Congress 2015

CSA Annual Conference and Congress 2015 of the Humanities and Social Sciences

Location: University of Ottawa, Ontario
Dates; May 30 to June 5, 2015

2nd Annual CSA Rural Sociology Research Cluster Meeting
Friday, June 5, 2015
8:15 am to 8:45 am
Location: Fauteux Hall

2015 CSA Rural Sociology Conference
Session 1: Dynamics of Change in Rural Labour Markets and Communities
Friday, June 5, 2015
9:00 am to 10:30 am
Location: Fauteux Hall
Session Chair: Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University


Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University
The Dilemmas of Cyclical Change, Business Services and the Project of Economic Regeneration
When call centres first began their march north from the US, there was hope that they would contribute to the creation of a new economy in regions hard hit by the decline of older industries. As the centres arrived, concern was voiced that American companies were using telecommunications networks in ways that pitted regions against one another in the battle for jobs. Sociologists debated whether this was just another example of neoliberal economic expansion or whether this industry had the potential to contribute to long-term development in regions faced with considerable out-migration. The paper continues this debate. It focuses on three factors: labour shifts associated with the dynamic of expansion and contraction of the US economy, the impact of exchange rates and the coming on stream of Asian competitors. In so doing, it makes a contribution to understanding debates about the nature of employment effects in this industry, as well as its implications for employment standards and regional development.

Fabrizio Antonelli, Mount Allison University
Following Dreams, Leaving Home: Career Development For Secondary Students in Small Maritime Communities
Communities in Canada’s Maritime provinces are facing the challenge of shrinking populations, especially among young people. As post-industrial economies develop in Canada, a clear shift in geography is taking place as young people are leaving small communities in the Maritimes to larger urban centres. This presentation reports the findings from a study of two secondary schools and the possibilities for career development and community sustainability. The communities differ in their geography, Bathurst is in the economically depressed north of New Brunswick while Sackville is in the expanding southern region near Moncton. As well, Sackville has a clear connection to knowledge work as it is a university town. This session will present how youth in the Maritimes must navigate through their career development with respect to their family and community and to what extent creative work has for sustaining communities. Findings from interviews with teachers and focus groups with students indicate a clear desire for young people to stay in the region; however, there is also a realization by students and teachers that possibilities for career development in the Maritimes are limited and the reality of outward migration looms in the future for many young people.

Patricia Altass, University of Guelph
Women, Work, and Working Class Culture, in Prince Edward Island
PEI, which is Canada’s most rural and only entirely insular province, is characterized by persistent unemployment, low levels of education, and seasonal industries where women tend to hold subordinate positions (Lund 2010, Macdonald 2009). Women workers in PEI are overrepresented in service sector tourism and low level resource sector jobs, which fail to provide benefits, stability or a living wage (Macdonald 2009). These often short term jobs with fluctuating hours make it difficult to qualify for Employment Insurance (EI). For those who qualify, the income provided by EI is not sufficient to allow them to meet their basic needs. In addition, women in Atlantic Canada report an average of 14 hours more spent on unpaid domestic and care work than women in the rest of Canada, with low income women in Atlantic Canada working more unpaid hours than any other income group in this region (MacDonald et al. 2005). Using a socialist feminist framework, this paper will analyze findings from a qualitative research project that explores the ways that gender and social class interact and impact work, as experienced by working class women in PEI, including employment, volunteer work and unpaid domestic labour.

Regina Aminta Belloso, Simon Fraser University
Speaking Out on Injustice and Inequality: The impact of the New Directions Speakers’ School in Northwestern Ontario
Over the past few decades, Northwestern Ontario has undergone significant transformations as a result of long-term structural unemployment. Repercussions of high unemployment have translated into a trickle down effect across other sectors in the region. Communities have been experiencing increases in widespread poverty and vulnerability. The region has challenges and needs that differ quite starkly from Southern Ontario. Many of these systemic barriers are heightened throughout rural due to deteriorating circumstances surrounding rural living in Northwestern Ontario. This paper will examine how the New Directions Speakers’ School has helped to reduce poverty and vulnerability among a group of 8 individuals in and around Thunder Bay, Ontario. The program combats poverty by giving participants the tools necessary to ‘speak out’ on social justice issues within their communities. By focusing on the impact of this program on the lives of individuals, it will be argued that this model of advocacy can strengthen communities in rural settings. Findings are largely based on in class participation, observations made in board room meetings, informal conversations with those involved at various levels, secondary data provided by the Board of Directors, and finally, data collected from 8 semi-structured interviews.

