The Community Development Institute at UNBC maintains a clear focus upon research. Its goal is to balance both applied and basic work so as to maintain academic credibility and to be of practical relevance to communities.
The Community Development Institute has undertaken a large number of projects examining Seniors' Needs across northern BC. Click here to view these Seniors' Needs projects.
Lessons from Economic Upswings: A Case Study of the Peace River Region 2012 COMPLETED
When industrial investments come to small communities, the impacts can be significant and transformative. These impacts occur in all sectors – social, community, service, economic, and governance. The Terrace and Kitimat region of northwest BC has been home to a range of large industries since the early 1950s. The region is now on the cusp of new and large industrial construction projects that will change and renew the local and regional economies. The projects will also impact and change the communities.
Other regions in BC have considerable experience with large industrial projects. Most notable is the Peace River region in northeast BC which has recent and continuing experience with major coal, oil, and gas developments. This project was designed to collate lessons and experiences from the Peace River region so as to inform decision-makers and community economic and social development organizations in the Terrace-Kitimat corridor on effective responses to the opportunities and pressures of large industrial projects.
The project work was carried out by a research team from the UNBC Community Development Institute in the spring of 2012.
- An Inventory of Strategies Across the Peace River and Northern Rockies
- Summary Theme Report
- Summary Theme Tables
- A Historic Guide of Recent Events Across the Peace River
Community-Based Research Centres in Canada 2012 COMPLETED
As communities prepare for, and respond to, economic, social, and political change, they need timely, relevant, and useful information to help them make decisions. Community-based research institutions can be an important source of information for these small communities and can support innovation and competitiveness, inform strategic planning exercises and community development initiatives, mobilize resources, build local capacity, facilitate local and regional networks, empower community engagement, and improve the quality-of-life in small places. This report contains an inventory of community-based research centres in Canada with information on:
- contact information,
- background / mandate,
- general information brochures,
- student information brochures,
- annual reports, and
- policy documents.
Clearwater Age-Friendly Needs Assessment Project 2012 on-going
In this project the CDI will work in partnership with the District of Clearwater. Consultations will include one on one interviews, meetings with stakeholders and an Age-Friendly needs assessment survey and the creation of an inventory of the services, programs and initiatives that currently exist.
For more information please contact: Don Manson, email@example.com
Tracking the Social and Economic Transformation Process in Kitimat, BC December 2011 on-going
When industrial investments come to small communities, the local social impacts can be significant and transformative. The town of Kitimat has been an industrial centre in northwestern British Columbia since the early 1950s. The town is now experiencing a large number of industrial construction projects that will change and renew the local economy. These construction projects will also impact and change the community. This project involves a long-term tracking study of the economic and social transformation processes now getting underway in Kitimat, BC.
Working ‘away’: Community & Family Impacts of Long Distance Labour Commuting in Mackenzie, BC 2011 On-going
The town of Mackenzie is one of BC’s ‘instant towns’, built in the late 1960s to house the workforce for a new regional forest industry. A significant economic downturn in Mackenzie beginning in early 2008 resulted in the closure of all major forest industry operations (sawmills and pulp and paper mills) in the community. As a result, some of these forest sector workers had to engage in long distance labour commuting (LDLC). This project provides an opportunity to explore the implications of LDLC at both an individual and community level. The first part of the project occurred in Sept/Oct 2011, with meetings were held in Mackenzie to assess the scope, scale, implications, and experiences of long distance labour commuting for workers, their families, community groups, and the local business community.
Part two of the project occurred in May/June 2012, with a household survey to assess the scale and scope of LDLC. Interviews were also completed with workers to explore the motivations behind different pathways that workers take to either continue with, or to stop, their engagement with LDLC, as well as to explore the contributions that LDLC can bring to enhance community capacity as workers return to Mackenzie and apply new lessons and insights to their workplace. We also spoke with community organizations to explore how LDLC has shaped their program needs and operations.
