Nafta And The New Rural Economy UNBC Hosts International Conference In Quesnel

May 7, 1996 For Immediate Release

The North American Free Trade Agreement is having an impact on the many rural communities in Canada that depend on the natural resource sector. The University of Nothern British Columbia will be hosting the Spring Workshop of the Canadian Rural Restructuring Foundation (CRRF) to examine NAFTA and the New Rural Economy. The workshop will be held in Quesnel from May 8-12.
"Quesnel is the perfect location for a conference such as this," says UNBC Geography professor Greg Halseth. "There's a new medium density fibreboard plant, ongoing concern over the CORE process, sliding pulp prices, and a shaky resolution in the Canada-US softwood lumber tariff dispute.With so much of the local economy dependent on exports, and change in the trade rules can have an effect on people's jobs."

7:00pm, Wednesday, May 8th, UNBC's Prince George campus

Opening reception and presentations on NAFTA: What's Working and What's Not and the New Rural Economy.

8:30am, Thursday, May 9th, Tower Inn, Quesnel

The New Rural Economy in Northern British Columbia. Presentations will include: change in an export economy, impacts of externally controlled industrial sector, impact of technology on resource sector jobs, and resource town economic development.

Afternoon, Thursday, May 9th, Field Trip

Stops will include West Fraser Mills, and the Barkerville and Wells Community Centres.

8:30am, Friday, May 10th, Tower Inn, Quesnel

Experience and recent developments with NAFTA and the European Union. Presentations will be given by delegates from the US, Mexico, and Italy.

1:30pm, Friday, May 10th, Tower Inn, Quesnel

New Rural Economy issues in an open trade situation.

8:00pm, Friday, May 10th, Elk Lodge, Quesnel

Debate on whether NAFTA benefits Canadian rural development.

10:30am, Saturday, May 11th, Tower Inn, Quesnel

Conference Wrap-up.
Some 50 delegates are expected to attend the Quesnel workshop, including representatives from universities across Canada, as well as institutions in the US, Mexico, and Italy. The CRRF is a Canadian group interested in rural community development

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