2015 CSA Rural Sociology Conference
Session 2: Extractive Resource Development and Northern Communities
Friday, June 5, 2015
10:45 am to 12:15 pm
Location: Fauteux Hall
Session Chair: Jennifer Jarman, Lakehead University


Chris Southcott, Lakehead University
Linkages in Canada’s North: The Staples Theory and the Yukon’s Faro Mine
Staples theory has long offered researchers a way to understand the impacts of extractive industries on northern communities. Unfortunately it is too often ignored as a conceptual model for understanding the relationship between extractive industries and rural regions. This paper will present the initial findings of a project that is attempting to examine the value of staples theory for understanding the socio-economic impacts of the Faro mine on the Yukon. Part of the Resources and Sustainable Development in the Arctic (ReSDA) MCRI project, the paper uses the example of the Faro mine to discuss ways of conceptualizing linkages and leakages.

Ken James Caine, University of Alberta
Hybrid youth knowledge in northern environmental governance
In research on environmental engagement, many rural youth express frustration over their ‘lack of voice’ and feel left out of decision-making processes involving natural resources and more broadly, environmental governance. While youth in northern communities are expected to engage in new forms of action in response to growing environmental and ecological concerns, a key problem is that little is known about how youth in rural and isolated communities perceive their natural environment, or even how they view their role in sustaining the natural environment for future generations. I argue that Aboriginal youth knowledge consists of the ways of learning and teachings by elders, family, ‘land’ and broader community sources, and the scientific knowledge gained from the formal institutional education system. Currently, little focused research explores the hybrid or blended knowledges that exist and are developing within youth cultures required to face new social and environmental challenges including resource extraction. In this paper I extend post-colonial thinking about hybrid forms of knowledge to conceptualize how Aboriginal youth within the formal education system understand and utilize their unique knowledge that is simultaneously derived from traditional knowledge and school-based knowledge, in the context of Aboriginal co-management of natural resources.

Joshua Barrett, Memorial University of Newfoundland
Resource towns to no towns?: The evolution of commute work from the 1950s to present and how it impacts communities
While travelling for work isn’t new, it is changing. Commute operations started in the 1950s in the Gulf of Mexico during a time offshore exploration and development saw rapid growth. Since then, thousands of commute operations have been established across the world, including Canada, throughout many different sectors. These new fly-in/fly-out and/or drive-in/drive-out operations, referred to as the ‘no town’ model by Storey and others (2014) present a stark contrast to the resource town model of the past. First, this paper will use a literature review to focus on the different patterns of commute work and how it has shifted from the 1950s to present day. Secondly, it discusses ongoing research in Newfoundland and Labrador and how commute work impacts host and source communities. This research is a part of the 7-year SSHRC funded On the Move Partnership: Employment-related geographical mobility in the Canadian context.

Satenia Zimmermann, Lakehead University
Beyond Education: Examining the impact of IBA’s, CWB and systemic discrimination on the employability of Aboriginal peoples in natural resource development
Although millions of dollars have been spent by governments and companies involved with natural resource development to prepare local Aboriginal people for employment, the employability of local Aboriginals continues to be problematic for both industry and community leaders. A critical examination of current literature supports the argument that the employability of Aboriginal peoples is directly impacted by social issues including a lack of housing, food insecurity, a lack of cultural understanding, a lack of childcare resources, and other social issues that have risen from decades of systemic discrimination. Low community well-being (CWB) scores, and problematic Impact Benefit Agreements (IBA’s) also have a direct negative impact on the employability of Aboriginal peoples. Data was collected from Stats Canada CWB Index, and current IBA’s, as well as an extensive examination of current literature. The literature and data indicate that the current focus on education and training is problematic, and does not adequately prepare Aboriginal people for meaningful employment in the natural resource development sector. It also suggests that the current model for IBA’s which are focused on monetary compensation and training are inadequate and a new approach must be taken if Aboriginal peoples are to gain meaningful employment and real benefits from natural resource development projects, which will in turn increase community well-being.