Originally Posted by Loco101
I actually live in Northern Ontario (Northeastern) and can say we in the Northeast have so much in common with the Northwest that we cannot be divided. I know of a number of people here in Timmins who moved here from Northwestern ON but don't know of anyone from Manitoba. Northern Ontario as a province is possible but quite unlikely to happen this century.
The vast majority of people in Northwestern Ontario would rather be a part of the Province of Ontario than join Manitoba. There are so many advantages being in the same province as Toronto, Ottawa, London and Sudbury. Some people in Kenora and a bit further East are more connected to Winnipeg but if they have to move for employment they will almost always choose to go somewhere in Ontario due to better economic opportunities.
While I concede that there are cultural and economic similarities between the Northwest and Northeast, I don't find there is much in the way of linkage between the populations. A resident of Thunder Bay would likely not move to Sudbury and vice-versa, in my experience. Those who do move end up in larger cities - Ottawa and the GTA - as they have more to offer from a specialization view.
Also, as others have mentioned, it is quicker for someone to get from Thunder Bay to Toronto by air than to drive between the nearest Northwestern and Northeastern cities. So, in a sense, there are stronger links between north and south than there is between west and east. In a similar vein, it is far easier to get to the south from Sudbury and North Bay than to anywhere in the northwest.
The province of Northern Ontario would be an unwieldy, disjointed, resource-dependent province. It is a sparsely populated hinterland. I've said it before and I'll say it again: Being our own province will not solve the economic issues that plague the north.
Attaching the Northwest to Manitoba wouldn't really change much either. Thunder Bay is as far away from Winnipeg as it is from Sault Ste. Marie. It is truly one of the most isolated cities in Canada that is not located above 60 degrees latitude.
Any "benefit" to redrawing provincial borders would be outweighed by the logistical hassle of the endeavor. Also, provincial borders are minor inconveniences at best - as a citizen of Canada, working across a provincial border is a non-issue.