Questions from recipe cards
(Updated 15 March 2007)
1. Bill: Many
rural communities are highly political (small P and big P), resulting in
alliances and loyalties to identified groups. How does this complicate the
ability to build social capital and cohesion and are there lessons learned
from the NRE? Eg. Board of directors reluctant to give up their seats to a
are several different bases for social cohesion and social capital. We have
identified 4. They can provide alternative options for local reorganization
and action if one of them is relatively closed. The bureaucratic norms
guiding a municipal council, for example, may be circumvented or modified by
building associative-based relations.The associative-based relations, in
turn, may help to build trust within bureaucratic norms.
Recommendations for policy on communications seems counter-intuitive, should
we not know more about the target markets (and segments) of rural
communities before we suggest communication vehicles; I am certain one size
does not fit all.
I am assuming that
the question came from the following statement in my presentation:
infrastructure should also receive special attention to support out-reach
programs, such as those in education and health, as well as to support
networking and partnership development between rural and urban areas.
I agree that it is
important to know which methods are best to reach the clients that you are
targeting your services towards. It is important to know how clients learn
about your programs and services. Drawing from some other work being done
in northern B.C. on seniors’ needs, we found that seniors, for example,
learn about services in a variety of ways (radio, T.V., newspapers ads and
articles, e-mail, the Internet, word of mouth, meetings, etc). There is
tremendous diversity within this target audience. These communications
avenues will need to be maintained, or in some cases, developed. I also
acknowledge that what works well in one place may not work well in another.
Having said that, people
we spoke with highlighted the importance of a range of communication tools
in order to develop and access services. These policy recommendations are
intended to help service providers / voluntary organizations to develop and
deliver their services. These are also intended to support current policy
initiatives by government that call for partnerships in order to obtain
funding. These are also situated in a context where government offices,
industry, and other services are being regionalized - a trend that occurred
in all of our sites across Canada. If voluntary groups or service providers
are going to work together to deliver services, they are going to need
communication infrastructure in order to develop and maintain these
relationships that exist both within and outside of their community. Such
infrastructure could be meeting places, community radio, public Internet
access, local newspaper, etc. We were not specifying that one form of
communication was necessary and should be applied in each place. We were
merely acknowledging the important role that communication infrastructure
(in any form) plays in facilitating collaboration.
(Anna) Not sure if this
was meant for me – this question is spot on – any communications vehicles
need to be generated by community members for the greatest chance of
success. However, we also feel that any increase in communicative capacity
is going to provide tools for knowledge mobilization as well as bridging and
bonding (Granovettor, Flora)
Please explain "imagination" as a constraint to … (can't read)…and
communication.What do you mean by "government support" for traditional media
- forms and new media forms? Have you studied current government "support"
for traditional media forms? Ivan?
What we are referring to here is that because new forms of communication
technology are so new, most people and organizations have not thought
creatively or outside the box about how they might use them innovatively or
productively. For example, many people have never experienced or used chat
room technology, and the only insights they may have about it involves media
stories about adults posing as teens and trying to lure young people into
bad situations. So people have not “imagined” that chat rooms could link you
up with people working on similar problems and issues, and you think “why
would I talk to someone in place XXX…. They don’t know my situation, it
costs too much (time, money) to talk to them…. But for the smaller number
who have used it, they may be thinking more imaginatively.
Communication capacity, especially in relation to use of new forms of
communication (Internet) is under-utilized. How these forms of
communications can be used (or better used) will require the understanding
that these forms are worth investing time/energy in. There are a number of
why traditional forms are preferred, but imagining new approaches for the
technology will expand acceptance. In a changing economic climate,
connecting with local residents and external markets is key to adapting in
the new economy.
(Anna) [government support] We believe that the three levels of government
can provide greater support for all forms of communications, not simply
broadband expansion. Providing equipment, training and start-up funds for
local newspapers, newsletters, radio stations or local cable stations ought
to be prioritized.
(Anna) [traditional forms] That’s a good point. Our research does not track
how governments have supported traditional media forms. What we have learned
is which forms are in place in a community and which ones are not.
Data on the voluntary sector suggests local partnerships have decreased,
non-local increased. Are local voluntary organizations losing their local
legitimacy and support by focusing too much on looking outside for resources
partnerships is difficult at both scales. The development of non-local
partnerships may be ‘assisted’ by the regionalization of some organizations
Having said this, I
don’t think that voluntary organizations are losing their local legitimacy.
Having local partnerships provides a foundation upon which additional
partnerships can be built. People have gained experience with working with
others. Furthermore, local voluntary organizations still function as a
focal point for clients to go to. There is a lot of literature about
partnerships between the public and non-profit sectors where government
programs deliver services locally through the voluntary sector (Berman and
West 1995; Lowry 1995).
Berman, E. and J. West.
1995. Public-private leadership and the role of non-profit organizations in
local government: The case of social services. Policy Studies Review
14 (1/2): 235-246.
R. 1995. Non-profit organizations and public policy. Policy Studies
Review 14 (1/2): 107-116.
What are the two or three most effective innovations for rural/ non-adjacent
or rural remote communities to address declining populations and provide
Since we began the
innovative services and voluntary organizations project in 2003, we learned
how groups were using technology, partnerships, or local assets in order to
continue to deliver services, and, therefore, hopefully retain residents as
well. It is too soon to fully evaluate how effective these strategies have
been. However, I would like to provide a couple examples.
