NGOs on a Northern Frontier

Principal Investigator: Pamela Stern
Co-investigator: Peter V. Hall
SSHRC # 410-2005-1048

This interdisciplinary research project is addressing the manner in which citizens are recruited to and participate in local development activities. The site for this research is the town of Cobalt, Ontario, a former silver mining town that is faced with multiple economic and demographic challenges. The research addresses the activities of local government and citizens’ groups to revitalize the economic and social life of the town. The study consists of several components. First, we are documenting the range and history of development activities in the Temiskaming Region and in Cobalt particularly. These include those efforts pursued by government, as well as the efforts of other private and citizen-based groups. We are also examining the development funding regime. Neoliberal changes to the way in which municipalities are funded in Ontario (as elsewhere in Canada) have opened up new opportunities for development in Cobalt but have structured and constrained development in unintended ways. For example, we have identified a “proposal economy” in which the town and groups within it structure their development activities around the availability of externally adjudicated grants. For further information, contact Pamela Stern.