Project reports include:
- Assessing the Scale of Long Distance Labour Commuting in Mackenzie, BC
- Contrasting Pathways with Long Distance Labour Commuting in Mackenzie, BC
- Hollowing Out the Community: Community Impacts of Extended Long Distance Labour Commuting
- Long Distance Labour Commuting Contributions to Community Capacity in Mackenzie, BC
Dimensions of Voluntarism in Aging Resource Towns: Preliminary Scan of Quesnel and Tumbler Ridge, BC 2011 On-going
Since the 1980s, the population of many rural and small town places in northern BC communities has been aging. This research project examines the role that voluntary organizations, community groups, and volunteers play in both supporting older people and in influencing community development in aging resource communities. It also examines the influence of seniors in volunteer organizations and community development initiatives. Reports have been completed to provide preliminary information about the dimensions of voluntarism in two pilot study towns to establish the empirical foundation for further phases of the project. These communities include Quesnel and Tumbler Ridge. The project is based out of the UNBC Community Development Institute in collaboration with Mark Skinner at Trent University and Alun Joseph at the University of Guelph.
Project reports include:
- Dimensions of Voluntarism in Aging Resource Towns: Preliminary Scan of Quesnel, BC
- Dimensions of Voluntarism in Aging Resource Towns: Preliminary Scan of Tumbler Ridge, BC
(Re)Defining poverty in resource dependent rural and small town places 2011 On-going
Poverty remains an important, but challenging research, policy, and lived world issue. It is found in all communities – in all regions. In Canada, most poverty research has been urban focused and our knowledge about the dynamics, experiences, and complex underpinnings of rural poverty is more limited. Since the early 1980s, Canadian rural and small town places have experienced accelerated change due to economic and social restructuring. These have generated new pressures and trends that affect those living on low-income and households at risk of living in poverty. These impacts are especially important in resource-based economies and those places located at a distance from major urban centres.
Based on a pilot study in the McBride and surrounding region, this project explores how key factors, attributes of place, and institutional processes affect rural household journeys into and out of poverty. This includes exploring interactions between low-income households and service support networks to develop a greater understanding of emerging issues for households in resource-dependent towns undergoing intense economic and service restructuring.
- Pilot Study Summary Report
- A Review of Socio-Economic Characteristics in Robson and Canoe Valleys
- Methodology Report
NEV2 - Updating Our Northern BC Development Vision and Strategy Project 2009-2012 COMPLETED
The economic downturn is forcing public and private sector interests to make difficult choices and adopt what they think are the best coping strategies so that they are poised, equipped, and ready to take advantage of the next economic upswing. In partnership with selected small local governments in northern BC, we will explore:
- recommendations on how small local governments can and should respond to dramatic economic change
- the impacts of those choices / decisions as the economy begins to recover
- the choices and decisions being made in response to the 2008/2009 economic downturn
- NEV2 Project Update
- Interim NEV2 Project Presentation, October 2010
- Details and reports from the original NEV project
Laxgalts’ap Village Government - Community Development Plan update 2010 COMPLETED
This research partnership between the Laxgalts’ap Village Government and the Community Development Institute at UNBC focuses on Laxgalts’ap’s Community Development Plan. The Laxgalts’ap Village Government is part of the Nisga’a First Nation and is formally constituted under terms of the Nisga’a Treaty. The purpose is to review the previous Community Development Plan and talk with local residents to create an “update” on achievements as well as a framework for actions towards their next Community Development Plan. This project was completed in December 2010.
District of Clearwater - Community Economic Development Plan 2011 COMPLETED
This research partnership between the District of Clearwater and UNBC’s Community Development Institute reviewed past community and economic development plans and talked with local residents to create a new Community Economic Development plan for the District and the surrounding Electoral Area of the Thompson-Nicola Regional District. The Community Development Institute has a longstanding relationship with the people and communities of the North Thompson Valley.
