For much of the 20th century, many rural communities in British Columbia were designed as industry specific ‘company towns,’ that were created to extract natural resources from the surrounding environment as a means of economic development. However, technological advancements that have come in the modern day have exposed an underlying vulnerability in these communities. Communities that are resource-dependent face issues of out-migration, population aging, and lower levels of tertiary education. These barriers constrain the ability of rural municipalities to provide vital community planning and development services that could develop and diversify their economies away from a single industry. This study will analyze three provincial policy options that could better promote economic development in resource-dependent communities in British Columbia. This is done through comparing outcomes in BC with the experience Quebec and Finland, two other economies that rely heavily on forestry production and wood-product manufacturing for employment in rural areas. Ultimately, it is recommended that the province implement a Community Development Bank to support the diversification of rural resource-dependent communities.
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