State of Rural Canada 2015

Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation

Year: 2015

We have been neglecting rural Canada. Despite the vital role of rural places in this country, and despite their partnership with urban Canada, we have been neglecting rural places and permitting the erosion of an important community development foundation of Canadian society and economy. Fundamentally, we have forgotten how to re-invest in rural and small town places, preferring instead to simply run down the capital invested by previous generations. The chapters in this report present a story of rural Canada that is tremendous in its diversity and vibrancy. Many challenges exist, but authors are equally adamant that there are also many opportunities to advance rural development.

The idea for this State of Rural Canada report came about in order to draw attention to rural challenges and opportunities, and to provide a source of information and a platform for information sharing. The chapters of the report focus on the rural trends within each province and territory, ending with a summary discussion chapter that provides a series of recommendations for advancing rural development in Canada. The authors who volunteered were asked to share their provincial territorial perspectives on core themes affecting rural Canada. Given limited space the chapters do not cover everything and does, in fact, contain conflicting opinions and perspectives, illustrating the breadth and depth of rural Canada. No report is capable of capturing every dimension and issue within rural Canada, however we hope this report provides important context and nuance to our collective understanding of rural Canada, and that it serves to stimulate discussion and debate.

Download the State of Rural Canada 2015


  1. Provincial, Territorial, and Federal governments must develop a new and robust vision and policy frameworks for rural Canada.
  2. Rural communities must be active participants in understanding, planning and investing in their own futures.
  3. All Canadians must participate in the window of opportunity that follows the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada to acknowledge and seek serious corrective steps to heal the “historical  trauma” suffered by Aboriginal peoples  in this country.

Table of Contents

Partner Organizations and Publication Information
Executive Summary
1.0 Introduction
2.0 Provincial Summaries
2.1 British Columbia
2.2 Alberta
2.3 Saskatchewan
2.4 Manitoba
2.5 Ontario
2.6 Québec
2.7 New Brunswick
2.8 Prince Edward Island
2.9 Nova Scotia
2.10 Newfoundland and Labrador
3.0 Territorial Summaries
3.1 Yukon
3.2 Northwest Territories
3.3 Nunavut
4.0 Discussion and Recommendations
5.0 Acknowledgements and Author Biographies