McBride, British Columbia
McBride, B.C. is located
approximately 2.5 hours east of Prince George. McBride Secondary School has
adopted innovative technology and has created partnerships to expand
learning opportunities for youth in the community. In the past, McBride
Secondary School has been challenged to attract and retain instructors who
have been unable to teach their specialty due to lower enrolment numbers.
This impacted the courses that they were able to offer to their students.
response, McBride Secondary School developed a partnership with high schools
in Prince George to use videoconferencing to expand the courses they can
offer students. For example, one year, a teacher in McBride taught Physics
to students at Kelly Road Secondary in Prince George, while one of the Kelly
Road Secondary instructors taught French 12 to students in McBride. Last
year, a teacher at Prince George Secondary School taught English Literature
12 to students in McBride. As a result of these partnerships, they have had
to change their scheduling of classes to be synchronized with Kelly Road
and PGSS in Prince George.
Videoconferencing is also being used for
mathematics instructors in McBride and Valemount to share resources and
expertise. Without the
videoconferencing option, the high school may not have been able to tell
teachers that they could come to McBride to teach their specialty (to
combined student numbers in McBride and
George). This also functions as a ‘community’ facility where the local
economic groups, industry, and non-profit organizations have used the video
conferencing equipment for meetings or even to conduct job interviews.
However, more outside partners need to buy into the videoconferencing
concept to expand the opportunities and to get new courses at the high
Mackenzie is located approximately 2 hours northeast of Prince George.
In Mackenzie, the high school taken
advantage of local assets and has a specialized Forestry program where
students are trained in all elements of the Forestry Industry – from
silviculture to harvesting. The Forestry Program owns its own woodlot and
the board for the program has members from the local industry, including
Canfor and Abitibi-Consolidated, and the provincial Ministry of Forests.
6. Laura: Is
there an emerging cynical approach to "partnerships" which is essentially
about a "quid pro quo" and /or "using" the so called partner as ….(can't
read)....more than a "meat ticket"?
If I understand
correctly, the question proposes that people are creating partnerships as a
rubber stamp to get funding rather than to create more meaningful
While this is always a
danger within the ‘funding game’, for the organizations that we work with, I
don’t believe this is the case. We were able to obtain lots of information
about what partnerships were used for. Partnerships should provide mutual
benefit, as well as shared responsibilities and decision-making (Nicholls,
2005; Pongsiri, 2002; Lesky, O’Sullivan, & Goodman, 2001). Each
organization provided multiple responses about the use of partnerships.
Mutual benefit was received for donors through publicity (Miraftab, 2004).
There was shared responsibilities as both partners under took fundraising or
provided training. Partnerships also provided expertise to support
decision-making processes. Furthermore, some participants noted that
without certain advice, donated space, financial support, or in-kind
support, they would not be able to deliver their service. Therefore, they
considered the other organization a partner in preparing and delivering the
program or service.
Table: What are partnerships used for? - %
To promote programs
Partners participate at
Links to resources for
Links on local gov’t
Meeting to update
Access to human resources (sharing volunteers,
access to municipal staff, donated time by
In-kind support (donated materials, supplies,
furniture, gift donations,
Donated space (office space, halls, meeting rooms) 30.4
Moral support (including letters of support)
Other organizations coordinating charity events
Joint purchases of
Tax breaks / no cost building
Applying for grants for non-registered charities
Summer youth employment programs
Decision-making / brainstorming /
Research to develop
Educational opportunities (workshops & training) 13.0
Source: INE Innovative
Services and Voluntary Organizations Survey 2003 and 2005.
Lesky, S., O’Sullivan,
E. & Goodman, B. (2001). Local public-non-profit partnerships: Getting
better results. Policy & Practice, September, 28-32.
Miraftab, F. (2004).
Public-private partnerships: The trojan horse of neo-liberal development?
Journal of Planning Education and Research, 24 (1), 89-101.
Nicholls, C. (2005).
Promising Practices in Community Partnerships: Lessons Learned from the
Canadian Rural Partnership. Ottawa: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada.
Pongsiri, N. (2002).
Regulation and public-private partnerships. The International Journal of
Public Sector Management, 15 (6/7), 487-495.
7. Ivan: So,
rural citizens think their local media should support projects and
initiatives that they feel will help the community? Press objectivity is
less important than the social development role of the media for rural
8. Anna: Who
gets represented in local communication? Is it the local notables or the
(David) Depends on the
medium and the message. For communities with community newspapers there are
letters to the editors, coverage of local sports and events, etc., all of
which are typically “ordinary people”.
(Anna) Both, it actually
depends on whether we are working with data from households or key
informants. We have tried to hear from a variety of local people.
9. Anna: What
is the appropriate role for Federal and Provincial/ Territorial governments
in supporting communities to use new communication technologies?
access to broadband Internet, provide training for tech support.
Communication Theme: Please tell us more about the internet chat groups?
(David) A full paper is available at:
A flyer is available at
Basically we conducted an experiment. We invited people from our NRE sites
working on similar issues (tourism, recreation, economic development, etc)
and we invited them to join us on-line for a text-based discussion. We
started small and slowly, with a free piece of software that did not have to
be downloaded. We found a number of challenges, including time zones, lack
of interest and time among participants, lack of prior contact with one
another, lack of social capital (prior to or as a result of), etc. We were
basically trying to see if we could establish an on-line learning community
within the context of rural capacity building.
