In Atlantic Canada, long-distance commuting for work is a daily reality for many families, particularly those living in rural areas. Families can be separated for weeks, months, or sometimes even years, with loved ones working away and their families keeping life moving along at home.

Atlantic Canadian families living with long-distance commutes tend to face many of the same challenges. Many have developed formal and informal ways of dealing with the, often invisible, pressures of separation. In this episode of Rural Routes, we speak to community leaders, researchers, and people with lived experience about how long-distance commuting can affect families, about the networks and supports that those people are building and about ways these families and those who serve them might benefit from more support.

This episode of Rural Routes is based on interviews with researchers, mobile workers and their family members done at the Families, Work and Mobility Symposium in Prince Edward Island. The symposium happened because so many people lead organizer Christina Murray spoke with during her research told her, “I wish there was an opportunity for people to come together to talk about this issue and how it impacts me, my family and my community.”

Resources:
Families, Work, and Mobility
On the Move Partnership
Vanier Family Foundation
Christina Murray

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

Being doctor in a rural community has unique challenges; from knowing too much about your friends and neighbours, to being the first line of defense in difficult life or death situations, it can be hard to find someone who really understands. This time on Rural Routes, we listen in on a group of four women, each practising in, or with experience in, rural Ontario communities, whose informal support network has become a crucial line of support, both in terms of their work and their lives. Join us as they laugh about their experiences, share their most challenging experiences, and explain why, despite the distance between them and their busy schedules, they make time to connect.

Resources:
Society of Rural Physicians of Canada
Rural Road Map for Action (PDF)

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

The legalization of marijuana could potentially provide significant benefits to rural communities. With the July deadline for legalization coming closer, we talked to potential growers in BC and Newfoundland and Labrador, as well as a policy analyst in Nova Scotia to help us understand what the legalization of cannabis might mean for rural Canada.

Resources:
Atlantic Provinces Economic Council

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

When it comes to Canadian identity, the popular imagination summons forests, wildlife, and untouched nature that goes on forever. In some ways, our national parks reflect that idyllic picture; however, in other ways, they are complex, complicated, and contested. Join us for the first in a two-part look at how our national parks are created, who determines what we do with our natural spaces, and the impact that parks have on the people who live in and around them. We’ll chat with Dr. Phillip Vannini, Dr. Alistair Bath, Dr. John Calder and Colleen Kennedy.

We take a deep dive into rural fashion industry. We discuss small manufacturing, the cultural significance of the fashion industry designs and products and how a pair of shoes or a hat can help us bridge the rural-urban and North-South divides. Our guests are Liz Cohoe and Tracy Fillion from Nelson, BC and Nicole Camphaug from Iqaluit, Nunavut.

Resources and links:

West Kootenay Manufacturing Study
Lillie and Cohoe Handmade Luxury Hats
We Are Stories
Nicole Camphaug ENB Artisan facebook page

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

The opioid crisis impacts hundreds of thousands of lives across North America and rural areas are increasingly at risk. To investigate the impacts of opioids in rural contexts, we’re presenting a special two-episode edition of Rural Routes, featuring stories from both individuals and institutions with experience on the frontlines of the rural opioid crisis. These difficult and sometimes inspiring stories address important questions about the fight against opioid addiction; are rural communities disproportionately affected? How are individuals and institutions working, or not working, to help communities heal? Is enough being done? In this last part of our look at the opioid crisis you will hear from Michele Specht and Jodi Salvo from Ohio, Dr. Tara Gomes from Toronto, Mae Katt from Thunder Bay, and Justice Peter Wright from Perth, Ontario.

Resources and links:

Michele Specht bio
Anti-drug coalition Tuscarawas County
Dr. Tara Gomes profile at St. Michael’s Hospital
Mae Katt profile at Families for Addiction Recovery

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

The opioid crisis impacts hundreds of thousands of lives across North America and rural areas are increasingly at risk. To investigate the impacts of opioids in rural contexts, we’re presenting a special two-episode edition of Rural Routes, featuring stories from both individuals and institutions with experience on the frontlines of the rural opioid crisis. These difficult and sometimes inspiring stories address important questions about the fight against opioid addiction; are rural communities disproportionately affected? How are individuals and institutions working, or not working, to help communities heal? Is enough being done? In this we hear stories of personal challenge and determination from Stephen Miller, a recovering user and vivid storyteller, and Susan Boone and Brian Reese, whose personal experiences led them to organize a community-based harm reduction program on a small island off the coast of Newfoundland.

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

While the numbers of farms in North America are decreasing every year, virtual farms are thriving. What does the bounty of farming related computer, video and mobile games say about the urban-rural divide? Are they just dumb time wasters, or could they actually be used to help create both knowledge and understanding? Join us for a (slightly goofy) chat about virtual pigs and cows, and the millions of people playing them. Our guests include video game researcher and film and media studies professor Dr. Alenda Chang of University of California, Santa Barbara and gamer Andrew Cohoe. We’ll also ask Jane Tucker, originally of Southern Ontario, but now living in St. Philips, Newfoundland and Labrador, what puts her town on the map.

Resources

Wireframe lab

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio

Music by Laura C. Bates performed by Trent Severn.

 

Santa doesn’t have to go far to reach the children of Pangnirtung, Nunavut. For this very special holiday episode, we chat with A.J., Jasmine, Sheila, Steven, Rhoda, Tasha, Sipula, Myra, and Phoebe along with their teacher, Jonny Lush, from their school in the small community on Baffin Island. From their favourite holiday traditions, to the most popular bands in Pang (as the locals call it), join us as they answer our questions, share their talents, and open our eyes to the things they love about where they live. Jonny also shares his experiences as a teacher raised in the South but living and working in the North.

Resources

Pangnirtung website
Riit

Rural Routes Partners:
The Leslie Harris Centre of Regional Policy and Development, MUN
Canadian Rural Revitalization Foundation 
Rural Policy Learning Commons Partnership
The National Campus and Community Radio Association

CHMR Campus Radio