- A Community for People of all Ages and Stages of Life: Report
- A Community for People of all Ages and Stages of Life: Appendices
- Appendix 1: Methodology
- Appendix 2: Interview Materials
- Appendix 3: Survey Materials
- Appendix 4: Survey Tables
- Appendix 5: Top Priorities
- Appendix 6: Socio-Economic Profile
- Appendix 7: Inventory Guide
- Appendix 8: Glossary
Norman Lake - Foundations of Cottage Culture 2010 COMPLETED
Recreational cottage properties are a common part of the rural Canadian landscape. This study explored the changing nature of cottage property development and use. The goal was to gain a better understanding of the human and natural landscape connections that attract cottagers to their recreational properties, and also the changing nature of cottaging communities. In addition to this study at Norman Lake, a companion study was carried out in the ‘cottage country’ lakes area of central Finland.
- Summary Report
- Methodology Report
- Master Report (combining the Summary and Methodology reports)
- Tables available from companion survey near Savonlinna, Finland
Voluntarism, Ageing and Place: A Critical Review 2010 COMPLETED
Population aging coupled with changes in the delivery of health and continuing care services means that more attention must be paid to the role of the voluntary sector (formal and informal) in providing needed services in rural and small town places. This project undertook a critical review of the available literature in the topics of volunteerism, population aging, rural health and social care, and rural and small town community development. The purpose of the project was to provide a better understanding of the pressures facing small communities in supporting older residents via voluntary services.
“Northern Rockies Partnership: Building the Region Together!” 2009 On-going
Two research institutes at UNBC, together with the Fraser Basin Council, are working to assist the Northern Rockies Regional Municipality (NRRM) with the development, establishment, and initial implementation of a proposed “Northern Rockies Partnership: Building the Region Together!”
Over the last four decades, the Northern Rockies region of northeastern British Columbia has experienced economic ‘boom’ and ‘bust’ situations due to the growth and decline of numerous resource development activities. The Community Development Institute (CDI) and the Natural Resources and Environmental Studies Institute (NRESi) at UNBC are assisting with the creation of a more integrative and collaborative dialogue approach to community and resource development that will bring together regional First Nations communities, natural resource industries, the provincial government, and the NRRM.
The Northern Rockies Partnership – Building the Region Together! presents a significant opportunity for the First Nation communities, the oil and gas sector, the provincial government, and the NRRM to work together to ensure a sustainable and prosperous future for the region. The partnership signifies a special kind of collaborative process that could result in substantive benefits to each of the parties. Initial work began in April 2009, and already there are several initiatives underway to start this partnership dialogue process.
United Way of Northern British Columbia 2009 COMPLETED
The United Way has recently reorganized the way it delivers programming across northern BC. The United Way of Northern British Columbia now serves a region that extends from Quesnel to the Yukon border, and from the Alberta border to the Queen Charlotte Islands. The CDI at UNBC is working with the United Way of Northern British Columbia to collect and organize information that will support United Way activities in these northern communities.
Information to be collected includes socio-demographic summaries for incorporated municipalities and surrounding rural areas, as well as local interviews to identify emerging issues and needs within communities. Collected through a consistent and rigorous methodology, the information will assist communities and regional districts to better understand the social challenges and pressures faced by their communities and work within local partnerships to address those issues. Addressing social issues will have a direct impact on the economic stability, quality of life, and sustainability of northern communities. It will also assist the United Way of Northern British Columbia with strategic planning, fund-raising campaigns, and program investments. The research will take the CDI team to more than 26 communities.
National Network for Urban Aboriginal Economic Development 2008 - 2011 COMPLETED
The National Network for Urban Aboriginal Economic Development was supported by three year grants from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, the Office of the Federal Interlocutor at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada, and by a one year grant from the Economic Development Branch at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. The network is coordinated by Greg Halseth from UNBC’s CDI and Ray Gerow from the Prince George Aboriginal Business Development Centre.
The objective was to develop an open and inclusive multi-stakeholder national network of researchers, practitioners, and policy makers working in urban Aboriginal and Métis communities. This includes organizations, universities, federal/provincial/municipal governments, private industry, community groups, and NGO’s. The network’s focus is on mobilizing economic development knowledge and strengthening organizational capacity.
The tasks included building the network, fostering a better understanding of the key issues, hosting national conferences, and establishing local Learning Circles to facilitate knowledge exchange and capacity building. The network includes more than 25 organizations across Canada.
