Rural Town Hall Attracts National Audience

By William (Bill) Ashton, Director, Rural Development Institute, Brandon University
Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) 2017 Conference – Municipal elected officials from across Canada voiced their priorities, many claiming differences among rural areas in Canada and their differences to their urban counterparts. Dr. Heather Hall, member of Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation and the lone academic on the panel, spoke in support of a federal cross-departmental agency to apply a rural lens to policy and programs, as well as financially supporting the capacity to apply for infrastructure funding. Others brought forward the need for a long learn strategy on communications that includes rural broadband and sharing of payments from spectrum. Housing, clean drinking water, green energy alternatives, better roads and bridges were all mentioned as priorities for rural infrastructure investment and a more coordinated policy. The infrastructure focus echoed the message in the submission to the recent Senate committee hearing, that RDI supported.
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