Rural and Northern Communities Best Practices

Rural communities in Canada are facing their most significant economic crisis in more than 25 years. The number of people losing their jobs continues to rise and rural communities are being hit hardest as many are reliant on one industry. It is imperative for rural communities to focus attention on addressing the current crisis and identify ways to strengthen their economy for the long term.

The current economy calls for a new approach to economic development and this paper seeks the feedback about what economic development and job creation efforts are working well and could be replicated around the country; what programs are not working; and how rural communities can be improved for sustainable economic development.

Economic Development must begin at the local level in order to achieve the most impact and community buy-in. But do local communities have the capacity and are they committed and ready to capitalize on the opportunities presented by senior levels of government? Are the federal, provincial and municipal governments providing programs that are being utilized and having impact?

The Economic Development Association of British Columbia (EDABC) in partnership with the Economic Developers Association of Canada (EDAC) issued a Canada-wide call for papers on this issue. The responses were evaluated and six papers were chosen to be presented at the EDABC/EDAC Joint Conference in September 2009. These papers are included in this paper as Best Practices.

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