ICRPS 2012: Food For Thought

by Shelby Clark 01/07/2012

Lots of food for thought today. Pierre Roberge from Developement Economique Canada filled us in on the responsibilities of Federal policy relative to Quebec policy. Slowly, a picture is emerging of community and economic development in Quebec and Canada. Rurality—and the maintenance of Quebecois culture–seems central to the policy decision making processes.

Philomena De Lima, Bruce Weber, and Bill Ashton helped frame inequality issues for us. Is it third world/first world? Are we talking about undeveloped or developed nations? Philomena reminded us that our language can inform our views of ourselves and others and that we need to take care that our language does not overly influence our ability to make policy recommendations.

Kelly Vodden described New Regionalism as a framework for planning and development in a greater context. Though to this blog writer, at least, the nuances between regionalism and new regionalism are subtle at best, it is useful to remember that economic issues are not constrained by political borders. Effective solutions will not be constrained, either, by these artificial controls.

Finally, John Devlin lead us through a values exercise where we defined what is organic and what is local and why the development of policy governing food policy, and specifically organic and local, can be fraught with controversy.

Once again a full day of thought-provoking, mind bending analysis and discussion. From the sounds of it, most ICRPSers are blowing off a bit of pent up energy on this Canada Day eve by singing that famous hockey ballad “Oh, Canada.”

Photo by ICRPS 2012