Acknowledgements and Bios

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Editorial Team

  • Sean Markey (BC author)
  • Sarah-Patricia Breen is a PhD candidate with the Resource and Environmental Management Department at Simon Fraser University and a CRRF board member. Her research interests include rural regional resilience and rural drinking water.
  • Al Lauzon (ON author)
  • Ryan Gibson (NS author)
  • Laura Ryser (BC author)
  • Ruth Mealy (MB author)

Other Acknowledgements

Thank you to everyone who helped out putting this report together and getting the information out there. Our apologies to those we forgot to name.

Funding:  Thank you to the Rural Policy Learning Commons and the Rural Development Institute.

Layout: Thank you to Alida Grelowski for her efforts.

Photos: Thank you to the authors who provided their own photographs for this report. Additional thanks to Kevin Murphy, Patrick Blanchard, Debbie Breen, Jamie Nichols, Detra Walsh, and Alida Grelowski for contributing their photos.

Translator: Thank you to Logan Horrocks.

Reviewers: We wish to thank those who took the time to review and comment on the report. The BC team would like to thank Roger Hayter (Simon Fraser University), Glen Schmidt (UNBC), and Terri Macdonald (Selkirk College) for their thoughtful review and comments. The NL team thanks their two reviewers. One wishes to remain anonymous. The other, Patrick Curran, is a management consultant specializing in municipal governance and operations.  Thank you to Bill Reimer for reviewing the Quebec chapter. The NWT authors appreciate the assistance of Dr. Tom Andrews in writing and editing this chapter. Tom has worked as an archaeologist and anthropologist in the Canadian North for nearly 40 years. As Territorial Archaeologist at the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre since 1990, he has formed creative partnerships with the Tłįcho and other Dene groups. Thank you to the two reviewers of the Saskatchewan chapter: Ernest Heapy, Executive Director Competitiveness and Business Development Ministry of the Economy, Government of Saskatchewan and Russ McPherson, Manager Mid-Sask Community Futures Outlook, SK.



  • Al Lauzon (ON author)
  • Ray Bollman is a Research Affiliate with the Rural Development Institute, Brandon University and a Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation Lifetime Member.
  • Bill Ashton (MB Author)

British Columbia

  • Greg Halseth is a Professor in the Geography Program at the University of Northern British Columbia, where he is also the Canada Research Chair in Rural and Small Town Studies and Co-Director of UNBC’s Community Development Institute. His research examines rural and small town community development, and local and regional strategies for coping with social and economic change.
  • Laura Ryser is the Research Manager of the Rural and Small Town Studies Program at the University of Northern British Columbia.
    Her research interests include small town community change, institutional barriers to change, labour restructuring, and rural poverty.
  • Sean Markey is an Associate Professor with the Resource and Environmental Management Department in the Faculty of Environment at Simon Fraser University. His research concerns issues of local and regional economic development, community sustainability, rural development, and sustainable infrastructure. He is a Board member with CRRF.


  • Lars K. Hallstrom, PhD is a Professor at the University of Alberta, and is the Director of the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities.
  • Jennifer Stonechild is a recent graduate of the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus with a B.Sc. in Environmental Science. She is currently a research assistant for the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities.
  • Wilissa Reist is a fourth year Bachelor of Arts student majoring in political studies at the University of Alberta, Augustana Campus. She is currently a research assistant for the Alberta Centre for Sustainable Rural Communities and hopes to pursue future graduate work in political science.


  • Bill Ashton, MCIP, PhD, Director, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University. Bill’s career reflects active engagement with people, benefiting from applied research, and facilitating action.  As a professional planner, policy analyst, and now a research director, he listens to issues and opportunities, contributes in developing policy, and helps with change.
  • Stephanie LaBelle is a recent graduate of the Master of Arts in Native Studies program at the University of Manitoba. Her thesis focused on the role and contributions of Aboriginal women to mining negotiations and project development. Her professional experience includes stakeholder engagement and community-based participation in mining. Stephanie is currently the Mineral Development Advisor for the Wabun Tribal Council in Timmins, Ontario.
  • Ruth Mealy is a Business Development Specialist with Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Development in Brandon.  In this role, she manages programs and develops community economic development resources for rural communities.  Ruth has a Master of Rural Development degree from Brandon University and has worked for the MAFRD for 10 years. Prior to this she was a teacher, an entrepreneur and local Economic Development Officer.
  • Wanda Wuttunee is a member of Red Pheasant First Nation, SK. Dr. Wuttunee’s research examines Indigenous economy including community economic development, leadership, development strategy, social enterprise, Indigenous knowledge, and gender issues. She is a senior member of the Department of Native Studies, University of Manitoba.


  • Heather Hall, PhD is a Postdoctoral fellow with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development. Her research focuses on innovation in the northern resource sectors, regional development in the Provincial North, and labour market development in the mining sector.
  • Rose Olfert is a Professor at the Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy at the University of Saskatchewan, specializing in regional and rural economics.


  • Al Lauzon is the current president of the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and a Professor in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development, University of Guelph. Al coordinates both the MSc program in Capacity Development and Extension and the Rural Studies PhD program. His research is focused on rural change and transformation in rural Canada and recent and/or current projects have focused on innovation, colleges and rural small and medium enterprises, the development of rural social enterprises, rural youth, and rural networks.
  • Norman Ragetlie began his career in the non-profit sector, managing a food cooperative and organizing environmental advocacy campaigns. He worked as a municipal planner for 10 years on an award-winning sustainable community program and for another 10 years with the Ministry of Ag. Food and Rural Affairs focussed on rural community economic development. Norman has been Director of Policy and Stakeholder Engagement with the Rural Ontario Institute since it formed in 2010.  He has a Masters degree in Rural Planning and Development from the University of Guelph and is volunteer Chair of the Ontario Farmland Trust.
  • Wayne J. Caldwell, Ph.D., RPP, MCIP, is Director of the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph.  His interests include planning for agriculture and community-based approaches to economic and environmental issues within rural communities. His most recent books include: Planning for Rural Resilience and Building Decisions, Together: A Facilitation Guide for Community Engagement.
  • David J.A. Douglas, Professor Emeritus, Rural Planning and Development, University of Guelph, and former President of CRRF. He has been active as a researcher, trainer, instructor, consultant, facilitator and policy adviser in rural development throughout Canada, and in many international contexts, for the last forty years.


  • Laurie Guimond est professeure au département de géographie de l’Université du Québec à Montréal et membre régulière du Centre de recherche sur les innovations sociales (CRISES) dans l’axe Innovations sociales et transformations dans le territoire et les collectivités locales. Ses recherches portent sur les migrations et les mobilités ainsi que les recompositions socioterritoriales contemporaines dans le Québec rural et nordique.
  • Bruno Jean Professeur à l’Université du Québec à Rimouski. Membre-fondateur du Centre de recherche sur le développement territorial (CRDT). Il a été titulaire d’une Chaire de recherche du Canada en développement rural de 2001 à 2015. Actif au sein du consortium International Comparative Rural Policies Studies, il s’intéresse aux dynamiques rurales et à l’évaluation des politiques rurales et régionales.

New Brunswick

  • Thomas M. Beckley, PhD is a faculty member in Forestry & Environmental Management at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton Campus.

Prince Edward Island

  • James Randall is Full Professor in the Island Studies Program at the University of Prince Edward Island (UPEI). He is also the Chair of the Executive Committee of the Institute of Island Studies and Coordinator of the MA Island Studies Program at UPEI.
  • Don Desserud is a Full Professor in the Department of Political Science at UPEI. He is also the Coordinator of the Journalism and Canadian Studies Programs at UPEI.
  • Katharine MacDonald is a 2nd year student in the Master of Arts Island Studies (MAIS) program at UPEI.

Nova Scotia

  • Ryan Gibson is an assistant Professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Saint Mary’s University. Ryan is a board member with CRRF and the Canadian Community Economic Development Network.
  • Joanne Fitzgibbons is an undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and International Development Studies at Saint Mary’s University.
  • Nina R Nunez is an undergraduate student in the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies at Saint Mary’s University.

Newfoundland and Labrador

  • Alvin Simms, PhD is a faculty member in the Department of Geography, Memorial University and adjunct Professor in the Department of Agricultural Economics at the University of Kentucky. His research focuses on the use of regional analytics and spatial analysis to assess the viability and sustainability of places for the purpose of informing evidence based policy and strategies for regional development.
  • Robert Greenwood, PhD – Executive Director, Public Engagement for Memorial University and Founding Director of The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development. Rob has operated his own consulting business and has served as a Director and Assistant Deputy Minister of Policy in Economic Development in Newfoundland and Labrador and in Saskatchewan.


  • Ken Coates is Director, International Centre for Northern Governance and Development and Canadian Research Chair in Regional Innovation, Johnson-Shoyama Graduate School of Public Policy, University of Saskatchewan. He has been working with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute on a long-term project on Aboriginal engagement the natural resource sector in Canada.  Raised in the Yukon, Ken has devoted much of his career to studying Yukon history and Indigenous-newcomer
  • Amanda Graham has been an instructor of Northern Studies and History at Yukon College for almost twenty years. Despite that, she has only brief experiences of the rural Yukon but hopes for more extended stays in the future. She is a senior editor of The Northern Review and a PhD student in the Canadian Studies program at Trent University.

Northwest Territories

  • Pertice Moffitt, PhD RN is a health and social science researcher at Aurora Research Institute/Aurora College in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories. She has worked and lived in the Northwest Territories for approximately thirty years as an administrator, health promotion officer, and nurse educator.  Her research focuses on indigenous women’s health, intimate partner violence, health interventions and rural and remote nursing practice and education.
  • Ashley Mercer manages the regional research branch of the Aurora Research Institute in Yellowknife, NT. Her role includes promoting and supporting scientific research across the NWT. She has received her PhD from the University of Calgary with a specialization in Environmental and Energy Systems and a Masters of Public Administration in Environmental Science and Policy from Columbia University. Her research focuses on the nexus of climate change, energy systems and human behavior.


  • Chris Southcott is a Professor of sociology at Lakehead University. He has been doing research in northern communities for over 30 years and is currently Principal Investigator for the SSHRC MCRI project Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA).