Rethinking Governance: Supporting Healthy Development Through Systems-Level Collaboration in Canada’s Provincial North


  • Rebecca Schiff Lakehead University


Communities across Canada’s Provincial North experience significant barriers to providing adequate food and housing. The ability to deliver these essential services is further complicated by rapid economic growth and industrial development. Although significant in terms of facilitating development, critical issues associated with food and housing often fall through the gaps of government policy and decision making. Happy Valley-Goose Bay (HVGB) is a remote service-centre community in Labrador experiencing both rapid resource and economic development and the associated pressures on delivery of essential services such as food and housing. In response to these pressures, systems-level collaborative approaches to food and housing issues were developed in an attempt to reconcile policy gaps and address growing needs. This article investigates the significance of food and housing issues in the growth of Canada’s northern communities. Within that context, the gaps in governance of food and housing issues are also examined. The experience of HVGB illustrates the nature of food and housing stress in these communities and how systems-level food and housing collaboratives can lead to innovative and cost-effective solutions to addressing and supporting demand for growth.

Author Biography

Rebecca Schiff, Lakehead University

Assistant professor, Department of Health Sciences, Faculty of Health and Behavioural Sciences, Lakehead University






Political and Economic Change in Canada's Provincial Norths