- Link: http://abdc.bc.ca/uaed/
Omineca Beetle Action Coalition’s Future Forest Summit 2009 COMPLETED
On September 19th, 2008, a Future Forest Summit was hosted at UNBC through a partnership between UNBC’s Community Development Institute (CDI) and the Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC). Results from the Summit were to inform OBAC’s “Future Forest Products and Fibre Use Strategy”. With a focus on future forest and fibre opportunities, the central message was that communities want the future forest to support economic opportunity (for a range of small to large economic players), quality of life, and the environmental services that protect both economic and quality of life assets. The discussion focussed on the need to create viable community futures. This included attention to keeping resource revenues in the north to sustain social and economic development, and to renew infrastructure for moving into more diverse and viable future economies.
Funding for this project came from Western Economic Diversification Canada’s Community Economic Development Initiative and OBAC.
- OBAC Non-Timber Forest Resources, Information Compendium
- OBAC Non-Timber Forest Resources, Overview
- CDI OBAC Future Forest Summit Final Report
Community Transition Toolkit 2008 COMPLETED
The CDI has combined available community transition best practices with its own Economic Emergency Transition Toolkit (created in partnership with the District of Mackenzie). In partnership with Omineca Beetle Action Coalition (OBAC), we now have a suite of tools for assisting community transition and preparedness planning. Click here to view the Community Transition Toolkit reports.
Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project 2004 COMPLETED
The Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project coordinated a set of meetings across northern BC to collect input and recommendations from a diverse set of stakeholder groups. Through a series of individual interviews and facilitated workshops, this input focused on the key issues of a northern vision, supportive policy development, community and infrastructure investment, and regional coordination.
The project undertook a community driven process that reviewed key challenges and opportunities relative to the economic development and diversification of northern BC communities. The final report identified a framework for action aimed at creating the mechanisms necessary to engage, mobilize, and coordinate key resources and stakeholders for the creation of a northern economic development strategy. Since completion, many of the report recommendations have been enacted by various levels of government.
Funding for the project came from Western Economic Diversification.
For more details: http://web.unbc.ca/geography/faculty/greg/research/edvs/index.html
From Planning to Action: Reconciling Community Development Strategies with Regional Assets and Infrastructure 2006 COMPLETED
The purpose of this project is to produce information that will help to overcome a persistent barrier in economic development planning: the gap between planning and implementation. Across northern BC, people have told the research team that their communities are frustrated by being “studied to death” while not seeing their efforts translated into viable action. The findings and ongoing research associated with the Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project illustrate that there are two significant gaps that contribute to this impasse: 1) community economic development options, plans, and strategies fail to adequately address and integrate the capabilities and capacities of the local and regional infrastructure and assets; and 2) proposed strategies fail to adequately comprehend or consider practical questions of competitive advantage, on their own and in association with a more regional approach. The project used a case study approach to explore this gap between planning and implementation with a view to demonstrating how to reconcile local/regional assets and aspirations with the array of economic development possibilities.
Warmth of Welcome Project 2007-2009 On-going
Through collaborative and action research plans, Catherine Nolin, Greg Halseth, and members of the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society (IMSS) will work together to highlight the barriers to, and needs for,the strengthened participation of new immigrants in northern community life as well as develop recommendations and concrete initiatives which foster more inclusive and welcoming communities for new immigrants in northern BC. A dearth of research on non-metropolitan immigrant settlement in Canada means that the experience of whole regions of the country is little understood. Activities are being carried out in Fort St. John, Prince George, and Terrace.
- Northern BC Immigration Network
- Report: Regionalization BC 2008: Regionalization and Rural Immigration in Rural British Columbia
Service Industry Sector Project 2009 COMPLETED
Much has been written about the transformation of the North American economy and the rise of the Service Industry sector. As knowledge and information become increasingly valued commodities, the need for workers in all components of the Service Industry sector will be crucial to extracting increased value and GDP from the traditional basic sectors of the economy. Employment pressures/shortages within the Service Industry sector means that this has emerged as a critical labour market issue in northern BC. With funding from Service Canada, this project seeks to delineate this labour market issue and identify practical responses to addressing gaps/needs in both the short and long term.
