Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Rural Canada in the News

Readers will have gathered based on my recent posts that I've been visiting Eastern Canada --not far Eastern, not the maritimes -- just the province of Québec. I found the lack of sprawl around Montréal and Québec City a relief. The 3-hour drive between the two revealed a great deal of farm land and also – oddly to me—many houses situated remarkably close to the motorway (in sharp contrast to New England). It’s obviously not the most rural part of Québec, or Canada for that matter, but there nevertheless seems to be a real sense of a rural-urban distinction in the province.

During my week in Canada, I kept a fairly close eye on any national media coverage of rural issues in the English-language newspapers I was reading. I saw just one item that discussed rural issues in any focused way. It involved the impact of rising fuel prices on rural economies and rural people, from farmers in Ontario to those living in remote villages in Newfoundland, where virtually everything they consume is trucked in.

In addition, there was a story one day about the polygamists in the appropriately named Bountiful, British Columbia. These, too, are an offshoot of the Warren Jeffs group in Southern Utah. While the photo accompanying the story featured a gorgeous mountain backdrop, the story did not use the word “rural” or pick up on the issue of the group’s chosen rural locale.

No comments: