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Here Today, Gone Tomorrow: Public Transportation and Vulnerabilities in Rural and Remote Canada

Cindy Hanson, JoAnn Jaffe, Emma Varley, Jacob Alhassan, Momo Tanaka, Maegan Krajewski, Tamikani Jessie Nkhata, Brenda Wastasecoot and Julianne Acker-Verney

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This knowledge synthesis project explored how remote and rural places face a complex array of social, political and economic obstacles in their access to sustainable, accessible, and appropriate transportation, and in exercising mobility rights. The pattern of, and access to, public transportation in Canada, reflects the history of natural resource development and seldom considers the effects of the lack of transportation on health and welfare, human capabilities, education, climate change, and sustainable development. Mobility, however, shapes the conditions and lived experiences of gender, poverty, disabilities, and older-age; it either restricts or enables citizen participation.

This report adopts an intersectional approach that recognizes how individuals’ circumstances are shaped, constructed, and constrained by systems and structures over which they have little control. Given neoliberal restructuring, it also pays close attention to how the systematic removal of public transportation alongside increasing, near-exclusive emphasis on automobility, is implicated in the production and exacerbation of vulnerability for rural and remote persons, communities, and regions of Canada.

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