(Anna) Sure! This is available in detail in a
paper available on our website.
do you build a strong champion? Describe positive role models. What made
certain projects work well?
governance research suggests that communities build champions. Champions
require resources, social support, and networks to turn their vision into
development activities over time help to build and test social capital and
social cohesion. Whether it is at an organizational, local, or regional
level, long-term networking has allowed groups to build knowledge and
capacity, as well as to know who to turn to during times of stress. For
example, when the Quintette mine closed in Tumbler Ridge (2000), the Energy
and Mines Minister Dan Miller felt that the town would close (Halseth et al.
2003). But many local residents had lived in other mining towns that had
closed, and they did not want the same fate for Tumbler Ridge. Within six
days of the closure announcement, the local council had an emergency action
plan. They convinced the provincial government to provide the necessary
support for transition. The Tumbler Ridge Revitalization Task Force emerged
that had representation from Tumbler Ridge, the provincial government, other
towns (Chetwynd, Dawson Creek, and Fort. St. John), the regional district,
the school board, and the health board. Education, health, and social
services were stabilized through an emergency services agreement. This in
turn provided stability for a local housing sale that would provide a local
tax base. Special funding was also obtained for industry adjustment, and to
retrain displaced workers. Local women formed a coffee house session to
help women cope with stresses associated with the closure. All of this was
possible because they had worked together many times before and knew who to
turn to quickly and mobilize into action.
G., L. Sullivan, and L. Ryser. 2003. Service provision as part of resource
town transition planning: A case from Northern British Columbia. In
Opportunities and Actions in the New Rural Economy, edited by D. Bruce
and G. Lister, 19-46. Sackville, New Brunswick: Rural and Small Town Studies
Dedication of a few individuals and tireless energy poured into projects is
what made things work. There is a problem with volunteer burnout however and
achieving ‘buy-in’ within a community for a new vision requires personal
investment of time/energy.
are the lessons learned? How could they further policy and research? Where
would you recommend targeting funding?
should be targeted to social as well as physical infrastructure.
Many of the sites we
work with have an aging population. As more services are regionalized,
policy makers will need to evaluate how seniors, the disabled, or those
living in poverty are going to access these services. Transportation
options, subsistence support while visiting regional centres, and home care
costs should receive special attention if services will only be offered in
Programs to assist with
rural revitalization will need to keep the shift towards a regionalization
of services in mind. While funds are typically allocated to sites;
benefits, demands, and evaluations may now need to be at that regional
Government program and
policy design must account for this shift in scale from local to regional.
They must support opportunities for innovation. Support is also needed for
organizations partnering to deliver services and undertake innovations.
Given the importance of
human resources to organizational activities, local groups and government
policies should invest in volunteer training and develop organizational
learning habits to build capacity and transfer skills amongst voluntary
groups. This ensures that if out-migration occurs, the capacity remains
within the organization. These needs are ongoing and assist with continued
It is also important to
encourage and support the development and training of a board of directors
given the potential expertise, resources, and accountability that they bring
to an organization.
Diversifying board membership and general
membership through gender and different sectors in the community is another
key to resilience. Such diverse sources of membership can draw upon
different networks to attract new members, resources, or expertise over
time. These efforts also need to be ongoing to support capacity renewal.
In an era of service
restructuring, program designs should facilitate collaboration not only
locally, but at a regional level. This is important as collaboration leads
to increased networks and sharing of information that may result in other
service delivery options. Recognition of the regional scale of
collaboration must be accompanied by program funding commensurate to the
task. Local governments and service providers can also facilitate
collaboration by providing access to meeting space or teleconferencing
Long-term programs are
needed to facilitate collaboration and partnerships as these relationships
take time to develop and maintain. There is a need for common sense funding
application and reporting procedures that support the long-term viability of
As corporations are
‘scaling up’, it will be important for communities to work together (rather
than compete) to develop economic opportunities. Places need to work
together to develop regional transportation or communication infrastructure
that will provide a foundation for attracting industry. Funding will be
needed towards this. However, funding should also be targeted towards
networking opportunities to allow communities to develop cooperation and a
regional economic development strategy. For example, Western
Diversification has provided funding for the Northern Economic Forum. This
forum allowed communities and aboriginal groups to come together to explore
opportunities in ports and transportation, tourism, mining, and oil and
gas. The final report may be obtained at the link below.
What facilitates or motivates or organizes between the four normative groups
when they work together?
(Bill) This is
a great question for research. For example, we find that bureaucratic -
market/associative relations require flexible approaches to fairness
(competition) and accountability otherwise the bureaucratic requirements
undermine the voluntary basis of associative ones. Crises can often provide
a milieu where the normative differences can work together. Recognition of
the various normative systems and their differences helps to overcome the
differences (eg. Child care at municipal meetings, support for grant
one pillar is totally dysfunctional, how does this affect the relationship
between all four pillars?
we or have we developed a template for doing community capacity audits and
especially the "Social capital" audit? If so…..what learning can be
developed to fill in the audit gaps?
Teitelbaum, Beckley and Nadeau have a workbook on exactly how to do this
that is available on our NRE Environment Theme website (http://nre.concordia.ca/4_themes_environment.htm).
do some rural communities never seem to progress? How can a more local tax
generating structure be accomplished-so more tax revenues can be directed
can local government access more taxation dollars to help with local
priorities (eg. Allowing different taxation powers-keeping some of the
income tax percentage, etc)
what is good rural policy, based on Canadian and international examples?
(Bill) The NRE
requires rural policy that is inter-sectoral, flexible, and sensitive to
local assets and liabilities. Programs such as Canada Futures and Leader in
Europe are good examples of these principles at work.
does this research mean via access policy implementation? How can you
(researchers) assist community leaders to deal with the pressure of the big
box stores opening and seeing entrepreneurial, locally owned business
closing? What is the economic gain and social loss?
communities have the power to block large box stores from entering, but
there must be the local will to resist changes which will impact the local
economy in a negative way. The larger problem lies in reminding residents of
the value of keeping local businesses viable and with peak oil, there will
need to re-define local exchange networks and rebuild the supply line of
goods and services. Greater involvement of community residents at council
meetings and making sure that the information of the impacts of a displaced
community core (Main street) is accurate and available is half the battle.
Comment: your project is not so much about economy as restructuring in
communities. Hoes does the new rural economy generate new business
,products, jobs etc instead of giving our resources to China and importing
cheap products in return through the big box stores?
environmental values survey touched on this indirectly. People seem to have
a diconnect between their behaviour and their attitudes. This is certainly
true for the environment, but I think it is also true about where we buy our
stuff (e.g. Big Box stores, versus locally owned stores that favour locally
or domestically produced goods). The solution is to do research that
highlights these cognitize disconnects. It must be done delicately, however,
so as not to appear harsh or judgemental.
do you ensure funding for volunteer organisations? How do you ensure paid
There is no response
that will be universal for all groups. Funding is (and will continue to be)
a difficult challenge for the voluntary sector. Voluntary organizations
pursued a wide range of fundraising opportunities, such as:
local, provincial, and federal grants and program funding;
grants in lieu of taxes;
putting items (i.e. soaps and books) in local retail stores
personal funds from members;
revenue from services provided.
There is literature
emerging that also talks about the privatization or commercialization of the
voluntary sector (Hughes and Luksetich 2004; Hodgkinson and Nelson 2001).
This movement is a response by the voluntary sector that reflects difficulty
obtaining government funding. Organizations are increasingly pursuing
revenue from services provided. However, this applies additional pressure
on the clients (i.e. seniors, those living in poverty) to pay for these
services, and may not be a viable option in remote rural locales.
Having said this, if
government policies increasingly call for voluntary sector involvement to
deliver services, then these policies should also provide long-term support
for information, training, and funding in order to develop stability of
these organizations and their services.
But.... if an
organization has limited funds, there are other ways of ‘ensuring’ that you
have the resources needed to deliver services. As noted earlier, groups
developed partnerships where another organization shared volunteers or
provided access to municipal staff or local technicians. Groups have
obtained free access to space to hold meetings, conduct training, and to
deliver workshops. They may not have had money to purchase items, but
voluntary groups obtained donations of furniture, equipment, and building
supplies. If they did not have enough money, they pursued joint purchase
agreements with government and corporations for items such as playground
equipment, office equipment, or even handicap doors.
some form of funding, it will be difficult to hire paid staff. Paid staff
provide a stable element to a voluntary group. Some groups begin by hiring
part-time paid staff (supplemented with volunteers) and develop more paid
staff over time.
However, if a group
does not have their own paid staff, there are other ways to fill in human
resource gaps. As noted earlier, groups form partnerships with other
voluntary groups, service providers, businesses, or government groups to
gain access to additional staff for fundraising activities, repairing
computers, training volunteers, etc.
Hodgkinson and Nelson.
2001. Major issues facing America’s nonprofit sector. The Nonprofit
Review 1 (2): 113-118.
Hughes, P. and W.
Luksetich. 2004. Non-profit arts organizations: Do funding sources influence
spending patterns? Non-profit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 33 (2):
do you encourage and expand imagination
(Tom) One way to do this
is to show people examples of things that have worked in other places. This
has been a key organizing principle of the NRE project. Many rural
communities face similar types of problems. Imagination is critical in
solving them. However, we don’t have to re-invent the wheel in every
instance. Many ideas that work in one place, might work in others too.
Sharing the information, and sharing experiences – community resident to
community resident is the best way for this information transfer to occur.
Seeing other places and how they have solved their problem might also
stimulate imaginations to find different solutions. The key is to help
people see beyond their normal set of solution strategies and to stimulate
them with new ideas and new information and imaginations will take off.
do you encourage/foster greater community engagement? - foster new leaders;
broaden base of participation/volunteers; foster youth participation
(Laura) There needs to
be places for people to meet (i.e. access to free space at a local school).
Routine, ongoing, and open opportunities must be provided for youth to
engage in the community (i.e. local youth council, youth reporters / column
for the local newspaper, youth programs on the local radio station). In
School District 57 in B.C., high school students are required to complete a
designated number of volunteer hours in order to graduate. To develop more
leaders and build resiliency, it is important to draw new members and board
members from a wide range of sectors in the community and from both
genders. Each group will have different networks that can be mobilized when
needed. One of our groups has representatives from industry, law
enforcement, education, government, social services, etc. When a board
member steps down, it is up to that member to find a replacement that
represents their sector. Some communities have developed unique benefits
for volunteers in order to encourage civic engagement (i.e. free car wash
tickets, discounts at local retail stores and restaurants, volunteer
do you break the culture of entitlement? - go from entitlement to a culture
(Tom) It has
to be from education and from example. Community needs to be instilled in
children from an early age and they need to see grown ups engaged. This is a
wide and deep social problem. I don’t think the culture of entitlement is
regionally unique. I think it is more generational. Our NRE work has tried
to highlight examples of communities that have been entrepreneurial (Cap a
L’Aigle) and ones that have tried to educate their citizens well (Mackenzie
through community radio). The education that matters is often experiential,
not book learning“.
does government get the biggest impact in CED investment?
do you get leaders to go back to their community and transfer their
knowledge in the language of the community?
I would like to
provide two comments. One about how leaders (community representatives) may
translate their knowledge into a language that everyone understands, as well
as how we as researchers can work with local representatives to transfer
this into a language that everyone can understand.
As researchers, we have
to work with a range of community leaders to ensure that our research is
applicable to local circumstances in a language that is appropriate. In
Tweed, we conducted a workshop with our community representatives (leaders)
to translate aspects of our capacity model (including human, social,
financial, and environmental capital) into events that were happening in the
participating sites. This exercise helped our research team and community
leaders to translate the research into a language that residents could
To apply the model, Tom
discussed the transition in Pine Falls, Manitoba. The first pulp mill on
the Prairies was located in Pine Falls. However, Abitibi-Price wanted to
close the mill. A local buyout was organized through second mortgages, wage
roll backs, forfeit of vacation time and gifts, and purchased shares. There
was a deal with the provincial government to obtain access to timber.
Outside investors were found which made the banks happy as they have 55% of
the shares and they are people with expertise in the industry. The rest of
the shares were owned locally. In 1994, Pine Falls took over and prices for
pulp and paper commodity prices spiked - demonstrating good timing for their
venture. In five years, they made a profit and sold it to Tembec. Tom
asked each group to provide other examples of how they got something done in
Golightly was the representative from Tumbler Ridge. She provided her
example of dinosaur camps. These dinosaur camps evolved after the discovery
of dinosaur footprints near Tumbler Ridge (environmental capital). In its
second year, they were attracting kids from California, Nevada,
Newfoundland, and Ontario. During the first year, there were 67 kids.
Approximately 75% of these kids were from Tumbler Ridge. In the second
year, there were 114 kids with 25% of these kids from Tumbler Ridge. It
provides a use for an empty college during the summer months. It also
encourages youth to become interested in science. Their next goal was to
expand the Junior Ranger program and use the lodge at Gwillim Lake. They
are also hoping that forestry graduates from the college in Chetwynd could
become instructors for their program. Dino camps are operated on a cost
recovery basis. The human and social capital is the logistics and expertise
of Rich McRae and organizations willing to work together. However, the
timing was right. Dino camps had already been done once in Saskatchewan, so
the curriculum was there. The college provides in kind support with space.
They received $10,000 from the Vancouver Foundation to use as seed money.
The financial support and business relations provide the financial capital
and bureaucratic parts of the model. During the first year, the School
District provided a mail out with the students and sent faxes for teachers
to announce. However, during the second year, they did not do this.
Carolyn figures this is why they had lower than desired numbers for the
second year even though they were still higher than the first year. The
Rotary donates funds to this program as it falls within that organization’s
mandate to support youth programs. Parents stay and golf. There has been an
increase in museum membership. It also promotes post-secondary education
When our community
representatives return to their community, we encourage them to provide
presentations to local council and submit articles to the local newspaper
about their experience. This is only the beginning. The transfer of this
knowledge takes time and will be ongoing as leaders interact with others to
communicate and apply what they’ve learned in different settings. I just
received an email from our representative from Tumbler Ridge this year (Rose
Colledge) who has been able to apply things she learned from the Gatineau
conference to her job with TR Cares.
We write community
reports with as little academic jargon as possible. While we do community
presentations, we have also worked with local residents to communicate our
research findings. For example, one of the residents in Tumbler Ridge was
hired to write newspaper articles. In a different project in McBride, B.C.,
we conducted the research to ensure anonymity. Then the data was turned
over to a local resident who wrote the report. This also helped to build
local capacity. Another one of our colleagues organized an NRE day in
Springhill to highlight the project results to local residents (including
presentations, posters, etc.) Having said that, we have had leaders tell us
that they prefer that we come to the community to present findings to local
groups because of our non-partisan nature.
(Anna) You can assist by
accompanying them and calling a special meeting to share findings or
generate new discussions about the future direction of community
development. Further information can be shared with them on a regular basis
and posted in a local newsletter, newspaper or website.
determines who gets resources as a leader? Who determines who the leader
will be? How so you define capacity?
Beckely: Westwind example - did Canadian forestry service/NRCan help at
all? Are their 'clues' to id the 'right' person to 'invest' in? How do you
pick the 'right' person?
don’t believe that CFS had a large role in Westwind, if any. They tend to be
sensitive about stepping into areas of provincial jurisdiction.
