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Facing the Challenge of Industry Closure


Facing the Challenge of Industry Closure:
Managing Transition in Rural Communities


As rural Canada changes, social, political and economic restructuring is affecting virtually every aspect of small town life. In order to move forward, we need to understand what these changes mean and how to meet the challenges and opportunities they present. This report, Facing the Challenge of Industry Closure: Managing Transition in Rural Communities, reveals some answers to these questions.

This report is the result of a unique two-year study undertaken by provincial and territorial (PT) officials on behalf of PT departments responsible for the municipal sector in Canada. It is an analysis of the transition management experiences of 16 communities across Canada – from coast to coast to coast. Decline in the agriculture, mining, fishing, forestry, energy or transportation sectors have affected the all of these single industry communities.

The report provides insight into the challenges faced by rural communities in the face of the crisis of industry closure. It serves as a useful tool to all levels of government and private and non-profit sector stakeholders, by providing a better understanding of community transition, the roles of government and other actors and the strategies and actions that can be used to facilitate recovery.

The provincial and territorial ministers responsible for local government recognize the need to address rural and small town restructuring in a consistent and coordinated fashion. To this end, the report provides:

  • an analysis of demographic, economic and policy trends affecting resource-dependent communities;
  • a review of current and past literature on community transition and resiliency, in response to identifying positive steps which might be taken to meet the challenges; and
  • case studies of 16 remote, resource-dependent communities from across Canada that have worked through uncertainty and change.

The analysis provides important messages for both policy makers and community decision makers. For policy makers, there is a need to recognize the impacts of economic restructuring and the role that public policy actions play in helping these communities through industry closure. For local communities, there is the reinforcement that there is a body of expertise developing that can now be brought to assist them with creating local options for renewal.

The report is published by ICURR Press and is available for download (PDF, 5.10MB) free of charge. More information about Community Transition Services provided by the Ministry of Community and Rural Development is also available.

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