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Youth Opportunity: Canadian Student Leadership Conference

Corner Brook Regional High is hosting the Canadian Student Leadership Conference from September 27, 2011 through October 1, 2011. This is a monumental undertaking with approximately 1000 student leaders coming to Corner Brook from all regions of the country.

I’ve included a pdf of the itinerary at the following link:  CSLC 2011 Itinerary(Website)

If you are interested in participating, visit

Live Rural NL –                  

Christopher Mitchelmore

Conference Opportunity: Rural Revitalization from Our Forests

Rural Newfoundland & Labrador has an abundance of natural resources. Especially when it comes to our forests. The earliest settlers made their homes from wood. Even pre-confederation, there has been a presence of logging and sawmills. Many fishers after summer season would work in the woods during the fall, cutting for “Bowaters” (later Abitibi-Bowater).

The forest industry in the rural Newfoundland was primarily focused on harvesting and transporting saw logs for pulpwood. Demand for newsprint worldwide declined significantly in recent years, adding pressure to an already troubled industry. The closure of a papermill in Stephenville, NL coupled with Kruger (Corner Brook Pulp and Paper) purchasing supplies from local markets at a lower cost, created turmoil for local logging contractors on the Great Northern Peninsula as their markets were limited.

The industry is overcoming a global recession. Our local market is diversifying. After reading the Northern Pen Newspaper this week, there is an article regarding wood pellets being produced in Roddickton, which are to start at the end of the month. To read the article check out:–to-start-by-the-end-of-month/1

There are other opportunities from our forest in terms of non-timber forest products (NTFPs), whether in the form of mushroom harvesting, wreathmaking, mulch production, furniture, eco/agri-tourism, neutraceuticals, value-added products, and community forests. Rural areas need revitalization. A conference on this topic is planned for April 12-15, 2011. See information below:

RURAL REVITALIZATION FROM OUR FORESTS conference, to be held at the Gros Morne Resort in St. Paul’s Newfoundland on April 12-15, 2011. The conference is being hosted by the Local Community Network, a community partnership initiative of the Model Forest of Newfoundland & Labrador’s Forest Communities Program, the RED Ochre Regional Board Inc., NORDIC Economic Development Corporation and the Humber Economic Development Board.

The purpose of the conference is to share knowledge, strategies and tools to assist forest dependent regions adjust to sector transitions in times of economic change. The intent is to bring individuals and organizations together to view our forests with a new perspective and discuss innovative solutions to promote economic growth and sustainability in their communities.

Plan to join us for this exciting event as we hear from:

  • Guest Speakers from across Canada who specialize in Non-Timber Forest Product business and research;
  • Value Added Manufacturers; Community Development Specialists;
  • Government Forestry Officials;
  • Organizations that focus on business development; many more…

Individuals and organizations can contribute to this important initiative in a number of ways, but most importantly through your attendance. If you fit into any of the following categories you may be able to take advantage of some of our special conference offerings.

STUDENT OR COMMUNITY VOLUNTEER: Call today to find out if you qualify for our CONFERENCE SUBSIDIES.
NTFP BUSINESS OWNER: Call and ask how you can attend, participate in out FOREST PRODUCTS TRADE SHOW or DONATE A PRODUCT to be showcased at the event.
POTENTIAL SPONSOR: Review our SPONSORSHIP BROCHURE for the different sponsorship options available. You may receive FREE ADVERTISING, FREE TRADE SHOW BOOTH, FREE CONFERENCE REGISTRATIONS and even the opportunity to PROVIDE A GUEST SPEAKER depending upon the package you choose.

For more information, please contact Kayla by email: or by phone: (709) 637-7300 Ex. 6 and she will be happy to assist you.

Information taken from Please visit the website for more information or to register for the conference.

Live Rural NL –

Christopher Mitchelmore

Save Our Rural Economies: Traditional Social Values vs. Generation Me

This past week or so I have been participated in Heritage Festival Events & Activities, worked and taken some time to spend with my family. It was a nice change of pace and am now more focused than ever to continue with my frequent blog updates.

While away I picked up a book called “Generation Me” by Jean M. Twenge, Ph. D, which studies what in means to be a young individual in today’s society.  The book cover states, “youth today are confident, assertive, entitled – and more miserable than ever before.” My interest peaked to read about her findings, as I too fall under her category of growing up in the 1970’s, 1980’s and 1990’s.

Youth today certainly have a different mindset and way of thinking. There is now an expectation that we will go to university or college. However, for many rural Newfoundlanders & Labradorians, youth born during these decades will be the first or second generation of their family to attain this level of education. Previously, it was expected one would simply follow in their family footsteps;  a male would enter the fishery during summer and cut logs for Bowaters (to become Abitibi-Bowater, currently in receivership) in winter, as well as many other duties in between. A woman’s role would be mother, housekeeper, educator, family nurse, cook, seamstress, gardener and more. Although, many people of the past did not receive official degrees or apprenticeships from post-secondary institutions, the amount of knowledge, skill and practical common sense they did acquire certainly is to be recognized.

Today, most youth in rural Newfoundland are not choosing to follow in the footsteps of their parents, grandparents and fellow members of the community. Many youth would love to have the ability to remain and Live Rural Newfoundland & Labrador if employment opportunities and adequate level of services existed. The current provincial government is making strides and investing in youth, especially through the Youth Retention & Attraction Strategy, although it is not enough.

There are great challenges in our primary rural industries (fishery & forestry), that even today sustain  rural Newfoundland & Labrador, which are constantly in crisis. The Provincial Government must intervene, working with all stakeholders (this includes the general public). Measures can be taken to stabilize the fishery and forestry, with appropriate planning and action. In relation to the fishery, restrictions are too rigid on time regulations imposed on fisherpeople and improper resource management gluts the marketplace providing poor prices and increases the cost of doing business for both processors and harvesters. It is time to remove the hold of the merchant system that has plagued the fishery and stagnated growth of Newfoundland & Labrador for hundreds of years. Government recently announced millions for studying fisheries science. This is good, but I ask government, where are your millions of dollars to invest in a near billion dollar industry that sustains our rural economies? Change is needed now, work with stakeholders and the public to address our issues.

After reading the Northern Pen newspaper today, it is disheartening that a shrimp processing plant is struggling to provide 130 employees acceptable employment. The domino effect means their families, businesses and communities in the region are also affected as shrimp landed off the coast is being trucked off the peninsula. It is difficult for young people to choose Rural Newfoundland & Labrador in the current climate as a place to live and work. Generation Me suggests that youth want to achieve and be rewarded, reap benefits early in life and maybe even hope to be famous. We were nurtured to believe we can accomplish anything, right? Well even in a challenged rural economy on the Great Northern Peninsula of Newfoundland, I along with others have hope and optimism. As citizens we can and will achieve, no matter what age the birth certificate states!

As a young person living in Rural Newfoundland,  I ask that we stand up and fight for social justice as I see my neighbours and community members see their incomes eroded, some bankrupt and others forced to re-settle. Generation Me is trying to influence society and we can, but let us not forget about traditional social values that are the fabric of rural Newfoundland and Labrador. Together we must share our experiences, challenges, ideas and work together to bring forth a strong unified voice to The Powers To Be (TPTB) to ensure we can continue to Live Rural Newfoundland  & Labrador.

Let’s Save Our Rural Economy –


Today, a younger co-worker and I discussed Sociology in Newfoundland & Labrador.

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