Community Leader Tells a New Story about Rural Newfoundland after News Article on Decline

On January 22nd, the latest of a long list of CBC articles came out discussing downward demographic trends in Newfoundland and Labrador. The article – about declining birth rates province-wide – placed special emphasis on decline in rural NL.

Read the CBC article here:

However, this familiar story of decline is not the only story to tell about rural NL communities. One community leader who wants to show that there are also stories of hope – Joan Cranston of the Bonne Bay Cottage Hospital in Norris Point – called the CBC Corner Brook Morning Show to provide a different narrative. Listen to the interview below:

Cranston has been involved in rural development activities for over 25 years in the Bonne Bay region and has revitalized the historic Cottage Hospital into a thriving community centre in her town. Offering insights from her experience in the community and partnerships with community-based researchers, she challenged the tendency for the media to deliver a “message of doom-and-gloom” about rural areas and offered examples of hope and success.

From the soon-to-be built daycare in Norris Point for the growing population of young families, to the well-known Fogo Island model of social enterprise – which has been studied in-depth by researchers Natalie Slawinski and John Schouten of the Memorial Centre for Social Enterprise – there are signs of hope across rural NL. Cranston encouraged community members in rural areas not to lose hope when encountering the discouraging statistics that are often publicized, and invited the media and researchers to help tell a new story about rural NL that is based not on decline but on possibility and hope.

About The Author