The Solutions Agenda

Access to Opportunities and Services

Equitable access to opportunities and services for communities was identified as a national priority to reduce asymmetries between large urban, mid-sized and smaller communities. The connectivity and interdependence of the urban to the hinterland was highlighted. Concern was expressed about the increasing divide in employment opportunities, especially for younger people. Many of them are now working in the service industry without access to the same pension opportunities as previous generations. Accessibility to big data sources, their openness and data sharing is intimately connected to better decision-making and local innovation everywhere. The top policy actions to address this imperative are the following.

  1. Implement a guaranteed annual income (research evidence show it is less costly than the current patchwork of programs)

  2. Develop a national pension plan system in partnership with Canadian financial institutions, banks and financial cooperatives, to which all Canadians have access

  3. Provide access to high speed internet services to all Canadian communities

  4. Increase investment in community infrastructure—shared resources, tool libraries, shared facilities, multi-functional spaces, public art, community gardens, art, music and food festivals, free cycling, public libraries, public washrooms, collaborative meeting spaces

  5. Increase access to legal assistance

  6. Increase visibility of and awareness around urban-rural interdependence through regional conferences, networks and co-planning sessions involving rural, urban and provincial governments

Accessibility from Community Research Connections on Vimeo.

We must work together to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and power in our society.

(Nelson Mandela)