RealAg LIVE! with Shaun Haney on the growing rural and urban divide

(Kara Oosterhuis/RealAgriculture)

For anyone that knows Shaun Haney, they know he’s someone who is constantly thinking and evaluating what is going on around him. What has he been thinking about this week?

On this RealAg LIVE! we’ve got a special “Freestyle Friday” where Shaun has an interactive chat with the audience, mixed with clips on his topic for today: the growing rural/urban divide, especially in the political landscape.

RealAg LIVE! streams every weekday at 3 pm E on Youtube, Facebook, and Twitter!


  • The challenges of the rural urban divide is really an issue as it shapes a lot of policy when it comes to agriculture
  • Hillbilly Jim plays a part in today’s live? Enough wrestling, Shaun.
  • Important to showcase the differences we have politically and how this changes in the future
  • Electoral map view — Western Canada is blue, but yet, the final result was red. We always think about all of Ontario being red…but have you taken a look at rural Ontario lately? It was very blue too.
  • Urban votes matter
    • food policy
    • sustainability definition
    • urban sprawl taking away farm land
    • public trust
    • locked in rural vote
  • We are all politically very separate, and that divide is increasing
  • Why do we allow the governments we voted for to do things we would be VERY upset with; what if it were the opposition government implementing it? (e.g. Jason Kenny’s government in Alberta with agriculture cuts. How would we be reacting if Rachel Notley’s government did the same thing?)
  • Agriculture’s future influence will be closely tied to suburbia — are we ready?
  • 1/5 Canadians were not born here
  • The birth rates on the prairies are actually higher than in other parts of the country
  • Does a growing west population mean a growing conservative population? Bricker says this could definitely mean that. Will COVID provide a chance in this? Don’t know. The battle ground is the suburbs.
  • The string of pearls — those pearls being cities. Using Ontario as an example: is London super conservative? That sort of narrative.
  • The challenge comes when rural communities lose more of their political clout over time, how do we make sure these rural areas will survive in a political scape?
  • The suburbs MATTER. Bricker says in order to win an election, you need to win the suburbs. Are they an ally for us?
  • The urban/rural divide and the future of work — a LIVE! Q&A with Sean Speer
  • How do we make sure certain parts of Canada aren’t left behind?
  • How do you make sure your postal code doesn’t define your political opportunities?
    • This is where rural broadband really fits in
    • How do you expect people to move places if they can’t even get decent broadband to run their businesses?
  • How do we communicate with our peers? That is a large concern, always.

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