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Decline and Adjustment at the Periphery, West Coast of Newfoundland


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Johnson, Marc L. (2002). Decline and Adjustment at the Periphery, West Coast of Newfoundland Régions et économie du savoir : Regions in the Knowledge Economy . Institut national de la recherche scientifique, Montréal.

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In this study, we have focussed on the West Coast of Newfoundland, a region that faces the North Shore in Quebec and Labrador, along the Gulf of St. Lawrence. The only urban centre in this vast, sparsely populated (2.9 pers./km2 ) and mostly rural (64 percent) region is Corner Brook. Historically, the small francophone population of about 800 souls has been concentrated on the Port-au-Port peninsula. The West Coast region of Newfoundland and Labrador cuts across the three districts of South West Port-aux-Basques in the south, Corner Brook in the centre and Northern in the north. This is the economic region of the same name defined by Statistics Canada, minus Labrador, which we have left out for reasons of homogeneity. From the provincial standpoint, the West Coast is itself divided into five economic zones, each governed by a regional development board. We have organized our study around these five zones (see map): Nordic, Red Ochre, Humber, Long Range and South Western Marine and Mountain. While the West Coast is one of the access points to the island of Newfoundland and Labrador, owing to the Port-aux-Basques ferry service, it is still basically remote from any new developments in this province. It is in the capital city of St. John’s, located at the other end of the island, some 700 km from Corner Brook, that the major economic decisions are being made and the new Newfoundland and Labrador economy is being constructed.2 There is of course the urban area of Corner Brook, in the centre of the region, which is still thriving thanks to the forest industry, but the risk of a downturn in this growth axis is real. The combination of a very low population density and human resources that are ill-equipped for an economic adjustment adds to the weight of the challenge that awaits the inhabitants of this peripheral region. However, among the shadows that seem to hover over this region’s economy, there are some bright spots. The province has done a considerable amount of catching up in the areas of education and literacy. The fishing industry has diversified, and its landed values are twice those of the pre-moratorium period. The number of jobs has begun to grow again since the last census. In the St. Anthony sub-region, the SABRI (St. Anthony Basin Resources Inc.) initiative offers a promising community economic development model, based on fishing profits. The tourist attractions of the West Coast are becoming better known, owing to the millennium celebration of the Viking settlement at L’Anse-aux-Meadows. In the pages that follow, we will present a demographic and socio-economic profile of the region, followed by a discussion of the principal challenges that must be met to give a new impetus to the region’s development.

Type de document: Rapport
Mots-clés libres: Terre-Neuve; Labrador; rural; Urbain; emploi; développement économique; Industrie de la pêche; industrie des fruits de mer
Centre: Centre Urbanisation Culture Société
Date de dépôt: 12 nov. 2020 20:59
Dernière modification: 12 nov. 2020 20:59
URI: https://espace.inrs.ca/id/eprint/9521

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