Booming Communities to Benefit from BU Research

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BRANDON, MB – New research by Brandon University (BU) offers suggestions on managing the rapid population growth now challenging some Manitoba communities.

BU’s Rural Development Institute (RDI), with support from Manitoba Immigration and Multiculturalism and Manitoba Agriculture, Food and Rural Initiatives, examined two regions with recent upward growths: Neepawa and area surged as much as 20% since 2006 due to local employment opportunities; Winkler and area experienced tremendous population influx through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program, including an increase of 63% over 10 years in one rural municipality.

Dr. Bill Ashton, Director of RDI, says a key recommendation within Discerning Growth Strategies is the establishment of a liaison to organize community efforts between different provincial departments and organizations.

“What seems to be missing and what both local stakeholders and government representatives talked about were better ways to coordinate existing policies and programs,” says Dr. Ashton. “Rapid population growth can stress any number of services including health care, education, transportation and housing and more.”

Discerning Growth Strategies outlines 20 recommendations developed through interviews and workshops with service providers, government and business. Dr. Ashton says, “The recommendations address challenges evident from the pace of growth and will enable local stakeholders to better manage growth.”

The full report is available at

Brandon University, founded in 1899, promotes excellence in teaching, research, creation and scholarship; educating students so that they can make a meaningful difference as engaged citizens and leaders. RDI functions as a not-for-profit research and development organization designed to promote, facilitate, coordinate, initiate and conduct multi-disciplinary academic and applied research on rural issues.



For more information, please contact:


Dr.  Bill Ashton
Rural Development Institute
Glen Kirby
Communications Officer
Brandon University


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