The Selkirk College component of the Rural Policy Learning Commons will be coordinated by Dr. Terri MacDonald (left)

Enhancing rural prosperity

Selkirk College has entered a partnership with post-secondary institutions in a project that aims to enhance prosperity in rural regions.

  • Nov. 13, 2014 5:00 a.m.

Selkirk College has entered a partnership with leading post-secondary institutions from around the world in a project that aims to enhance prosperity in rural regions.

Brandon University was recently awarded a seven-year $2.5 million grant from the federal government’s Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) to lead the project. The funds will be used to support rural policy innovations by creating the Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC) which will bring together multiple stakeholders around the themes of human capital and migration, natural resources, governance and infrastructure.

Heading up the Selkirk College component of the project is Dr. Terri MacDonald, regional innovation chair at Selkirk’s Columbia Basin Rural Development Institute (RDI).

The RDI is a regional research centre with a mandate to support informed decision-making by Columbia Basin-Boundary communities through the provision of information, applied research and related outreach extension and support.

“This project fits in well with our goals,” says MacDonald. “Having the opportunity to work with all these great thinkers to come up with policy innovations that move rural Canada and our Basin-Boundary communities forward is important work. This project is also important as it will help us to build our internal applied research capacity and elevate Selkirk College on the international stage in the eyes of fellow researchers and federal research funders like SSHRC.”

The aim of the RPLC will be to enhance Canadian prosperity by identifying and analyzing policy options relevant to rural and northern places. These options will be evaluated in the context of national and international policy innovations. The end goal is to build leadership capacity among rural and northern researchers, policy makers and practitioners.

“We are very excited to be working with institutions like Selkirk College since they are frontline contributors to education and innovation in rural and remote places,” says project director Bill Reimer, who is based out of Brandon University. “The partnership will facilitate collaboration among a wide range of educators, researchers, policy-makers and community members — just the sort of mix that is necessary to meet the complexity and opportunities of rural places.”

Selkirk College welcomes the opportunity to be involved.

“This is an important project for rural Canada,” says Rhys Andrews, dean of applied research at Selkirk College. “We are very fortunate to be part of a learning commons that will shed more light on some of the challenges faced outside urban centres and to explore innovations that could benefit the communities we serve.”

MacDonald and fellow researchers at the RDI will work with project researchers in ways that advance the research priorities of the region by sharing international research with regional communities, connecting local students with research and learning opportunities, and engaging communities in discussions on the nature and process of rural-related policy development.


Just Posted

Choir leader’s selfless work wins her Castlegar Citizen of the Year

Christina Nolan has grown the community choir into a strong and vibrant asset for the city

Water main maintenance ongoing in South Castlegar and Blueberry

Project will take two weeks — city says there should not be any service disruptions

Downtown businesses want you to love them this weekend

Third annual event encourages people to shop in their own community.

Police investigating man’s death in Winlaw

Foul play not established, but major crimes unit is investigating

Grand Forks woman assaulted in home invasion

The incident took place Wednesday morning

B.C.’s fight to regulate bitumen through pipelines to go to Canada’s top court

BC Appeal Court judges found B.C. cannot restrict bitumen flow along Trans Mountain pipeline

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

B.C. man, 30, arrested for driving his parent’s cars while impaired twice in one day

The Vancouver-area man was arrested after officers caught him driving impaired twice in one day

New airline regulations bring compensation for tarmac delays, over-bookings

Some of the new regulations will roll out in July, while others are expected for December.

GALLERY: First responders in Fernie return baby owl to its nest

The baby owl’s inability to fly back to its nest prompted a rescue by first responders

More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

Spring rain needed as B.C. sees one of the lowest snowpack levels in 40 years

Snowpack levels in B.C. recorded on May 15 were similar to those in 2015 and 2016

Theresa May to quit as party leader June 7, sparking race for new PM

The new Conservative leader will become prime minister without the need for a general election

B.C. man who fell off cliff returns there to rescue eagle from vulture attack

Nanaimo’s James Farkas, who broke his hip in a fall, saves eagle on same beach months later

Most Read