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Small Canadian towns fight for their survival, seek to buck disappearing trend

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posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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Small Canadian towns fight for their survival, seek to buck disappearing trend


ca.news.yahoo.com

MONTREAL - Small Canadian towns are painfully aware of the existential predicament they face. Few are strangers to the sobering realities of declining and aging populations, young people fleeing to cities, difficulty maintaining infrastructure, and sky-high unemployment.
(visit the link for the full news article)




posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:17 PM
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This really is kinda a bit of a thing going on, Canada is surprisingly no stranger to towns being under serviced, going bankrupt etc etc, but we should also be looking at the larger towns and cities to see how well they fare the rough economy.

My city population 125000 is $97 million in debt due to poor leadership, mismanagement of money and lawsuits directed towards the city.

ca.news.yahoo.com
(visit the link for the full news article)



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:19 PM
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say hello to bankruptcy Canada .Alberta is the one keeping Canada out of the water



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:22 PM
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yea, true my city should just go bankrupt if they can't afford to run city services. But these smaller towns and villages should see if there is funding that can happen from the gov't but there is a good chance the government won't, it is meerly the case why the infrastructure in these small towns is crumbling.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:43 PM
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The problem is that infrastructure wise we are one of the most expensive countries in the world to run. We are one of the only places that has to provide roads, hydro and telecommunications lines hundreds and even thousands of kilometers to supply a town of a few hundred to a few thousand people at a greater cost than to service hundreds of thousands of people in a metropolitan center.
these towns served a purpose at one time but now their industries have dried up and the people refuse to leave their hometowns. I don't blame them but when you factor in the costs its just not worth keeping these places alive. They are a huge burden on the economy and provide very little contribution to their respective provinces. No tourism, no industry, low taxes.
The city I live in, sudbury ont, has a population of 165000. We used to supply 95% of the world nickel resources with our mining industry and were considered in the 70s to be one of the fastest growing cities in canada. Now we supply less than 40% of the nickel resources, high grade ore bodys are almost depleted, operating costs have skyrocketed and the workforce has depleted. The major company here Vale (formerly Inco) used to employ over 50000 employees but now employs under 3000. We now have skyrocketing unemployment, almost zero development and city leaders who implement policies from the 1950s. We are in a very geogrphically challenged area. All bedrock and mountains and our ecosystem has been destroyed by over a hundred years of industrial polution making tourism a challenge. The crime rate is insane and everyone has a drug or drinking problem.
The companies were already planning on pulling out and we wwould have been a ghost town if not for chinese demand for nickel. It's estimated that our industires have ten to fifteen years left here. Almost 200000 people here. Im already making plans to move cities as opportunities have been dwindling for years.
Type in sudbury ont in google, you will see endless blots and news reports of the problems we face here and we are not alone. Our outlying areas are in even worse shape. Public schools are closing left and right and city is discontinuing services to those places all the time.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:47 PM
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Originally posted by USAisdevil
say hello to bankruptcy Canada .Alberta is the one keeping Canada out of the water


Saskatchewan is another "have" province, just not many people know it. Potash, oil, gas, and other mining. Not many people want to live here, they think it's too cold. Less than 1 million people in the whole province.

This province is full of tiny little towns, there's a population of about 2,000 where I am, and they don't seem to be running out of money. They were just fixing the highway, and it didn't even need fixing


I just looked up the demographics, our median wage is just under $50,000.
I guess we have the right mix of stuff to work it out well.

Just looked at the annual financial statement that comes with our property taxes, we carry a surplus of $2,447,679.
Slightly down from the year before.

I think the thing that makes small town Saskatchewan fun for the younger crowd, and the older crowd too, is the relaxed laws on snowmobiling and quads. You can go almost anywhere, except main streets in the small towns. We even have short little stop signs set up for this purpose off the sides of the roads.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:50 PM
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The village I live in is typical of this trend, many of the town's youth move on after graduation. Only those who stand to inherit the farm or are to poor to move on to secondary education stay home. Retirees make up a new influx to these small towns, my parents included. Villages become sleeper communities if they happen to be close to a city. Some may specialize in a new industry to attract new blood, my wife's hometown became a regional manufacturor of prefabricated homes, a shift from farming. The dying communities are the ones that lost a hospital or school due to government centralizing or the rails were pulled out because it was cheaper to ship grains by truck due to low gas prices.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:51 PM
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reply to post by metaldemon2000
 


I agree. People do not belong in communities in which they know their "controllers." Keeping human organization manageable in size is no match for the perfection that is metropolis. Humans are meant for mass storage and control by strangers. Hear, hear! To a New World Order! Let us all enter into the tower and stand in awe of it's strength which holds us all so far above our basic needs!



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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Ontario currently is a have not province due to the financial hardships of the recessions , and seeing this sort of thing happen in the smaller towns and cities is a mounting issue as well.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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I live in a small town(about 10,000 residents) about an hour NW of Toronto. Plenty of money here. They've got half the town dug up for new infrastructure. Pain in the ass but we need it. The town has grown about 30% in the last 10 years.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:53 PM
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off-topic post removed to prevent thread-drift


 



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:54 PM
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reply to post by Pervius
 


And that has what to do with this topic?



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 01:56 PM
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reply to post by metaldemon2000
 


I'm from Thompson originally. I know of Vale's evil hand, Thompson has suffered when INCO folded, crime has increased with many of the older families leaving.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:06 PM
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reply to post by Cheerfulnihilist
 


Yes Vale, a conspiracy in itself. They have done more to cripple the economy in my city in the last three years than anything else. Especially with their year long strike they fabricated just so they could do inventory and upgrade their equipment.
The industry I work in(telco) is suffering huge from death of non metropolitan areas. The telcos suck money from all their territories and dump the money in toronto and montreal. We see no upgrades to our networks and almost zero maintenance. We are always told to work harder who'd they constantly cut back. We are told our territory is not important to the future plans of the company even though there are almost 200k people here.
I have known that small towns were doomed for years in canada. Sadly most people just don't see it coming.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:13 PM
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Canadas borders are open, we just don't seem to be letting in people who are the best and brightest, we just seem to be letting in refugees and people who don't want to work.

They should bring their immigrant count to close to 500k to 750k a year or something or atleast do something to help the smaller towns.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 02:24 PM
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reply to post by hypr2011
 


The main fundamental problem with these smaller towns is that the purpose they once served is dead and gone. Many forestry, mining, farming, rail, paper and milling towns have lost their primary industry. Either their resources have dried up or there simply isn't enough money to maintain infrastructures in these places anymore. Plus the govt of canada felt it was necessary to sell off.our largest resource industires to foreign interests who don't wish to continue an operation in a remote region for a marginal profit. In short they don't care that they are destroying an entire local economy, it was interfering with their profit.
Then there is outsourcing. Its the same as in the US. Again a failure by our govt.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 03:04 PM
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There's a lot of headlines in this thread, but nobody is talking about the body of the article.

For one, they are speaking about rural towns that have populations in the hundreds...


So far, they have 97 members who have contributed $35,000. That means nearly one-quarter of the town's 440 overall residents have participated.


And two, the article is about what towns are doing to fix it, while this thread portrayed more the message of doom and gloom.


....young people fleeing to cities, difficulty maintaining infrastructure, and sky-high unemployment.
Some are fighting back.
They're aware of the odds stacked against them. The rural population fell to below 20 percent of the national average for the first time in the last census and, while semi-rural areas are generally faring well, the most remote parts of the country are suffering the steepest declines.


Lots more positive news to go around...


He cites the example of Warner, Alberta — population, 383 — which managed, with one crumbling arena and a good local coach, to start an all-girls hockey school which has become nationally renowned.
"It's all about finding your niche," he said.


