Trends in Service Delivery: Examples From Rural and Small Town Canada, 1998 to 2005


  • Greg Halseth Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia
  • Laura Ryser Geography Program, University of Northern British Columbia


During the past two decades, social and economic restructuring in rural and small town places across Canada has been accompanied by changes in the availability of local services. From retail to social, health, and government services, changes in local availability are occurring at the same time as such services are increasingly needed to support local economic revitalization in response to economic change. Drawing upon a seven year study of service availability in 19 rural and small town places, this paper explores two key questions. The first concerns trends in service availability over time. The second concerns patterns with respect to the location of those services. The findings highlight general trends towards service reductions and regionalization. The implications from these findings may be significant as both outcomes have the potential to erode crucial local supports necessary for economic renewal and transition in rural and small town Canada.




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