Click to view this email in a browser

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation  E-Newsletter
February 2017
MOVING RURAL FORWARD: Emerging Scholars and their Agenda for Rural Research  

Each year, the February edition of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation’s newsletter is devoted to featuring research being undertaken by emerging researchers and community-based organizations. The newsletter represents an opportunity to not only profile these research initiatives and researchers, but to also nurture the cross-disciplinary sharing of creative ideas.

Below you will see a very rich agenda for rural research, by graduate students, community-based organizations, and academic faculty. While the substantive foci are as varied as we might expect, such as land use, local foods systems, infrastructure, source waters, First Nations, economic development, immigration and other matters, the connecting themes are no less timely, important and exciting. These encompass social equity and justice, the role and relevance, and indeed the survival of indigenous knowledge, the modern economy's hallmark characteristic of "precarious employment", the cross-cutting theme of "resilience" and all that this might entail, the imperative of capacity, the increased attention to learning, and the growing attention to who benefits from rural resources development, and how appropriate processes are institutionalized and underpinned with adequate governance. Another intersecting dimension evident in much of the research here is place-based development, addressing the nature of "rural" itself, and the realities of being "remote". It is reassuring to see the attention to lived experiences, grounded case studies, comparative research methodology, action research, and the community as research collaborator. 

We encourage you to communicate with these new researchers should you share an interest in their initiatives. We hope this newsletter will serve to enhance sharing of information and building of networks. 
David Douglas, Peter Apedaile
CRRF Lifetime Members


Balancing Agricultural and Environmental Land Use

Eric Marr |
PhD candidate, University of York 

My name is Eric Marr and I am a PhD student at the University of York in the United Kingdom. My research involves the management of competing rural land uses, more specifically agricultural and environmental land uses, through a comparison of England and my home province of Ontario, Canada. I am exploring this challenge at different levels of analysis, beginning with the broader land use policy context, through to the preferences of organisational stakeholders, and finally examining the land management preferences of farmers, as those ultimately responsible for the management of arable land. Overall, the goal of this research is to support the creation of land use policies that achieve an optimal balance between agricultural and environmental land uses, while also aligning with the preferences of policymakers, interest groups, and farmers. For more information please see my university profile and project website.

Enhancing Source Water Protection in Rural Regions: Exploring the Role of Governance and Capacity Building

Sarah Minnes |
PhD candidate, Memorial University of Newfoundland

This research investigates source water protection in Ontario drawing from both capacity and collaborative governance frameworks. A nested case study approach has been employed to allow for in depth exploration of the experience within the Cataraqui Source Protection Area and the North Bay-Mattawa Source Protection Area. The research asks: i) What have been the successes and challenges with source water protection planning and implementation of source protection plans under the Clean Water Act in Ontario? ii) Did the source water protection planning process in Ontario build capacity for water and watershed governance, particularly in rural areas? iii) What are appropriate source water protection options for unserviced areas (i.e. areas without municipal drinking water systems) in Ontario? Over 30 key informant interviews have been conducted. An expert workshop is to be conducted in Fall 2017 to further explore options for source water protection in unserviced areas.

Evaluating British Columbia’s LNG Royalty Regimes

Cameron Gunton |
MRM Planning candidate, Simon Fraser University

Cameron Gunton is a Master’s student in the School of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. He completed his undergraduate degree in Geography and Business at the University of Victoria in 2016. Working with Dr. Sean Markey, Cameron is contributing to the SSHRC project “Resource Royalties: Returns to producing rural regions.” For his research, Cameron will be evaluating British Columbia’s liquefied natural gas royalty regimes: most notably the new LNG Income Tax and the updated Long-term Royalty Agreement. BC is on the verge of developing a substantial LNG industry, and Cameron will be researching the distribution of economic benefits from the recently updated royalty regimes as well as the rationale for the new regimes. 

