Keeping rural life an attractive option

Garden Valley Collegiate
Winkler, Manitoba

By Erika K. (Grade 12)

Where are you going after graduation? Young people face many difficult decisions, and one of them is where to live. Those of us who have grown up in small towns now have to decide whether to stay in our rural area or move to a city. The rural areas of Canada need young people in order to continue to develop and support agriculture. Yet, many people move to urban areas.

A city draws people in because there is much to do, all in a concentrated area. People can go to the movies, go shopping, and do many other things. Often city wages are higher than for similar work in rural areas.

The rural communities are much closer knit. Especially in villages and small towns, everyone knows everyone and this brings a sense of stability. You know your neighbors and know that they will watch out for you. The crime rate is lower, yet this is not the most important concern for many young people. They find country life stifling and need something that will keep them where they are.

Everyone has different needs and these need to be met to persuade young people to stay in rural areas. Many young people would like to stay in their small communities, but cannot find work in their chosen field. With the increased use of technology and the Internet, it may become easier to do one's work at home on a personal computer linked to the main office. For other people, sports are a major part of their life. Structured sports programs need to be increased for people of all ages. If people can develop athletic skills and play competitively at home, towns may be able to keep young people from leaving.

Our government needs to look at the priorities of the people who leave the rural areas and to increase programs that will meet their needs.

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