Originally from rural Manitoba, I have a deep intrigue and respect for rural communities, rural people, and the events that shape their futures. Over the past ten years I have been engaged in research projects and community development processes focused on new forms of governance, regional collaboration, cooperatives, rural philanthropy, rural revitalization, and immigration and migration.
As of July 1, 2016, I am the Libro Professor of Regional Economic Development in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph. I also serve as a board member with the Canadian Community Economic Development Network and the Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation. I hold appointments with the International Centre for Northern Governance and Development at the University of Saskatchewan, the Rural Development Institute at Brandon University, and Assiniboine Community College.
I currently hold the following appointments and professional membership with the following organizations.
The ICNGD draws together an impressive network of researchers from not only the University of Saskatchewan, but also the Circumpolar world, to address questions of governance and development in the North. They examine everything from models of First Nations self-government, to innovation and wealth-generation strategies, to finding new ways to manage resource development and ensure environmental stewardship.
The Centre provides a powerful forum for partnerships among northern communities, including First Nations and municipal; provincial, and federal governments; industry stakeholders, and; the university community. The North has often led the way in developing partnerships, from local to international, that foster mutual understanding, cooperation and capacity building which together seeks prosperity for all.
RDI functions as a not-for-profit research and development organization designed to promote, facilitate, coordinate, initiate and conduct multi-disciplinary academic and applied research on rural issues. Fosters community development and resiliency through research and information sharing on issues and opportunities unique to rural, remote and northern communities. RDI provides an interface between academic research efforts and the community by acting as a conduit of rural research information and by facilitating community involvement in rural development. Projects are characterized by cooperative and collaborative efforts of multi-stakeholders.
CRRF is an organization comprised of members from across Canada, with diverse international links, representing rural leaders, rural organizations, development practitioners, government policy makers, researchers, students, and other stakeholders interested in the future of rural Canada. CRRF explores a diversity of issues, including rural health and social provision, local and regional economies, local government and community governance, education, organization development, environmental management and stewardship, and many others facets of life and livelihood in rural Canada. Each year CRRF co-hosts a national conference to share lessons learned, research findings, and discuss key rural issues. In addition to the national conference, CRRF hosts and participates in workshops, forums, and symposia to advance rural issues in Canada.
Through the CAG journal, The Canadian Geographer (TCG) / Le Géographe canadien (LGC) the CAG is committed to the dissemination of geographic research. The aim of journal is to publish cutting edge geographical research with strong contemporary resonance that challenge the status quo, promote social justice and address significant social, scientific and technical issues in Canada and globally.
The Association’s journals, magazines and books, along with our global-to-local series of conferences and events position us as a key forum in shaping and disseminating advances in regional studies and science. Members come from economics, geography, political science, planning and sociology backgrounds. Most work in academia but many are working in policy and practice, and membership is truly global.