The saddest and most traumatic time for the residents of a single resource town is the announcement of closure of the industry, whether it is a mine or other enterprise. The recession of the late 1970s and early 1980s, and the widespread restructuring of the mining industry has led to a number of mine and hence town closures in Canada since 1980. These include Uranium City, Saskatchewan (1982), Schefferville (1983), and Gagnon, Quebec (1984). The situation became so severe, as anxiety during the recession mounted, that an Association of Threatened Single Industry Towns was formed in 1985 to look at how further closures can be avoided. The purpose of this chapter is to examine the problems of mine closure, the decommissioning of isolated single industry towns, and the problem of residual activities. It is divided into three parts. The first section looks at the initial reactions of the residents. The second section, through reference to Schefferville, examines the procedures for wind-down, including the technical and social problems of managing decommissioning. The final section touches on some of the methods of avoiding the problems engendered.
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