welfare have long been documented in Northern Canada. These disparities have been linked to colonialism, ineffective social policy, uneven development and the high costs of service delivery and infrastructure in northern regions. This literature review aims to present a comprehensive understanding of existing research on the current state of soft infrastructure and its deficits in Canada’s North and near-North regions. This scoping review contributes to a larger project led by the University of Calgary’s School of Public Policy and their Northern Corridor Research Program, a project which aims to evaluate the establishment of permissible corridors in Canada. These corridors provide defined multi-modal rights-of-way with accompanying regulatory and governance structures. Specifically, the term “soft infrastructure,” for the purposes of this review, refers to health care, housing, education, employment, jobs training and emergency services. The implications of these deficits in terms of economic and social opportunities in northern regions are discussed in relation to current research. Additionally, the ways in which these deficits relate to current hard infrastructure assets and deficits are assessed based on the reviewed literature. Finally, the costs, benefits and opportunities associated with the proposed Canadian corridor with regards to soft infrastructure deficits and needs are addressed.






Research Papers