Recognizing Change, Recognizing Rural: The New Rural Economy and Towards a New Model of Rural Service


  • Lana Sullivan Population Health Promotion BC Women’s Hospital
  • Laura Ryser University of Northern British Columbia
  • Greg Halseth University of Northern BC


Services provide support for both community and economic development. Their delivery provides for routine and emergency needs. Through their operations, services help to support the local economy, employment, the training of new workers, the development of social cohesion and social capital, and the overall quality of life across all ages and stages of life. Drawing upon research from the New Rural Economy project, this paper highlights the role that services play in recruiting and maintaining both businesses and residents. The case study of Tumbler Ridge is used to highlight the importance of services in rural and small town transition and renewal, as well as the pressing need for innovation as older service delivery models are not suited to the contemporary rural landscape. In developing integrated and comprehensive service policy and provision, there needs to be a greater recognition and understanding of the specificity and uniqueness of the rural context. Keywords: rural, restructuring, services







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