About Strengthening Rural Canada

What is Strengthening Rural Canada?

Strengthening Rural Canada-Renforcer les communautés rurales du Canada is a comprehensive study on the human and social capital dimensions of rural, small town and remote communities in Canada. Using the latest Census and National Household Survey (NHS) data, the initiative is investigating the connections between human capital – the value of an individual or populations’ skills, knowledge and experience to an organization or country – and rural growth in communities across Canada.

About the Initiative

Funded by the Government of Canada’s Adult Learning, Literacy and Essential Skills Program, as well as in part by the Roadmap for Canada’s Official Languages 2013-18: Education, Immigration and Communities, Essential Skills Ontario, along with its partners, Decoda Literacy Solutions, Literacy Newfoundland and Labrador, the Saskatchewan Literacy Network and Réseau pour le développement de l’alphabétisme et des compétences (RESDAC), this three-year Pan-Canadian initiative will work with communities as they find potential solutions for some of the challenges facing rural Canada.

The initiative will examine the socio, cultural, economic and organizational attributes of the community and population of 28 communities across Ontario, British Columbia, Saskatchewan and Newfoundland and Labrador.

Working closely in six of these 28 communities (including at least two Francophone), the initiative will use place-based methodologies - achieving change through community engagement and development – to help develop local human capital strategies and solutions.

Why Rural?

Rural, remote and small towns across Canada are critical to the country’s growth – providing essential resources to both urban and rural regions, playing a key role in our nation’s identity and preserving our environment. Yet across the country, many of our communities are struggling to survive, facing issues such as skills shortages and declining populations.

If we fail to identify and address these trends now, our small towns – and the resources, values and cultures they hold – will continue to fade.