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ERIC Number: EJ810158
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2008-Oct
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0743-0167
Challenging the Inevitability of Rural Decline: Advancing the Policy of Place in Northern British Columbia
Markey, Sean; Halseth, Greg; Manson, Don
Journal of Rural Studies, v24 n4 p409-421 Oct 2008
In current policy discourse, rural decline is often described as an inevitable process associated with such broader structural trends as globalization and urbanization. The purpose of this paper is to challenge the supposed inevitability of rural decline in northern British Columbia (BC), Canada. We argue that rural decline in northern BC has been facilitated through an intentional policy program that views hinterland areas as a "resource bank" from which to fund provincial infrastructure and services, without adequate attention to rural reinvestment. We highlight the potential discrepancies of this approach through a comparative study of two development eras in the province. In the first era, we examine the policies and development approach adopted by the W.A.C. Bennett provincial government, which governed from 1952 to 1972. We argue that the Bennett regime confronted the complexity of the post-war era with a comprehensive vision and coordinated policy program for "province building" through intensive investments in industrial expansion and community infrastructure throughout the BC hinterland. By comparison, the post-1980s era in BC has witnessed a continuation of the resource bank approach, minus a concomitant commitment to hinterland investment. Reversing the inevitability of rural decline requires a renovation of the investment orientation witnessed during the Bennett era through an appreciation of the role of place in economic development. Our recommendations for renewed rural development in northern BC are drawn from a synthesis of the Bennett lessons with those emerging within place-based development literature. (Contains 1 figure and 3 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada