By Teresa MacNeil, Chair, Rural Communities Foundation of Nova Scotia
Chronicle Herald, February 13, 2015
Perhaps Herald columnist John DeMont didn’t intend to ignite a debate about the inevitable disappearance of rural Nova Scotia (“Bleak future for rural communities: The real hollowing-out of Nova Scotia countryside is just beginning,” Feb. 4)
Perhaps his need to escape the snowbanks brought on all that nostalgia for the countryside with its “autumn bonfires and summer nights that hum with silence,” along with its “slow-moving parades” and the “little-visited museums.”
Regrettably, it is true that many lovely rural features are disappearing. It is also true that there are communities in rural Nova Scotia so severely challenged by their demographics that they could disappear completely.
In the main, however, DeMont’s article is highly misleading. He treats rural as though it were a solid, homogenous entity, with no distinctions along lines of location, economy, culture, demography, and just plain traditional determination. Worse is his implication that the principal loss will be the good ol’ days. Nothing is mentioned about concrete contributions of rural enterprise, be it social, economic or cultural.
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