A ghost of a chance

Editor of the Golden Star Darryl Crane takes a look at issues facing small towns in Canada

Are small towns in Canada going the way of the dodo and the dinosaurs?

This idea has been rattling around local areas for quite some time according to some people I have talked to.

Sadly there is nothing new in this tale.

As economic welfare changes and populations move about some small towns are put in a life or death situation which makes continuing on a more difficult decision for everyone involved.

Coming from the East Coast I have heard the stories of resettlement in Newfoundland and have seen videos of houses being floated on barges to new hometowns.

During this time many communities were forever lost and eventually became nothing more than a part of stories told and eventually history of bygone days.

To a point this type of movement continues today as generations get older in some smaller towns and as the youth move away and a generation gap which seems never to be filled.

I remember returning to Newfoundland after many years away and thinking how nice it was going to be to see some old friends once I got back on the island.

There was one catch with my well thought out plan at the time.

Upon my return I found out that almost everyone I wanted to see who was around my age were now living in different parts of Canada.

Just as I had left the province after graduating from university so too had many of my friends.

For a long time, until the recent upswing in the economy, many people moved to other parts of Canada from Newfoundland to find their way.

Recently while in Field the question was raised about sustainability of the town in the region.

It has also bee a discussion I have heard many times in Golden.

As the population declines and money issues are always in the middle of decisions how can towns continue to get the infrastructure work done when a way to gather more money is limited by rules and regulations?

Infrastructure is a word which seems to be all over the media these days.

From large cities to the smallest towns the ability to keep what we have in working conditions is a struggle.

There never seems to be enough cash collected to get what needs to be done fixed.

In Golden there are many debates about how money should be spent.

What is the best way to take what you have and use it to what is best for the community is the tough decision for anyone to make, especially  when finding the money is not particularly easy to do.

The question now is if the system is not working what do you do to make it better.

Will it take a concerted effort of towns to make a stand against both the provincial and federal governments to develop a new system of how cash is shared to restart communities or is it just a fact of life that some towns which people call home will some day just become a part of history.

Will it all become a memory kept alive only in books and stories about a home that is no longer there.

Only time will tell where this story will end.