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Oil & Gas Uncertainty/Social Justice for Rural Communities/Phone in:What Makes a Great Neighbourhood?

An Uncertain Future: Unlike Newfoundland, Nova Scotia's offshore potential is still mostly untapped. And the province's marquee gas project, Sable, is now on the decline. When Nova Scotia's premier Darrell Dexter spoke to the annual gathering of offshore oil and gas companies in Halifax today, his analysis of the industry's future was sobering.

Pay Now or Pay Later: When a society becomes divided into those that have, and those that have not, the more dissatisfied and unhappy its citizens. And, these days, many rural communities in the Maritimes are feeling like they are getting the short end of the stick. Access to health care, to public transportation, and to daycare are all urgent issues for many Maritimers. Dr Susan Machum thinks we are viewing the problems rural areas face through the wrong lens. Dr Machum is the Canada Research Chair in Rural Social Justice at St Thomas University in Fredericton.

More Than A Slogan: New Minas says it loud and proud on its water tower: it's "A Good Place to Live." Riverview is "A Great Place to Grow." And Stratford is "A Town of Beauty and Opportunity." But a slogan alone doesn't get the job done. Affordable housing, recreation facilities, local jobs and a fiscally responsible municipal government are all necessary for a healthy community. But equally important is how neighbours respond to each other. Nagging little disputes over a tree limb that extends onto some one else's property have a way of blossoming into intracable and very public spats. Then there's the late night parties on the back deck. And don't get us started on the issue on whether or not the neighbourhood kids should be allowed to play street hockey. Our guests were Irene Novaczek of the Institute of Island Studies at the University of Prince Edward island, Dawn Sloane is a Halifax municipal councillor, and Scott Crawford is the president of One Change, a group working on making north end Saint John a safer, happier community. Our question: what makes a great community?

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