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Media opportunity: Rural regions of Canada don't figure prominently in provincial, territorial government plans but are critical to economies, climate change initiatives and natural resources: national policy review
Rural regions across Canada are undergoing significant change linked to everything from climate mitigation efforts and shifting economic drivers to influxes of newcomers and growing demand for natural resources due to global supply chain disruptions.
How many of these regions manage this change could depend on government policies aimed at addressing rural needs. But what are the characteristics of rural policy today and how do practices differ in Canada?
Researchers sought to answer those questions in a comprehensive report that examined 331 plans, strategies and programs in 13 provinces and territories, providing a bird’s eye view of Canada's rural policy landscape.
The team, including Dalhousie University researcher Karen Foster, looked at plans related to economic development; climate, energy, natural resources and agriculture; transportation and infrastructure; broadband and connectivity; tourism and culture; and, justice and social service.
They found that provinces approach rural policy very differently, with many having no rural economic development strategies. Just 24 per cent of the examined strategies were designed with the needs of rural communities in mind.
Dr. Foster is available to discuss the findings of the report, What is rural policy today? A pan-Canadian scan of policies for rural places, which which also involved researchers at the University of Victoria and Simon Fraser University, and is being released today.
Senior Research Reporter
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