Homestead Act – Redux

I just read a very interesting story in the Toronto Star (sorry requires a password so no link here). Here’s an excerpt:

South of the Canada-American border, there is serious talk about a “New Homestead Act” that would sell houses — or perhaps even farmland — at low prices to those willing to settle in, or around, small plains towns.

In Kansas, there are rural action co-operatives whose members don’t just complain about declining population, but actively seek out people who might be interested in moving there, then energetically write, email and call them.

Now, call me crazy but wouldn’t that be neat if folks in rural New Brunswick were actually calling folks on the phone and inviting them to move to rural NB. Wouldn’t it be neat if the government would provide incentives and get interested in attracting folks to rural NB.

But, I suspect that after 20 years of doing something innovative in Kansas, it might actually take hold here.

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0 Responses to Homestead Act – Redux

  1. scott says:

    There is already a small trend developing in Canada where people are migrating away from large metropolitan areas (i.e. Toronto, Vancouver) to smaller medium size cities (i.e. Ottawa, Winnipeg and London).

    Hopefully, as you said in your post, we will start calling some of these indviduals and invite them to move eastward to New Brunswick.

    It can’t hurt to try.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I’d have to see proof of that trend, it certainly doesn’t show up in the statistics. If you are looking at smaller city growth I’d suspect it is at the cost of rural areas nearby. People tend to gravitate first to the urban area closest to them. That’s not surprising, people like being near family. Some groups appear to value family more highly, acadians and natives have always been more reluctant to move from their location, even at the cost of either having less EI or doing without.

    On the other side it is always argued about rural dwellers ‘stubbornly’ staying put while their labour can be used elsewhere. So it appears you can’t win.

    As for inviting people home, that’s a tough sell. Inbred politics (of course where isn’t it?), dropping population, corporate run political system, no free press, small retail population, lack of social infrastructure, living costs that are as high as Ontario. Am I missing anything? Come home for Pumphouse Beer? Or the scenery? Or four new Wal Marts?

    What it’s going to take in the future is New Brunswickers getting off their duffs and either doing what they want government to do themselves, or actually getting in a party that will do it for them. The latter is unlikely, even the NDP is a no-show.

    As to the former, perhaps the Parti Acadien can shake things up, or things will get forcibly shaken up by Ottawa or Quebec secession. Apart from that, perhaps all the readers here can contribute to a fund to actually HIRE Mr. Campbell to go out and do the selling he gets so excited about. I don’t see any other way.

  3. scott says:

    Statistics Canada Data still shows a continued trend of internal out-migration among people in Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal who speak English at home and not French, who fall under a category of a non-visible minority as opposed to a visible minority; as well, this migratory trend is strongest among individuals with a high school diploma or some university.

    So why isn’t New Brunswick going after these particular individuals who fall into this internal migratory trend? These people have to go somewhere. Don’t they?

    As well, they sound like the type of individuals who wouldn’t find the transition of life in NB difficult. Code word for: it wouldn’t be a huge culture shock once they got used to the slow pace…which they may cherish after living in the fast lane for many years.