These project reports include:
- Extracting the Value
- Population Background and Trends Report
- Quantifying the Problem Report
- Solutions Report
Old Massett Village Council 5 Year Human Resources Strategic Plan 2007 COMPLETED
The Old Massett Village Council (OMVC) identified this project as a way to create a five year human resource strategy for the community. The goal is to take the ideas and things that people want to do, and organize them into a plan that Old Massett can start working on today that builds towards broader goals and objectives for the community.
John Disney at the economic development department of the OMVC took the lead on developing the Our Future in Motion Five Year Strategy. The Community Development Institute (CDI) from the University of Northern British Columbia (UNBC) was asked to help the community identify its priorities and to write a report using what the community had said. Funding for the Our Future in Motion project was provided by Service Canada.
For further information on this project please contact John Disney, Economic Development Officer, Village of Old Massett at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Village of Old Massett Economic Development Strategy 2007 COMPLETED
The purpose of this project was to develop an economic development strategy for the village of Old Massett. The work was carried out by a research team from the Community Development Institute at UNBC with the goal to provide community decision-makers with information relevant to local economic development strategies. Funding for the project was through the Office of Economic Development of Old Massett Village Council. The project involved a review of existing economic development materials and an analysis of existing Old Massett economic development materials so as to create a comprehensive Economic Development Strategy for the Village of Old Massett.
RV Travellers Study 2007 COMPLETED
The RV market has been largely neglected by tourism bureaus in their marketing efforts and also remains under-researched. With more and more baby boomers retiring, RVing is expected to boom. Increasing sales figures for RVs in North America despite rocketing gas prices suggest that the RV market is growing. Destinations, attractions and campgrounds that would like to cater to this ever greater number of RVers will need to understand how to serve this particular type of traveler.
To this end, a research study was conducted by Dr. Anne Hardy at the University of Northern British Columbia and Dr. Ulrike Gretzel at Texas A&M University with the support of the BC Real Estate Foundation, the Elkhart County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Tourism British Columbia, the Northern British Columbia Tourism Association, the Northern Rockies Alaska Highway Tourism Association, Tourism Dawson Creek and the Texas Association of Campground Owners. The goal of the study was to elicit motivations and expectations from RVers and to gain insights into their specific travel and trip planning behaviours.
A research methodology including quantitative and qualitative methods was developed to reach the study goal. Dawson Creek, BC was selected as the study site as it represents an important RV destination. Two focus groups with 12 participants each were conducted at the Dawson Creek visitor center in early June 2006. A total of 50 in-depth interviews with RVers were conducted at various sites in Dawson Creek from mid-June to the end of July. A total of 860 self-completed surveys were collected from RVers in the area from early June to late August 2006.
A summary copy is available at: RV Travelers Study
For further information on this study please contact the Project Directors:
Assistant Professor and Director
Laboratory for Intelligent Systems in Tourism
Dept. of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences
Texas A&M University
College Station, TX 77843-2261
Outdoor Recreation and Tourism Program
University of Northern British Columbia
3333 University Way Prince George, BC
V2K 5N4 Canada
Economic Development Framework of Small Communities in Canada 2004 COMPLETED
In 2003 – 2004, the Community Development Institute partnered with the Rural and Small Town Studies Centre at Mount Allison University on a project to create an analytical tool to assess the size, population density, economic characteristics, and economic maturity status of small communities in Canada. The project developed a framework by which to gauge the stage of economic development of small communities, and the presence and direction of any trends. The project was funded by CMHC as a result of their interest in Special Risk Communities.