Exploring the Relationship between Commuting and the Exurban Neighbourhood: A Case Study of Niverville Manitoba

Ellen Enns | 
Master of City Planning candidate, University of Manitoba

This thesis is exploring the relationship between where individuals chose to live and how they commute to work, using the Town of Niverville as a case study. The recent population increase in Niverville represents a growing preference for a rural lifestyle that is often perceived as inducing greater commuting distances for its residents. As exurban neighbourhoods become increasingly popular, it raises questions as to why people want to live in exurban towns, if their commutes are as long as perceived, and how multiple worker households decide on where to live and how to commute. This case study will explore the social factors behind commuting by surveying residents on their thoughts and opinions of Niverville, their commute, and any decisions made within their household regarding neighbourhood location and commuting behaviour.

Exploring Exploitation and Mental Illness in Isolated Communities 

Katherine Pachkowski | 
Assistant Professor, Faculty of Health Studies, Brandon University 

This research study is qualitative and exploratory, designed to elicit data that illuminates the scope and nature of exploitation of people with mental illness, particularly those people who do not live in an area where mental health services are easily accessible. It is also focused on the challenges experienced by health care service providers who face these issues on a regular basis in their practice. Researchers have been conducting qualitative, key informant interviews with a variety of ‘front-line' mental health care providers. The data from this study are intended to inform future research, fill a profound gap in current literature on this subject, and ultimately inform service providers and policy makers on these issues and ethical considerations for more equitable and appropriate resource distribution. For further information visit

Exploring the Transitory Experiences of Immigrants in Rural Ontario

Palluk Arora | 
Master of Science in Capacity Development and Extension candidate, University of Guelph 

Immigration has been an important characteristic of the Canadian society for decades and historically immigrants have chosen to live in urban centres. However, with a relatively declining population, rural areas will have to rely on transforming communities to become more attractive for immigrants. With various levels of governments interested in attracting immigrants to rural areas, my research project explored the experiences of skilled migrants who are currently residing in rural Ontario. It is a phenomenological study that delves into the economic, social and cultural transitions that residents undergo as they resettle in rural areas. Through my research I present an exploratory case of a small number of immigrants who have been living in the Bruce-Grey area for less than 10 years. A collection of these individuals’ unique challenges and successes helps paint a picture of life of an immigrant in a rural Canadian town. 

Fostering Resilience in Rural Communities: The 4-H Resilience Research Project

Heather Sansom |
PhD candidate, University of Guelph

Rural residency is considered a socio-economic determinant of lower wellbeing.  Communities are challenged to train and retain youth equipped for thriving in the new rural economies.  Based on a wide body of recreation and animal therapy, outdoor learning, sport for youth development, and Green Care literature, this project examined the presence of resilience in 400 4-H members participating in horse-clubs across Ontario, looking for facilitative factors.  Data included an online survey (n=70) and in-depth arts-based interviews with club leaders (n=10) and members (n=30). Participant resilience scores were exceptionally high, and Self-Efficacy scores notably higher than general population data. Qualitative phases provided rich information about how resilience factors, self-efficacy and other life-skills transferable to adult thriving were fostered for a range of participants inclusive of different mental and physical abilities.
More information is available on the ‘Resilience Research’ tab at

Get Active Powassan

Kyle Rich |
PhD candidate, University of Western Ontario 

While recreation opportunities vary in each community, rural people are typically quite enthusiastic about participating in both formal and informal recreational activities. Through this research partnership, we are working to improve the management and delivery of recreation resources and services within the municipality. To date, we have been successful in accessing funding through the Ontario Sport and Recreation Communities Foundation to purchase equipment and develop a sustainable summer day camp program (Get Active Powassan). Through this program we have simultaneously been developing policy and procedure manuals in order to improve the sustainability of the program and provide a resource for others. Further, we have also engaged in a strategic planning process for recreation in the community. The research portion of the project explores the management of recreation equitably for community development outcomes as well as the processes of conducting research with community recreation organizations through participatory approaches. 

Growing Resilience in Northern Ontario: Understanding the Opportunities for Agricultural Expansion and Community Economic Development

Sara Epp |
PhD candidate, University of Guelph

Local food systems are an integral part of community health and well-being. In northern Ontario, many communities do not control their food systems and lack access to locally produced healthy and safe food. Further, many of these communities have limited economic opportunities and their dependence on a single industry leaves them vulnerable to external market fluctuations. It is important to recognize that a strong local food sector can foster community development and build economic resilience. Many regions in southern Ontario have experienced significant economic development as a result of agricultural expansion, innovation and niche operations. Similar opportunities exist in northern Ontario, as the agricultural industry is growing, new markets are evolving and access to locally produced foods is expanding. My research seeks to understand the opportunities and challenges that exist for agricultural expansion in northern Ontario and the impacts of this expansion on local food systems and community economic development. 

How effective is Indigenous Knowledge & Practices to the Changing Agriculture Practices amidst Climate Change in Rural Communities? A Case Study of Nakisunga Sub-county, Uganda

Josephine Bamanya |
MSc in Rural Planning and Development candidate, University of Guelph 

Findings of the research indicate that Indigenous knowledge (IK) is still widely practiced in weather forecasts, disaster preparedness and management, and agricultural practices of; land preparation, planting, weeding, harvesting and seed storage. For weather forecasts, the months of the year are named indigenously according to the climate condition and farming practices. For instance February is called “Mugula nsigo” which means buying seeds to plant; March is “Kasambula” meaning tilling/clearing the land to prepare for planting season in April. Although IK is widely practiced, most of the knowledge is threatened by the current education system and civilization that have seen Televisions replacing the original fireplace that was a classroom used to pass on the IK to the young ones. The superstitious nature of some IK makes it irrelevant and unacceptable to the young generation. Changing land tenure system due to high population growth rate of 3% per annum has led to land fragmentation (small plots of land) making IK impossible to be applied. However certain aspects that promote environmental conservation such as weather prediction from trees, birds and insects do promote sustainable rural development and environment conservation.

Indigenizing Resource Development: First Nations Governance Tools for Exerting Sovereignty Over Territorial Land and Resources 

Jonathan Boron |
MRM Planning candidate, Simon Fraser University 

Jonathan Boron is a Master’s student in the school of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. Working with Sean Markey, Jonathan’s research is contributing to the SSHRC project, “Resource Royalties: Returns to producing rural regions” (2016-2020). Jonathan has been researching institutional and supra-regulatory resource regimes involving development within indigenous traditional territory. These regimes take the form of Impact and Benefit Agreements, Resource Sharing Agreements, Participation Agreements, Co-Management Agreements, as well as the provincial and federal Environmental Assessment Processes (CEAA & BCEAA). This research is an attempt to understand the flow of resource royalties from development to indigenous communities. Further, it aims to determine whether these regimes are providing fair and equitable provisions, and whether they provide the capacity to achieve indigenous self-governance and decision-making on projects that affect their rights and title to the land and resources.

Investigating Precarious Employment in Rural Ontario

Valencia Gaspard | 
PhD candidate, University of Guelph

In partnership with colleagues at the University of Guelph's School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, the provincial government, and community partners I am engaged in research which unpacks the impacts of precarious employment in rural Ontario. This research has 4 objectives: #1 Develop the profile of precarious employment (PE) in rural and remote Ontario (RRO) communities (excluding aboriginal communities) from 1975 – 2015, #2 Identify key challenges and impacts for RRO communities facing prominent PE within their local labour force, #3 Document and describe the process and strategies used by RRO communities which have recovered from high PE, #4 Document and describe the lived experience of PE and how it impacts residents in RRO and their households. For more information about precarious employment in rural Ontario and the progress of this project, email Valencia Gaspard

Lower North Shore Research Facility – Building Sustainable Economic Development 

Kimberly Buffitt |
Coasters Association

A region of 16 coastal communities along the Gulf of St Lawrence in Quebec created an innovative plan to enhance economic development, provide jobs, and attract young people back to the region. In 2014, the Coasters Association launched the Lower North Shore Research Facility plan. The initiative set out to create a world-class research facility in non-timber resources and focus on Quebec’s northern regions. The facility will include research labs, centers for product /technology development and traditional knowledge, and facilities for teaching, training, and community engagement. Recently, the region launched the research facility and benefits are been recognized already.

Partnerships with both private sector companies and post-secondary institutions have created research opportunities in the region creating new jobs, training opportunities, and excitement. In partnership with l’Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, for example, three master’s students from the region are engaged in environmental science research. Further work is being implemented through the facility in topic such as renewable natural resource development, environmental stewardship, and appropriate infrastructure for the region. 

