How do northern and remote community remain sustainable? What are the recent trends in regional collaboration? How can communities, universities, government, NGOs, and businesses collaborate to enhance regional development? These are the questions that will be explored at the Towards Regional Collaboration event in Blanc Sablon, QC and L’Anse au Clair, NL on October 15-16, 2014.

The challenges of sustainability and revitalization are multiplied where rural and remote regions are bisected by some type of formal boundary, such as a provincial border. This is surprisingly quite common: Quebec Lower North Shore and Labrador Straits; Labrador West and Fermont; Northern New Brunswick and the Gaspé Peninsula; the James Bay region (Manitoba, Ontario and Quebec); etc. How is public policy to be coordinated when responsibility is divided among two or three jurisdictions? How can expensive public services be shared? How can citizens build upon their strong cultural links and develop stronger economic partnerships?

This is the situation which the proposed workshop is meant to address. The workshop will hear from renowned academic researchers, local stakeholders and visiting practitioners. It will also include specific initiatives designed to foster collaboration among university students and faculty from a variety of disciplines with local citizens in a search for tractable socio-technical innovations that will address local challenges. The outcome of the workshop will be a report that captures the presenta- tions and the discussions, and that makes evidence-based recommendations on how to build on the strengths and address the weaknesses. A collateral outcome of the workshop will see continuing development of innovative proposals over the months following the workshop, as students develop them as part of their course work, collaborating virtually with champions in the communities to validate their proposed solutions.

The Towards Regional Colloboration Workshop is being co-hosted by CRRF/FCRR, Community Economic Development and Employability Corporation, Centre for Engineering in Society (Concordia University), Leslie Harris Centre (Memorial University), Municipalité Regional de Comté du Golfe St-Laurent, School of Extended Learning (Concordia University), SmartLabrador, Réseau de Développement Économique et d’Employabilité de Terre-Neuve et du Labrador, and Université du Québec a Rimouski.

Workshop Materials

Workshop Agenda and Final Report

Session 1: The Trajectories of Rural Canada: how did we get here and what are the drivers?

The Future of Rural Communities: Where are we going and how can we prepare?

Thinking Outside the Box: Experiences in Northern and Rural Multi-Community Collaboration (Ryan Gibson, Department of Geography and Environmental Studies, Saint Mary’s University)

Connecting Local Communities to Tourism Mobility Networks: Social Benefits and Challenges (Mark Stoddart, Department of Sociology, Memorial University) 

Presentation of Local Situation – Quebec Lower North Shore

Moderator: Vicki Driscoll, CEDEC

Jarvin Joncas, Local Development Center Lower North Shore

Glen McKinnon, Warden, Regional Municipal County: Collaborative politics for local & provincial governments

Presentation of Local Situation – Labrador Straits

Regional Collaboration

Workshop Partners