With heavy hearts we received the news yesterday of the passing of one of Canada’s great champions of community economic development, Father Greg MacLeod. Working in the context of declining fish stocks and coal mining closures in Nova Scotia, MacLeod, like many acorss Canada and in the United States, followed in the footsteps of the Antigonish Movement pioneers. Like Father J.J. Tompkins before him, he sought to build economic resiliency and self-reliance for Nova Scotians through adult education.
Ordained by the Catholic Church in 1961 MacLeod became a lifelong educator teaching first at Xavier Junior College in Sydney, Nova Scotia and later founding the Tompkins Institute at Cape Breton University. It was through the Tompkins Institute that he helped found New Dawn Enterprises in Sydney, Nova Scotia, in 1976, now the oldest Community Development Corporation in Canada and a founding member of the Canadian CED Network. New Dawn has since grown to employ 175 people, servicing 600 Cape Bretoners each day through its companies and projects. In 1989 he also helped found the BCA Group (Banking Community Assets), a CED Investment Fund in Cape Breton which has brought together over $2 million in investment capital for local business development.
“I believe in the market, but it has to be locally owned and controlled. The problem with the global economy is that it is controlled by absentee owners, that is why we emphasize locally controlled markets and what I call ‘place-based development’.”
– from A Method of Transforming the World with Dr. Greg MacLeod
The video below, produced by MacLeod, explores the outstanding success and potential of Community Development Corporations and was originally aired by Community-Minded TV in Spokane, Washington.
Other tributes to Father Greg MacLeod:
- CBU Remembers Father Greg MacLeod
- Father Greg MacLeod dead at 81, Cape Breton Press
- Popular Cape Breton priest, Father Greg MacLeod, dies at 81, CBC
- Cape Breton communnity remembers Fr. Greg, Cape Breton Press
- Fr. Greg MacLeod Interview 2009, CBC