Dispatches from Canada's Incredible Shrinking Region - Part 4

Dispatch 4 - Anna Sampson

Recently, the Globe and Mail published a story called How the Maritimes Became Canada's Incredible Shrinking Region. It was a disheartening read. However, it didn't say much many of us who live here don't already know. It also didn't capture the fighting spirit of the region or the powerful voices calling for change and hope that dot Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island. So, this series is about featuring new ideas. In this dispatch, you'll find ideas from Anna Sampson. 

We love Anna's photo that captures the sparkle and raw beauty of the Maritimes. 

We love Anna's photo that captures the sparkle and raw beauty of the Maritimes. 



Why I choose to live in Canada’s “incredible shrinking region”:

There are some practical reasons; my family lives here, I have a good job, it takes me twenty minutes to walk from home to all the necessities, and I had the “away” experience I wanted living elsewhere during my University education. Then there are those reasons that are just about good feelings, like seeing the ocean without making a plan, hearing a bagpipe practice at the local fire station, or being a hop, skip and a jump away from a place that is totally peaceful. Finally there is the fulfillment that only living here can offer. My job is about designing great places and spaces. There is no space or place that I will take more pride in improving than those located at home. 

My specific ideas for stopping the shrink include:

- Do a better job welcoming newcomers and immigrants.

- Start with our many Universities and give local and internationals students reasons to stay here when they graduate that are both good for their passions, and for their bank account. 

- Invest in those who are taking risks, making things fun, and drawing attention to the region with their innovation.

- Market for an attitude shift. Whether it’s a grassroots efforts or a planned campaign, spread a message of positive thinking about building a career and a life in the Maritimes. 

My current frustrations are:

I get frustrated when I see talented friends and family move away from the region. In most cases they are individuals who have contributed an overwhelming amount of time, brainpower and passion here, and they have more to give. In some cases they leave for the job they want, or which pays them more. In other cases they are considered “come-from-aways” who never felt welcome.

I wish…

…for the “Maritimer dream” to be accessible for all those who believe in it, and for more people to believe in it. 

Want to weigh in? Post a comment here or connect with me via Twitter @somethingwitty.