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On the Move


Do you live in the Southwest, but travel for work? Do you travel long hours to get to work, or have a job that takes you away from home for days, weeks, months or years? Or, do you come for work in the Sud-Ouest, but live far from here?
On the Move is an oral history project exploring people’s experience of traveling for work, based at the Centre for Oral History & Digital Storytelling at Concordia University.
Like many working-class communities, Point Saint-Charles, Little Burgundy and Saint-Henri have experienced the loss of industry, the closure of many large employers (Northern Electric, Atelier CN, Dominion Textiles, Redpath, Stelco), population decline and a rise in unemployment. We are interested in what these changes have meant for people living and working in these neighborhoods. How many people are now “on the move,” traveling long distances for work? What does it mean to be “local”?
We are hoping to talk to women and men, citizens and temporary foreign workers, new workers and those near retirement, people in and out of work and unemployed people: people moving in cars, trains, ships, and planes, from those working everything from service jobs, to seasonal work, to online or executive jobs.
We hope to:

  • Interview people who have the experience of traveling long distances for work
  • Learn more about work-related mobility from the perspective of neighborhood residents, old-timers and newcomers.
  • Add community voices to a growing collection of interviews of people living and working in the Sud-Ouest. Oral history interviews allow us to record the life stories of a wide range of people.

The project’s lead researcher, Steven High, has been doing oral history for the past 20 years. He is originally from a railway family in Northern Ontario and lives in Pointe St. Charles. He is the cofounder of the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling at Concordia University.
We are also part of a nation-wide research initiative, the On the Move Partnership, and hope to contribute local perspectives to conversations happening across Quebec and Canada about economic change and employment-related mobility in our communities. ­­The On the Move: Employment-Related Geographical Mobility in the Canadian Context Partnership is seeking to learn more about how this employment-related geographical mobility affects employers, workers and their families and home and host communities. It is supported by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, the Canada Foundation for Innovation, the Research and Development Corporation of Newfoundland and Labrador, Memorial University of Newfoundland (including the SafetyNet Centre for Occupational Health and Safety Research), the Atlantic Health Promotion Research Center at Dalhousie University and numerous other university community partners in Canada and elsewhere.

For more information about the Quebec component of On the Move: http://postindustrialmontreal.ca/project/move
For more information about the partnership: http://www.onthemovepartnership.ca/ (English) or http://www.onthemovepartnership.ca/?lang=fr (francais)


Concordia University