Recent Posts

Loss of Sears signals changing retail landscape

The closure of Sears in the Northumberland Mall provides a good reason to pause to think about the future of retail in the rural Ontario. A Sears spokesperson said the company’s motives were based on lack of surplus stock for an outlet-style store, as well as a poor bottom line. When the doors close in March, it ends an era spanning decades, as Sears had a catalogue pick-up in Cobourg for many years prior to a full-line store in the mall. And while many may argue the loss of such a major retailer is a sign of the weak local economy, it is also a reflection of major changes taking place in Canadian retailing. A recent article in, an online retail and consumer trend site, says the future of large anchor stores in malls is under scrutiny. Continue Reading →

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Voter’s guide to elections economics courtesy of Jim Stanford

Economist Jim Stanford provides economic basics for voters during Consider This Live, part of the Drive Time with Dave Glover on Northumberland 89.7 FM. Jim Stanford is a Canadian economist and founder of the Progressive Economics Forum. He holds a master’s degree in economics from Cambridge University and a doctoratefrom the New School for Social Research. He is author of a column for the Canadian newspaper The Globe and Mail and a regular panelist on CBC. Continue Reading →

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It’s all about the local economy, silly

By Robert Washburn

There is only one issue in the upcoming municipal election: the local economy. Sure, across Northumberland each municipality has its own set of issues to be addressed by incumbents and challengers seeking office. But the new rural economy is facing a complex future. Globalization crushed the traditional manufacturing base. Agriculture is vastly different. Continue Reading →

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Sustainability is critical to economic outlook

By Robert Washburn

If the local economy is the central issue for the fall municipal election, then sustainability must right up there along with it. Sustainability is often a term used when discussing environmental issues, but that is a limited interpretation. Sustainability, in this case, is referring to a vision of municipal governance where decisions are made within the context of medium and long-term goals, which meet the needs of citizens, but also provide the opportunity for the area to flourish over time. (more…) Continue Reading →

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County’s official plan shows archaic approach to economic development

By Robert Washburn

Farmer and businessman Paul Burnham is right to seriously question Northumberland County’s official plan when he asks why industrial parks are replacing good farmland. It is a sign the county’s economic development plan is antiquated and/or the planners don’t talk to economic development officers. (more…) Continue Reading →

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