The project included 4 phases:
Phase I – develop an inventory of “small” communities, with appropriate definitions/rationales
Phase II – develop a method for “clustering” communities into economic sectors or activities
Phase III – develop a framework for assessing stage of economic development activity
Phase IV – test framework with real world Canadian examples
- Phase I: Report / Appendix
- Phase II: Report/Appendix A / Appendix B / Appendix C / Appendix D
- Phase III: Report
- Phase IV: Report
Housing Transitions in Single-Industry 'Instant Towns' 2000 COMPLETED
The local housing market in single-industry, resource dependent communities is influenced by the health of the local resource industry. Restructuring pressures within the resource sector directly affect local housing markets. This research examined two single-industry 'instant towns' in Canada (Mackenzie and Tumbler Ridge, British Columbia) and tracked transitions in the local housing market as the economic fortunes of the local industry and community changed over time. An understanding of these isolated markets is needed to inform government policy, resource companies, local decision-makers, and households/investors in these housing markets. The project:
1. Developed an historical portrait of single-industry instant town housing markets.
2. Identified and tracked past corporate strategies around the local housing stock.
3. Identified the nature and scale of economic benefits or costs which may accrue to households in the housing market.
4. Identified the nature and scale of economic benefits and costs which may accrue to institutions such as resource companies or Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation.
The project was funded by Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation’s Standard External Research Grant program.
Tumbler Ridge Community Transition Study 2002 COMPLETED
The community of Tumbler Ridge is in a state of transition. Rapid changes since the March 2000 announcement of the Quintette mine closure are being undertaken as part of a community revitilisation strategy. During the transition, informaition on the makeup and needs of local residents will be useful to a range of groups, service providers and decision-makers in Tumbler Ridge. This need for timely and relevant information about how the community is changing has been made more urgent as a result of a second round of playoffs involving Quintette's reclamation crew and the success of the Tumbler Ridge Housing Corporation's sale of properties.
Types of information needed during this transition include socio-economic profiles of residents to see how the town is changing, identification of program and activity needs for the recreation centre and for local service providers (especially unmet needs), patterns of housing use, a review of community quality of life issues, and patterns of local participation by residents. People and groups in Tumbler Ridge are interested in this survey because of the information they need to adjust to changing local circumstances.
As a result of pressures associated with community transition, a questionnaire survey of residents and property owners was undertaken in the fall of 2001. The questionnaire process was developed in concert with a number of partners including the District of Tumbler Ridge, the Tumbler Ridge Employment Development Services Committee, the Community Transition Branch in the Local Government Department of the Provincial Ministry of Community, Aboriginal, and Women's Services, and the University of Northern British Columbia's Northern Land Use Institute. The questionnaire was carried out under the direction of Greg Halseth of the Geography Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more details: Reports of the Tumbler Ridge Community Transition Study
Trusts Governance Review 2007 COMPLETED
At the request of the Cariboo-Chilcotin Beetle Action Coalition, the CDI completed a review of various regional trusts within BC and around western North America. Products included a summary of key features and issues faced by each of the reviewed trusts. A ‘Trusts Review’ report summarizes information on over 17 regional trusts, while a ‘Trends Report’ outlines emerging issues in the structure and organization of trust governance.
Northern Medical Program Evaluation 2007-2009 On-going
A group of researchers at both UNBC and UBC, led by Dr. Neil Hanlon in UNBC’s Geography Program, received a research grant from the BC Medical Services Foundation to evaluation the impact of the Northern Medical Program on physician recruitment and retention in its host community. A specific focus was to be on the role of social capital and social cohesion. The CDI will design a questionnaire and use it to interview local physicians and NMP organizers. The CDI will also provide analysis of the social capital building aspects of the NMP.
Tourism and Development Foundation Project 2005 COMPLETED
Between May and October of 2005, CDI staff along with faculty from UNBC's Resource Recreation and Tourism Program developed new connections with organizations in the tourism sector. Our research has shown that tourism plays an important but little studied part of northern BC's economy. Building upon the Northern BC Economic Development Vision and Strategy Project, and with funding support from Western Economic Diversification Canada, this project explored some of the opportunities and challenges for the tourism sector.
These project reports include:
New Rural Economy Project - Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 1998-2009 On-going
Under this initiative, 15 university researchers (across Canada) are joining with rural people and policy makers to help build capacity in rural Canada. Their research and education projects pursue four themes relevant to rural society: communications, environment, services, and governance.