The Coasters Association is a regional non-profit organization with a mandate to enhance the vitality of the Lower North Shore of Quebec. The organization represents 16 communities in the Lower North Shore region of Quebec, spanning over 550 kilometres of coast line. For further information on the Coasters Association and the Lower North Shore Research Facility visit

Rural Educational Tourism

Danielle Robinson | 
PhD candidate, University of Guelph 

I am at the very early stages of exploring how rural communities use tourism, and place-based formal and informal learning to build local capacity, support sustainable rural economies, and mobilize place-based ways of learning. Growth trends in life-long learning, and rural tourism indicate potential for the rural educational tourism sector; however; there is very little empirical research on how educational tourism, which may include activities such as, agricultural school excursions/exchange programmes, ‘farm-to-table’ culinary courses, artisan craft programs, etc., might support sustainable rural communities. My research is at the conceptual/exploratory stage, and I welcome suggested research directions, case examples and connections.

The Case for Using Green Infrastructure in a Land Use Planning Framework for Resilient Rural Communities

Paul Kraehling |
PhD candidate, University of Guelph 

My research focus comprises the topic, “The Case for Using Green Infrastructure (GI) in a Land Use Planning Framework for Resilient Rural Communities”. For definition purposes, GI is meant to include a broad spectrum of nature/natural elements that together provide a solid foundation for sustainable communities, whether human or natural. Facets of multi-functionality and holistic use of a variety of land uses comprising GI are considered. Landscape features, ranging in scale from individual properties to large landscape areas are considered: private yards, natural areas including water features and woodlands, open space/recreation areas, working lands including agricultural fields. The focus of research is within Ontario’s planning governance system, with consideration to the differing geographic and situational circumstances of rural places across southern Ontario.

CRRF Membership Renewal


The Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) is a member-based organization. Now in its third decade, CRRF is a proven rural resource, dedicated to active collaboration, undertaking, facilitating and advocating research for the ongoing development of Canada’s rural communities and environments. As an informal, volunteer-run organization dedicated to the welfare of rural Canada it provides a host of benefits to an expanding membership. 

CRRF offers both a one-year membership ($30) and a five-year membership ($100), with membership running from January – December. To check out if your CRRF membership is up to date, please click here. Thank you to those individuals who have recently updated their memberships. If your membership has lapsed, you can you click here to renew your membership. Our membership platform recently migrated to a new system. We believe all the 'bugs' are out of the system, however, if you encounter any difficulties in registering please contact CRRF at

New Episode of Rural Routes Podcasts on Rural Immigration

Unknown-1 12.31.54 AM
“Canada is a land of immigrants” is a phrase we hear often. And while that is certainly true in many ways, immigration is a complex issue we don’t spend nearly as much time talking about as we should.

Michael Haan is Canada Research Chair in Immigration and Ethnic Relations at Western University in London, Ontario, and he spends a lot of time thinking about immigration, especially in rural Canada. 

Interested in Rural Economic Development? Check Out the Latest Stories on Twitter

Students in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph are taking a new approach to learning about the changing economic and social conditions of rural areas. As part of an ongoing assignment, graduate students in Dr. Ryan Gibson’s Community Economic Development course are compiling stories on current economic developments in rural life and sharing them on Twitter with the hashtag #rpdCED.

In their weekly classes, students review and discuss the week’s postings. Then, at the end of the semester, they are responsible for a report on the themes present in the collected stories. The topics come from around the world and have included diverse subjects such as the effects of high-level governmental policy on small communities, the impact of broadband access in remote areas, the changing roles of schools and other rural institutions, and more. You are invited to follow the discussions (and join in yourself) at

Submitted by Alexander Petric and 
Lucas Mascotto-Carbone

Check Out the Latest Rural Statistics from Census 2016

Last week, Statistics Canada announced the release of the population statistics from the 2016 Census. Curious what the census said for rural communities? CRRF Lifetime Member Ray Bollman has compiled rural statistics at the provincial level into two reports! You can check out the 2016 census data for rural communities at: 

New RDI Working Paper Series on Rural Regions

The Rural Development Institute, Brandon University has released a Working Paper Series on Rural Regions. These five working papers have been written to add the conversation about rural regions from an economic perspective. The approach taken is to provide information on topics relevant to economic development and also move the conversation from a local discussion to one about rural regions.