And of course, they address the worse case scenario about their little sleepy towns:


Mayor Diane Lefort of Notre-Dame-de-Ham isn't sure whether her town will survive either.
But she bristles at the suggestion that it's a waste of tax dollars to prop up a town like hers that might be unsustainable. Keeping small towns alive is in everyone's best interest, she says.


Are little towns of a few hundred people worth keeping around, in my opinion, yes. I wouldn't have a problem with cities assisting these places. The cities live off the backs of farmers and other rural dwellers.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 03:31 PM
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reply to post by boncho
 


Yes boncho but the problem is that most of these communities industries are dried up, farming or otherwise. They consume massive amounts of tax revenue to stay afloat but return very little. The production value of these places are low.

While some of these towns can find answers to their poblems many of them will not. Some of the problems are far too large in scope for a few hundred residents to tackle. In many cases the govt leaves them little choice. Big companies don't want to operate in these places. Local businesses are too tapped out and any little money that is made in these places are funneled into the major centers.

The young people armed with the tools of the information age know think that a better life awaits them in the city. The ones who seek education have no choice but to leave. There are many other social problems in these places that make living there tough for young people, problems these towns never had 30 or so years ago like heavy drug use, teen pregnancy, and high youth crime rates. The older folks don't know how to deal with todays youth and their new complicated issues. They can't provide them jobs and taking over the family farm or following in dads footsteps is no longer possible due to economic reasons. Also due to declining fertility and birth rates in canada there aren't enough youth to replace everyone in these towns in another generation or so. Also these places aren't areas where immigrants are flocking to go live so there is no external private money coming in to these towns or more people.

Believe me I feel for these people. My job takes me to many of these communities. The only place that you can go to meet good natured and honest people anymore. Its sad that this way of life is declining but honestly aside.from a few local innovations what is the real solution?

My take on the matter is this. When canada was booming in the late 1800s early 1900s immigrants came here and were given huge tracks of land and startup money for farming. So why has this changed? There are still many thousands of sqaure kilometers left for farming. Any canadian knows that 95% of our landmass is unused and still contains huge amounts of resources. I see lots of immigrants come here only to become just as unemployed as they were back home. Give them farms, for many of them that was their.profession in their homeland so I think you will find many with expertise. There are world food.shortages which we can capitalize on and have the capacity to feed. Hell we were the breadbasket of the british empire. Plus I bet alot of immigrants if given the opportunity would start up.farms. im not saying all of them but I bet if given the option many of them would buy in.



posted on Aug, 13 2011 @ 03:53 PM
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reply to post by hypr2011
 





sky-high unemployment


but the liberals, Harper's neo con say there is no sky high unemployment in cities in fact he claims that our unemployment rate is only at 7.4% and has been for two years.


the statistics has lost the touch with the reality



posted on Aug, 14 2011 @ 07:51 AM
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reply to post by metaldemon2000


Yes boncho but the problem is that most of these communities industries are dried up, farming or otherwise. They consume massive amounts of tax revenue to stay afloat but return very little. The production value of these places are low.

While some of these towns can find answers to their poblems many of them will not. Some of the problems are far too large in scope for a few hundred residents to tackle. In many cases the govt leaves them little choice. Big companies don't want to operate in these places. Local businesses are too tapped out and any little money that is made in these places are funneled into the major centers.


 


There is no reason for small communities to be unable to sort out their issues. At the very least they should be able to be self sustainable.

Corporations have been going into small communities, for many years now. Specifically, development companies. Many a small community that is within commuting distance of a large city has seen a rise in new development projects which are aimed at enticing commuters to relocate.

If the communities are struggling to stay afloat, there will be a breaking point where they have to either fix the problem or make changes. I see this as a natural shift rather than a catastrophic failure. There are many little towns out West that came and went with logging/mining jobs. Some are still around, and some are ghost towns.

In my opinion this is just a natural course. Darwinism of the municipality kind...

But I do very much agree with you that it would be great to see a new emphasis put on farming by government officials.






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