Experiences of Occupational Therapists Practicing in Northern BC 2008 COMPLETED
Rural and remote communities often have more limited health and care services. Part of this is due to diffculting recruiting and retaining health care professionals. This study aims to learn from the experiences of occupational therapists practicing in northern BC in order to contribute to the planning and provision of better systems of professional support. The study examines various aspects of occupational therapy practice in the region, and various issues around recruitment, retention, and the skills and supports required to practice in rural and remote settings.
McBride and Area Skills Inventory Assessment Survey 2004 COMPLETED
The community of McBride, and its surrounding area, is emerging from a transition period. During the past two years, some dramatic changes have taken place with moves of late contributing to an improving economy in the McBride area.
The McBride and Area Industrial Adjustment Committee has identified a community priority to support the expansion of existing businesses and be ready for the introduction of new businesses. A Skills Inventory Assessment Survey will help identify the skills, education, experience, and local interests of the workforce in the McBride area. This tool will be very useful for existing businesses that are expanding as well as for new businesses.
For more details: http://web.unbc.ca/geography/faculty/greg/print_research.shtml
Quesnel 2020 Project 2003-2005 COMPLETED
The Quesnel 2020 Project was an initiative of the Quesnel Community and Economic Development Corporation (QCEDC) designed to address the significant economic and social opportunities and challenges facing the community by envisioning a desirable economic future and mapping out a clear and practical strategy to get there. CDI Director Greg Halseth assisted the Quesnel 2020 Project Team. This project is being updated through an integrated community sustainability planning exercise.
For more details: http://www.quesnel.ca/Sustainability.html
The Heart Of The Community: Tracing The Role Of The Peace River Women's Institutes 2005 COMPLETED
Social and voluntary organizations play a central role in the creation and maintenance of rural and small town communities. For more than 100 years, the Federated Women's Institutes of Canada have been active in Canada's agricultural communities. At present, limited historical records are available on the Peace River region's Women's Institutes. Through a research partnership involving faculty at Northern Lights College, the University of Northern British Columbia, local museums, archives, and libraries in the Peace River region, this collaborative and interdisciplinary project seeks to record and document the history of the area's Women's Institutes (WIs). The project will collect information through a set of oral histories with long-time WI members and will digitally scan and record photographs and other documents which trace the history of individual WIs. This digital information will then be returned to participating WIs, stored in regional museums and archives, made available via a website linked to local history websites, and copies stored at the Northern BC Archives at the University of Northern British Columbia.
For more details:
Pamela den Ouden, Northern Lights College, email@example.com, or Greg Halseth, UNBC, firstname.lastname@example.org OR visit the website at:
http://www.livinglandscapes.bc .ca/prnr/womens_institute /index.html
Implications of Changing Commuting Patterns on Non Resource Town Sustainability: The Example of Mackenzie, British Columbia 2000 COMPLETED
Single-industry, resource-based towns remain a dominant feature in Canada's north. Many of these towns struggle with the dual pressures of single-industry dependence and resource sector restructuring. To move away from this position, attention is now being given to providing people with information about the kinds of changes occurring within their community so that they can deal with risk factors, ameliorate negative impacts, and plan for their town's future. This report looks at one issue facing many small resource towns - the loss of population to larger centres - and provides information which local decision-makers can use to build strategies suited to their community. In particular, this study looks at the phenomena of “extra-community” commuting in Mackenzie, British Columbia, among employees of the major forest product facilities. The research was a partnership between UNBC, the District of Mackenzie, the Mackenzie Chamber of Commerce, and the three major forest industry firms and their union locals operating in town.
For more details:
Greg Halseth, UNBC, email@example.com
2003 Northwest Shopping Study 2005 COMPLETED
The University of Northern British Columbia's Rural and Small Town Studies Program works with residents, service providers, voluntary organisations, business organisations, and decision makers to identify factors that contribute to the changing social and economic nature of rural and small town places in British Columbia. This study focuses upon three key aspects of local economies including changing residential and employment patterns, chanding shopping patterns, and economic leakage. In particular, this research explores shopping and commuting patterns in the Northwest region of B.C. with a specific focus upon Kitimat, Prince Rupert, and Terrace.