As for who to invest in, I think there will always be risk, as with any
investment, but as I mentioned in the talk, when it comes to investing in
human capital, I think investing in people who express a strong desire to
stay, or those who are deeply enmeshed in rich social networks. Those are
the folks who
are less likely to flee somewhere else with their human capital that the
community might have invested in. I think there are specific programs that
could be applied where loans or grants are given but with provision of
community service (e.g. you get 5 years of educational support for an
education degree with the proviso that you will teach two or three years in
the research, it appears to have been prov/fed involvement at a much greater
involvement than municipal, therefore it has been said 'change' needs to be
bottom-up. Yet the first line of 'policy' involvement is the least
involved, also they are the hardest to convince.
If we focus on
funding alone, a greater proportion of voluntary groups received funding
from the provincial government, followed by the municipal government and the
federal government. Voluntary groups are pursuing and receiving fewer
government grants and program funding at all levels.
I am not sure that
municipal government is always hardest to convince. In fact, with the
voluntary groups that we spoke with, municipal governments have provided
many other types of support that are not provided by other levels of
government. Examples include being able to lease a building for $1 or for
free, receiving letters of support by local government for funding
applications, the use of municipal staff and equipment, and the donated use
of municipal meeting rooms and teleconferencing equipment. Some local
governments have also run newspaper ads on behalf of voluntary groups to
promote activities to recruit new staff or members. Remember that municipal
governments have the most limited sources of revenue, the most legislated
spending tasks, and little room to maneuver.
Table: Sources of revenue - % of responses.
Government funding -
overall 58.6 44.8
Federal government funding 27.6 20.7
Provincial government funding 37.9 34.5
Municipal government funding 34.5 24.1
Community funding 69.0 58.6
Membership funding 65.5 55.2
Revenue from services provided 27.6 51.7
Source: INE Innovative
Services and Voluntary Organizations Survey 2005.
can governments support community involvement and governance in development
and decision-making? What are the barriers faced by community leaders? Who
can remove them and how?
can site representatives go back to the community and apply the results?
Similarly, how can NRE results data be made available (access and
interpretation) to communities and policy makers at all levels?
do we get the public to embrace working together with other communities?
have found that NRE communities are keen to share information and learn from
each other. Bridging with other communities is the only way to survive in
the New Economy, but the value of this action needs to be recognized by
people on both sides.
do we resolve differing expectations of new residents?
(Bill) Integrate them
into the local community in multiple ways. Seguin did it by reorganizing
their governance structures so that there was more participation in the
issues faced by the Municipal Council; Cap-St-Ignace did it by assigning
‘God-parents’ from within the community who mentored newcomers and invited
them to local events; Winkler did it by establishing groups that provided
bridging services for banks, businesses, government organizations,
recreation, and leisure groups.
Greater communication between the new and old residents is vital. Many new
residents bring resources with them that the whole community could benefit
can we get our younger residents to become more involved with community
volunteering? How do we make them feel that they have a stake in where they
As noted in an
earlier response, routine, ongoing, and open opportunities must be provided
for youth to engage in the community (i.e. local youth council, youth
reporters / column for the local newspaper, youth programs on the local
radio station). In School District 57 in B.C., high school students are
required to complete a designated number of volunteer hours in order to
graduate. However, there have been other success stories about how small
towns have engaged youth in community development. For example, in McBride,
B.C., local high school students worked with the community development
project coordinator, to develop a community website. The website features
information on local businesses, non-profit organizations, and service
providers. These students are now equipped with web development skills and
data collection techniques. In Valemount, B.C., the local youth centre
provided a venue for youth to routinely meet. When significant forest
restructuring was taking place in Valemount, the youth centre provided a
focal point for peer counselling. Youth were also sponsored by the local
community to attend national conferences. Both Mackenzie, B.C. and Tweed,
Ontario have local radio stations that offer opportunities for youth
involvement. In fact, one of Mackenzie’s radio station’s objectives was to
partner with the College of New Caledonia and Mackenzie Secondary School to
provide opportunities for students interested in acquiring communications
skills, including announcing, producing and copy writing for broadcast. In
the past, students have developed reporting skills and their own youth
programs, such as ‘princess power hour’. Other places have developed youth
week that includes a youth council where youth debate similar issues faced
by their municipal council. This helps them to feel that they have a stake
in issues, and that decisions made today will impact their future.
(Anna) This is a problem across
Canada. Providing meaningful places for them to interact together on their
own (youth night at the community centre, a skate park, etc. along with
innovative new ways of employing them (provide training for computer
maintenance, website development and maintenance etc.) is key.
The youth need to be able to see a place for themselves in the community
over the long term – they also need to be given more responsibility in the
community to recognize the value they add to it.
surprised the researchers the most throughout the project? What strategies
did they use to engage communities?
(David) Most surprising
– how difficult it is to coordinate a large number of researchers working in
very specific communities in a very large and detailed set of projects. It
is difficult to coordinate everything and ensure that everyone goes
according to plan and on time. Strategies – lots of examples, including:
working with and getting to know the local paper editor so they will do lots
of stories and press releases about the project; getting local council to
adopt, either formally or informally, a process for contact with municipal
office and making sure their staff understand what level of commitment and
assistance has been agreed to; being kind and courteous with citizens and
volunteer groups; giving information back directly to people who
participated in the research; responding to inquiries for information and
help from within the community (a two-way street).
