Implementation Gaps, Communication Failures and Gridlock

Preliminary research is showing that many communities have already gone through reviews, produced consultant reports on what is needed for change, and yet, they have never been implemented. One of the major reasons for this implementation gap is the gridlock in the planning and implementation processes for decision-making all Canadian communities face. This gridlock is not due to lack of research, knowledge and information residing in communities, but rather has arisen as a result of the solitudes, silos and stovepipes (Dale 2001) that characterize the research, business and governance sectors. It is multi-faceted and involves, among other things, a lack of coherent dialogue; congruence between political levels; political will, and a 'sustainable development' ethos among various government levels and community stakeholders. Many experts have identified time and time again that one of the major barriers to the implementation of sustainable community development is governance (Ibid 2001; Sabel 2001; Young && Maltke 1993), that is the enlargement of public space to include the dynamic and vibrant 'third sector' (Onyx). Others have referred to fundamental disconnections - between federal, regional and local governments, between rural and urban communities, and critically, between the business and research communities (Bradford 2002; Dale 2001) .