The structural underpinnings impacting rapid growth in resource regions

Ryser, Laura and Halseth, Greg and Markey, Sean and Morris, Marleen (2016) The structural underpinnings impacting rapid growth in resource regions. The Extractive Industries and Society, 3 (3). pp. 616-626. ISSN 2214-790X

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Decades of economic restructuring have transformed the nature of work and community relationships in resource hinterlands. Towns once built to accommodate large local workforces are now immersed in much more fluid flows of labour and capital. In some resource regions, proposed mining, oil and gas, and hydro projects may provide potential opportunities to diversify and strengthen communities. However, many community and industry stakeholders have concerns about community capacity and readiness for the anticipated “boomtown” circumstance of rapid growth and development. Drawing upon experiences from Canada, the US, Australia, and Scotland, this research examines structural impediments undermining the capacity of local stakeholders to respond to the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid growth and mobile workforces. Our findings suggest that policies and information structures have not been retooled and redesigned to support mobile workforces. Key structural concerns include obsolete policies and regulations to guide the development, tracking, and decommissioning of work camps; limited information and demographic data about mobile workforces; the problem of different methodologies being used to forecast growth and impacts; underdeveloped information management systems to track the cumulative impacts of single and multiple resource projects; and an absence of orientation packages and information portals for industry and mobile workers.

Item Type: Article
Item ID: 14191
Keywords: Boomtowns, Structural barriers, Policy, Information, Labour mobility
Department(s): Divisions > On the Move Partnership
Date: July 2016
Date Type: Publication
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