Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies

About the Program

Rural and small town places now confront a range of social, economic, environmental, and political restructuring pressures. These include:

  • population aging,
  • the development of the next generation workforce to meet demands for skilled labour,
  • increasingly mobile capital and labour, aging infrastructure,
  • demands for shared or integrated services,
  • employment uncertainty as industries rapidly start and wind down in response to changing commodity markets, and
  • blurred jurisdictional boundaries as local governments and stakeholders partner with senior levels of government or assume responsibilities for supports that have been off-loaded or contracted out in order to reduce government expenditures.  

While these trends are challenging the transformative capacity of our small communities, it is also providing opportunities to renew and mobilize their competitive place-based assets in the new rural economy.  This CRC program addresses these fundamental issues with results that are generalizable with other similar communities across Canada and abroad.