I was amazed how much time we could spend in a community and still
understand only a fraction of what is going on in these diverse, evolving,
adapting spaces. I was surprised at the number of similar issues being
tackled by different communities all on their own and just how much they had
to say to each other when brought together at a conference or meeting.
is the role of aboriginals in rural Canada?
(Tom) We made significant
efforts to engage the Aboriginal sites in our initial 32 communities. Some
bore fruit for awhile, but we never succeeded in establishing the same types
of relationships with Aboriginal communities and eventually our resources
(both human and financial) were allocated to other
are the skill sets that are needed for sectors in mining, oil, gas, etc?
steps are being taken to effectively communicate key findings to rural
organisations, municipalities, and communities across rural Canada?
findings are posted on the NRE website (http://nre.concordia.ca),
as well as Greg Halseth’s (Services Theme Leader) website:
http://web.unbc.ca/geography/faculty/greg. We encourage our fellow
colleagues working with other sites in the NRE project to distribute the
reports to local government and to provide copies in local libraries. Site
profile reports for participating sites in Quebec and New Brunswick were
translated into French. As well, all participating service providers and
voluntary groups obtain a copy of our executive reports. There have been
articles in local newspapers, as well as local radio interviews. More
recently, we distributed copies to employees with the Rural Secretariat, the
Federation of Canadian Municipalities, and the Ontario Rural Network. Our
findings have also been presented at annual conferences (i.e. CRRF, Western
Canadian Association of Geographers, Canadian Association of Geographers).
what extent have the NRE2 research been adopted and implemented by either
local or provincial political systems?
After the Quintette
mine closed, we conducted the Tumbler Ridge Transition Survey. Some thought
that Tumbler Ridge was going to become a retirement community and that youth
programs would be eliminated. While many retirees moved to Tumbler Ridge
during the housing sale, young families and couples also moved there. As a
result, our findings indicated that the population reflected the provincial
average, and did not become a retirement community. While new senior
programs were needed, they also needed to maintain youth programs.
Residents were asked about which types of recreational or educational
courses they were interested in. In turn, this provided information for
planning the delivery of local services. For example, the local college
developed computer / Internet programs for seniors.
As a result of our work
with the NRE project in Mackenzie, we have been asked to conduct additional
research for the municipal government and service providers. For example,
we were asked to conduct a senior needs’ assessment. The study targeted
residents 50 years of age and over to gauge both present and near future
needs for housing, health care, community services, transportation, and even
recreational services. The results of this study are supporting current
efforts by local service providers, as well as the municipal and provincial
government, to plan for future needs. Greg Halseth has also been involved
with the Rural Secretariat in an advisory capacity. This allowed ideas
stemming from the NRE project to be incorporated into the federal draft
rural policy framework.
copies of the se presentations be make available to participants?
do we define success? How will we know when a rural community has been
aren't economic drivers for rural development forming the basis for rural
research (instead of social factors)?
There are many other
researchers who have examined economic drivers for rural development. This
includes the consolidation of industry, the impacts of technology changes
and mechanization, labour shedding, changes in commodity prices,
diversification, and transportation developments. I’ve included a sample of
this literature below for a range of economic sectors (i.e. forestry,
mining, fishing, agriculture, etc.).
residents we speak with understand that if commodity prices plunge and the
industry introduces cutbacks or closure, they have little power to impact
this decision. Many of these industry changes have also been accompanied
with service cutbacks and closures. In response, common questions we
how can we respond to these changes?
how can we provide support to residents to cope with these
changes (retraining, counselling, social services) with fewer resources?
how can we provide a foundation to attract and retain
residents and businesses?
how have other places successfully completed the transition?
Services provide a
foundation for community and economic renewal. Part of our research has
described how the retention of education and health services, for example,
provided a foundation for attracting young families and retirees to Tumbler
Ridge after the Quintette mine closed (Halseth et al. 2003). Johnson and
Rasker (1995) have explored how services, physical and recreational
amenities, and communication infrastructure have attracted businesses that
no longer have to be located in cities. For the Services Team, we wanted to
respond to local concerns by exploring how innovative services providers and
voluntary organizations are building capacity and resiliency in order to
maintain services often with fewer resources. This is important because
such services provide the necessary support to help residents cope with
change (retraining, counselling, planning, etc.) until the economic crisis
is over or until they figure out the next direction for their community.
This does not diminish the importance of work that others are doing (i.e.
exploring economic drivers). Instead, our work is intended to support their
work and provide a contribution of knowledge as to how places can respond to
Aldrich, L. and Kusmin,
L. 1997. Rural Economic Development: What Makes Rural Communities Grow?
Agriculture Information Bulletin No. 737. United States Department of
Barnes, T. J.; and R.
Hayter. 1994. Economic Restructuring, Local Development and Resource
Towns: Forest Communities in Coastal British Columbia. Canadian Journal
of Regional Science 17 (3): 289-310.
Barnes, T. and R. Hayter.
1992. The little town that could: Flexible accumulation and community
change in Chemanius. Regional Studies 26: 647-663.
Effland, A. 2000. When
Rural Does Not Equal Agricultural. Agricultural History 74(2):
Halseth, G., L.
Sullivan, and L. Ryser. 2003. Service provision as part of resource town
transition planning: A case from Northern British Columbia. In
Opportunities and Actions in the New Rural Economy, edited by D. Bruce
and G. Lister, 19-46. Sackville, New Brunswick: Rural and Small Town Studies
Hayter, R. 1997. High-Performance Organizations and
Employment Flexibility: A case of in situ change at the Powell River
paper mill, 1980- 1994. The Canadian Geographer 41(1): 26-40.
Hayter, R. 1979. Labour Supply and Resource-Based
Manufacturing in Isolated Communities: The Experience of Pulp and Paper
Mills in North-Central British Columbia. Geoforum. 10: 163-177.
Hayter, R. and J. Holmes. 1999. Continentalism in an era of
globalization. A perspective from Canada’s resource periphery. In: The
New Industrial Geography: Regions, Regulation and Institutions, edited
by T. Barnes and M. S. Gertler, 176-201. London and New York: Routledge.
Humphrey, C. 1990.
Timber-Dependent Communities. In: American Rural Communities, edited
by A.E. Luloff and L. Swanson, 34-60. Boulder: Westview Press, Inc.
Johnson, J. and R.
Rasker. 1995. The Role of Economic and Quality of Life Values in Rural
Business Location. Journal of Rural Studies 11(4): 405-416.
Leadbeater, D. 1998.
Single-Industry Resource Communities and the New
Crisis of Economic Development: Lessons of
Final Report of the Community Response Sub-Project. ELTAS Analsys Series
No. 1A15. Department of Economics, Laurentian University.
Luloff, A.E. 1990.
Small Town Demographics: Current Patterns of Community Development. In:
American Rural Communities, edited by A.E. Luloff and L. Swanson, 7-18.
Boulder: Westview Press, Inc.
Machlis, G. et al.
1990. Timber, Minerals, and Social Change: An Exploratory Test of Two
Resource-Dependent Communities. Rural Sociology 55(3): 411-424.
Nord, M. and A. Luloff.
1993. Socio-economic Heterogeneity of Mining-Dependent Counties. Rural
Sociology 58(3): 492-500.
Ofori-Amoah, B. and Hayter, Roger. 1989. Labour Turnover
Characteristics at the Eurocan Pulp and Paper Mill, Kitimat: A Log-Linear
Analysis. Environment and Planning A 21: 1491-1510.
Robson, R. 1991. A
Short History of Mining Communities. In: Long Distance Commuting in the
Mining Industry: Conference Summary, edited by M. Shrimpton and K.
Storey, 28. Centre for Resource Studies, Queen’s University.
Sinclair, P. 1992.
Atlantic Canada’s Fishing Communities: The Impact of Change. In: Rural
Sociology in Canada, edited by D. Hay and G. Basran, 84-98. Toronto:
Oxford University Press.
Stauffer, B. 2001.
Resource Development Patterns of the
British Columbia Salmon
Canning Industry, 1870-1970.
Unpublished Thesis: Master of Arts. Prince George: University of Northern
Swanson, L. 1990.
Rethinking Assumptions About Farm and Community. In: American Rural
Communities, edited by A.E. Luloff and L. Swanson, 19-33. Boulder:
Westview Press, Inc.
Williamson, T. and S. Annamraju. 1996. Analysis
of the Contribution of the Forest Industry to the Economic Base of Rural
Ottawa: Industry, Economics and Programs Branch, Canadian Forest Service,
Natural Resources Canada. Working Paper No. 43.
Comment bâtir la complémentarité rurale-urbaine?
Comment pouvons-nous améliorer ou mieux développer nos structures existantes
dans nos villages et faire en sorte que les personnes qui y sont puissent en
tirer profit et y demeurer en créant des emplois, par exemple des
Profil individuel : Comment faire la sorte d'identifier les capacités
fondamentales nécessaires chez un individu pour pouvoir être ensuite en
mesure de devenir un acteur 'éclairé ' pour faire une différence dans une
petite communauté ?
Comment concevoir les outils et processus nécessaires pour fournir aux
individus la formation et le support pour mobiliser et animer leur
Comment renforcer la gouvernance locale ?
Baisse d'intérêt de la population: Devons-nous élargir la communauté pour
augmenter nos forces ?
Devarennes (Jean Lambert): Est ce que l'autorité portuaire existait avant le
début du projet NÈR ou elle a été créée grâce au momentum du projet ? Si
non, comment le projet a pu favorisé un rapprochement entre les deux
Pénurie de main-d'œuvre : Comment prévenir cela et adapter le marché du
travail aux changements ? Comment aider les communautés sur cette gestion ?
Meilleure compréhension outils.
Thèmes à fouiller : Adaptabilité, manque de moyens, dévalorisation de
faire, comment faire travailler les 20-25% des municipalités qui demeurent
comprendre cet état ? Quels outils développer pour aider les communautés ?
: de monde, de bénévoles, de pauvreté, d'engagements, pauvreté économique,
comprendre les modèles tertiaires de développement ? Comment ils sont
construits et s'ils font ? Exemples : modèle de grandes entreprises
forestières, modèle agricole.
Comprendre l'évaluation des effets pour mieux prévoir et travailler les
Phénomènes des retour des babyboomers, nouveaux retraités dans des milieux
ruraux èa haute valeur de paysage et touristique.
sont les effets pour ce milieu de cette surbanisation ?
peut pas empêcher, mais comment s'y préparer, comment réagir ?
Quelle réalité on doit tarvailler dans ces cas-là ?
Phénomènes : valeurs foncières, lente accès auterritoire pour nouveaux