New Project to Increase Rural and Urban Dialogue

Dr. Bill Ashton

Dr. Bill Ashton

Brandon University is leading a new $5.2 million international partnership, including $2.5 million in federal grants, to strengthen the voices of rural and northern communities.

The Rural Policy Learning Commons (RPLC) will network scholars, politicians and citizens in a variety of ways including conferences, webinars and publications, to ensure that policy-makers are cognizant of the characteristics, unique benefits and challenges associated with rural and northern places.

The RPLC is a seven-year initiative with funding from more than 30 partners, including a Partnership Grant from SSHRC. An existing global network of 90 institutional and individual participants will grow significantly as the partnership expands to include more countries, regions, and communities.

“Rural regions and urban centres remain connected through their labour needs, food production,resource development, and energy demands,” says Dr. Bill Ashton, Director of BU’s Rural Development Institute (RDI) and project manager. “The RPLC will engage urban-based policy decision-makers with rural-focused challenges, opportunities, and aspirations.”