New Publication: Planning Canadian Regions (2nd Edition)

Planning Canadian Regions was the first book to integrate the history, contemporary practice, and emergent issues of regional planning in Canada. This much-anticipated second edition brings the discussion up to date, applying the same thorough analysis to illuminate the rapid changes now shaping our regional landscapes and their planning. 

This new edition draws upon contemporary analyses, projects, and literature to address issues of spatial complexity now facing regional planners in an era marked by increasing interdependence between cities and their regions, climate change, and respectful accommodation of Aboriginal peoples. The volume has been expanded to include: 
  • a comprehensive examination of the regional planning dimensions of climate change adaptation and environmental sustainability across Canada 
  • an in-depth analysis of the inequities of economic development faced in peripheral resource regions in the Provincial and Territorial North and discussion of the potential for place-based planning 
  • respect for the role that Aboriginal peoples must play in the planning of their regions and the impact this has for all regions across Canada 
  • a broad exploration of the distinctive planning needs of metropolitan regions across the country, including the unique case of the Greater Toronto megaregion. 
Comprehensive and timely, this book challenges planners, educators, and policy makers to engage with the latest thinking and strive for best practices in twenty-first century regional planning. Planning Canadian Regions (2nd Edition) is written by Gerald Hodge, Heather M. Hall and Ira M. Robinson. 

Recent Rural Newsletters 

Check out recent newsletters from organizations across the country. 

Call for Papers/Presentations

Over the past month, CRRF has received the following calls for papers, presentations, and panels. For further information on each call, please follow the hyperlinks below. 

Rural Reports and News from Around the Country

Saving lives in rural Saskatchewan (Moose Jaw Times Herald) 

Follow CRRF/FCRR ... 

Keep up to date on all CRRF/FCRR activities, news, and updates from across the country regarding rural and regional development by following CRRF/FCRR on our social media platforms. You can follow CRRF/FCRR on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn

FaceBook-icon       twitter-logo-transparent-small 4         transparent-Linkedin-logo-icon

Upcoming Rural Events

February 15 at 10:00 am CST

February 23 at 7:00 pm 
Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

24-26 February 2017 
Halifax, Nova Scotia

February 26 - March 1, 2017
Toronto, Ontario

6-7 March 2017
Calgary, Alberta

9-10 March 2017
Puebla, Mexico

10 March 2017 
Drayton Valley, Alberta

13-24 March 2017
New York City, USA

17-18 March 2017
Winnipeg, Manitoba

16-18 March 2017
Montréal, Québec

30 March 2017
Orillia, Ontario

24-26 April 2017
Winnipeg, Manitoba

1-5 May 2017
Vancouver, British Columbia

10-12 May 2017
Winnipeg, Manitoba

11-12 May 2017
Toronto, Ontario

23-25 May 2017
Waterloo, Ontario

May 30 - June 2, 2017
Toronto, Ontario

More rural events can be found at

Do you know of an upcoming rural or regional development event? Let us know and we will add it to our list of events (

Contribute to the E-Newsletter

Do you have a story about rural or regional development? A new publication, toolkit, or website? CRRF would love to hear about it! We continually look for new ideas and stories to share. Send your ideas to

Follow CRRF on Social Media

Did you know you can follow CRRF on both Facebook and Twitter? Add us today to keep up to date with activities, news, and upcoming events. 

The Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation (CRRF) is a charitable institution committed to bettering the lives of rural Canadians. For more information about CRRF please visit You have received this communication as a past participant to a CRRF sponsored event.

If you no longer wish to receive these emails, please reply to this message with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line or simply click on the following link: Unsubscribe

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation/Fondation canadienne pour la revitalisation rurale
201-1070 Barrington Street
Halifax, Nova Scotia B3H2R1

Read the VerticalResponse marketing policy.

Non-Profits Email Free with VerticalResponse!