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Rural Regions Face Even Greater Challenges

Newfoundland & Labrador has kilometers and kilometers of beautiful landscapes and coastlines. It boasts three national parks, two world UNESCO sites, first re-discovered by the Vikings (more than 1,000 years ago) and over 5,000 years of inhabitation. We are proud Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, known for our hospitality! An earlier post notes some interesting facts and firsts from our province and people.

The rural economy has an abundance of natural resources including, fish, forests and farms, which all support the urban economy. The success of rural regions and urban economies are interlinked. Infrastructure and services are put in place through local revenues. However, most rural economies are feeling the crunch as revenues decline and cost of services increase. It is no wonder our municipal leaders scratch their heads when it comes to planning for future development. What services will have to be cut to ensure that essential services can be maintained. We see all too often this challenge as we enter small towns and noticed their paved roads are less than acceptable. One will almost get swallowed up in the Town of Flower’s Cove as they drive to the only Bank for service.

However, the reality is – there are less local dollars flowing back into the local economy. The budgets are shrinking and costs are escalating. There are fewer babies in rural Newfoundland & Labrador. Kids are moving away after high school and not choosing to live in rural areas. The baby boomers are getting grey and there is an aging workforce. This presents an evident labour shortage. How can we keep doing more with less? Where is the sustainability? Property taxes can not be increased to meet adherent demands.

No town or community is immune.  Even Minnesota, with more than 800 cities are feeling the crunch as noted in the Youtube video below. With less money we will see parks and trails not mowed and other services cut back, longer wait times for medical and emergency services.

According to this video, the solution is community co-operation:

Everyone participating is the fix – no matter what political strip you are. The right mix of dollars and common sense. So off the fence, we need your talents to find balance. Time to share and be aware and care about unity in our communities. Minnesota is our home, we can’t postpone. We must proceed to think and choose services we need and how to pay.

Individually our communities face these challenges, but together we can gain sustainability. We must work together with our neighbouring communities and regions to plan for a stronger more vibrant tomorrow.

Live Rural NLCCM

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