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Canada needs to remember rural communities as thoughts turn to pandemic recovery: Ken Coates in Black Press Media – MLI

June 1, 2020

As the country continues its struggle to overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, a challenging accounting is underway. The nation’s unemployment rate is extremely high. The number of permanent small business closures is frightening. Long-established major firms are closing down. The Government of Canada, which responded quickly and effectively to quell financial panic, now has to show it can be as fast and adept at restarting a traumatized economy. In no part of Canada is the reboot more critical – and more uncertain – than in the nation’s rural areas and small towns.

For generations, rural and small-town Canada has been struggling. The sharp decline of many single-industry towns is well-known, as has been the fall off in the country’s agricultural workforce through a combination of technological innovation and the consolidation of farm properties. There has been no shortage of revitalization plans, community empowerment processes, and regional economic development efforts. Some have worked; most have had trouble stemming the flow of young people, families and businesses from these areas. Resilience is a key characteristic of agrarian life and Canada’s many small towns have fought back from economic despair in the past. But this feels different.

Read More: https://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/canada-needs-remember-rural-communities/

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