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Home Policy Articles: Cities & Communities: Rural Issues


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A Profile of Rural Nova Scotia

This study provides information on rural Nova Scotia. Jean Lambert looks at seven factors to profile rural Nova Scotia: demographics, employment and income, housing, education, and health status, natural resouces and crime. Each of these factors are exmined in depth with the use of statistical data.

A Toolbox for Improving Health in Cities: A Discussion Paper

This discussion paper considers the theory of complex adaptive systems vis-à-vis health in a community setting.

Agricultural Land Trusts: Preserving Small Town Heritage

In this report Blair Hamilton examines whether or not an agricultural land trust is suitable for the Rural Municipality of Franklin, Manitoba.

Community Renewal

This report explains how community problems might be solved through careful resources use and the strategic involvement of local government.

Comprehensive Community Initiatives

This paper is written to introduce the Comprehensive Community Initiative which entails finding effective local level solutions to social and economic problems.

Culture and Recreation: Links to Well-Being

This short paper by Sherri Torjman links culture and recreation to the health and wellbeing of both individuals and the communities they live in.

Economics, Equity and Urban-Rural Transfers

Changing technology, patterns of trade, and prices have created a situation that, if left unchecked by decisive government action, would result in a migration from rural to urban areas. An important question that this raises is whether the government should take an active role to discourage migration, subsidizing agriculture either through direct payments or through the provision of infrastructure, that otherwise would not be justified?

Fighting the Odds: Rural Development Strategies for Western Canada

Many areas of rural Canada are in decline due to jobs lost through job-automation technology and commodity price declines. People migrated from these communities as jobs disappeared. Jason Azmier and Lisa Lozanski suggest this decline is felt in urban and rural areas throughout Western Canada.

Innovation and Poverty Reduction

In this paper Sherri Torjman and Eric Leviten-Reid examine the application of innovative concepts at a local level to solve problems of poverty in the area.

Learning and Evaluation for Poverty Reduction

This paper is the sixth in a series devoted to finding community level solutions to the problem of poverty. Sherri Torjman considers community learning and how it can improve the local effects of this initiative.

Life After Subsidies

This Frontier Centre Backgrounder, reprinted from an article published by the Federated Farmers of New Zealand, discusses the elimination of farming subsidies in New Zealand. In the mid-1980s New Zealand farmers faced the unexpected removal of all government subsidies and support. The article concludes that these farmers are now stronger than ever after being forced to face market conditions. According to the introduction to the article, authored by Robert D. Sopuck of the Frontier Centre, such positive results demonstrate that farmers need not rely on “state charity.” Sopuck claims, furthermore, that the elimination of subsidies should be explored for Canadian farming.

Policy Development and Implementation in Complex Files: Lessons from "Vibrant Communities"

This article by Sherri Torjman suggests strategies which might be used to implement complex initiatives that involve multiple objectives and sectors. She contrasts a "Vibrant Communities" case study and a federal initiative to illustrate her point.

Policy Dialogue

In this paper Sherri Torjman focuses on the use of policy dialogue as a means of alleviating concerns relating to current policy issues and administrative processes. This is achieved through engaging five neighbourhoods across the country.

Responding to Wife Abuse in Farm and Rural Communities: Searching for Solutions that Work

Against the backdrop of an increased focus on abuse of women in rural and farm communities, this paper highlights the importance of looking at the social and cultural context of abuse and understanding community values and norms.

Social Capital in Action

This extensive, collaborative paper discuss social capital in Canada and its role in eight specific policy areas. The report covers polices of poverty reduction, aging, settlement of new immigrants, aboriginal youth, youth civic engagement, local crime prevention, community development and policing in Aboriginal communities. Each area is considered in light of social capital and how its encouragement in these areas may positively effect them.

The Burgeoning Fringe: Western Canada's Rural Metro-Adjacent Areas

In this report, Azmier and Dobson argue that rural areas in Western Canada have undergone a transformation. In particular, they suggest that city residents are moving out into the countryside to experience the natural environment of the West; at the same time, rural residents are moving closer to the cities to be near the economic and lifestyle advantages of the cities without completely abandoning their rural roots.

The Lone Eagles: Information Professionals and Rural Economic Development

Robert Sopuck argues that the development of instantaneous, rapid, and reliable communications systems is transforming rural areas of North America. He argues the exponential expansion of the necessary infrastructure, in even the most remote regions, implies a revolutionary change in social and economic behaviour.

The Rural West: Diversity and Dilemma

In this report, Azmier and Stone examine the challenges and dilemmas faced by the rural West. As they note, the proportion of the West’s population that is rural has been in marked decline for decades, and rural residents are relocating to city fringes. Furthermore, rural incomes are low, the rural West does not attract its share of immigrants, and attracting a labour force to rural areas can be costly.

The Social Role of Local Government

This paper discusses the challenges that municipal governments face in tackling complex social issues vis-à-vis their many roles in the community.

The Structural Adjustment of Canadian Agriculture

The term “Structural Adjustment Program” is most often associated with International Monetary Fund (IMF) reform requirements for loans in developing countries. As the authors of The Structural Adjustment of Canadian Agriculture argue, however, Government of Canada agricultural policy has many of the same effects. In both cases, Darrin Qualman and Nettie Wiebe assert, the result is an aggravation of poverty, increased disempowerment, and family breakdown for much of the target population.

Think Piece: Policy Conversation on Community Learning

In this paper Sherri Torjman discusses the challenges of living and working in a knowledge economy and considers the major purposes of learning.

Who Does What in Comprehensive Community Initiatives?

This paper by Sherri Torjman, Eric Leviten-Reid and Mark Cabaj is written to examine the different roles that various sectors play in comprehensive community initiatives such as the Vibrant Communities campaign, which seeks to reduce poverty at a municipal level.