Over the past thirty years, transportation infrastructure has been greatly improved in northern B.C. With these improvements, and an increase in alternative media and communication methods, the rural and small town retail landscape is changing. Consumers are choosing to shop in other communities (out-shopping) where they perceive the shopping may be better or they use alternative methods, such as the Internet, to purchase goods. This ‘extra-community’ commuting for shopping results in economic leakage where wages earned in one town may be spent on goods and services in another town. Studies have shown that the availability of goods and services, perceptions about local shopping services, and community satisfaction are important in shopping behaviours.
This report provides information to help residents, businesses, service providers, and policy makers of each community adjust to changing circumstances. This research is funded by the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies. The work was carried out under the direction of Greg Halseth of the Geography Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.
Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board Project 2003 COMPLETED
This project explores how public input was conceptualised and incorporated into the Bulkley Land and Resource Management Plan (Bulkley LRMP) process with the purpose to analyse the level of input that was achieved. The following steps were taken in efforts to realise this task:
- Identification of past public participation in resource management processes in the Bulkley Valley and contrasting their level of input with the Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board (BVCRB);
- Illustration of how the BVCRB was established;
- Determination of how the members of the Board were selected and whether they represent the public of the Bulkley Forest District (BFD);
- Exploration of the role the Board played in developing the Bulkley LRMP.
- Report: Public Participation in Resource Management: The Bulkley Valley Community Resources Board. Volume One
Robson/Canoe Valleys - Services and Community Development Project 2003 COMPLETED
One of the key sources of historical information used by the Rural and Small Town Studies Team are local newspapers. For this project we read all the editions of the papers we could get a hold of and identified issues and stories for later references and analysis. In the Robson and Canoe valleys we used the time period 1970 to 2002 to frame our research. The year 1970 is about 10 years before the recession of the early 1980s, a point in time considered by many to have marked a turning point in B.C.'s resource economy. For this time period we read through available editions of the:
- Robson Valley Courier
- Canoe Mountain Echo
- Valley Sentinel
In this process, we recorded article topics and headlines, by date and by page number. This report includes a summary list of that newspaper information and we are pleased to make it available to the people of the Robson and Canoe valleys. We hope that it can be a useful starting point for research into issues from the recent past.
- A Historical Guide to Local Events Through Newspapers - Summary for the McBride-Valemount Region, 1970-2002
BC Resource Communities Project - Public Participation in Resource Management 2003 COMPLETED
This research investigated community dynamics and factors influencing effective participation and decision-making in British Columbia’s resource dependent communities. The research identified defining elements of “community” which are key to effective participation in community development decision-making and resource planning, allocation and management. The research findings will be of direct value to managers seeking to maximize returns on community development assistance and those seeking to make effective use of community involvement in the new types of consultation processes.
For more details: Components of the BC Resource Communities Project
Can New Information Technology Build/Maintain a Civil Society: Community Economic Development Centre, Simon Fraser University 1997 COMPLETED
For more details and reports: Information Technology and Society
Distance Education Lessons: The case of McBride - Prince George BC 2007-2009 COMPLETED
Under the direction of visiting scholar Dr. Rosemary Raygada-Watanabe, the CDI is examining the video education linkage between McBride Secondary School and DP Todd Secondary School in Prince George. Given the challenge that rural and small town places have with providing services, it is crucial that new information technology be investigated as a possible source of assistance. This project examines the case study with a view to identifying lessons on the application of distance teaching video technologies.
'North First' Community Dialogue Project 2007-2009 On-going
The purpose of this project is to conduct community-based interviews in UNBC’s service region. Across community landscapes that are experiencing increasing pressures from social, demographic, economic, and political change, part of UNBC’s mandate has been to provide needed education and research services. This project is being undertaken at the request of UNBC’s Vice-President and Provost as part of an initiative to better connect UNBC’s activities with the needs of its service region. Two basic questions drive the interviews; “what do our communities need to know?” and “what would they like the university to do?”