Tracey Harvey is a PhD Candidate in the School of Environmental Design and Rural Development at the University of Guelph. Her research focuses on the impacts of cannabis legalization to historically producing rural regions of British Columbia (BC).

Tracey also teaches at Selkirk College, BC where she applies her extensive geography-rooted background to the advancement of spatial analysis using geographic information systems, since 2008.

Interested in community well-being and the power of regional action she started her PhD in 2017 by examining the transition to cannabis legalization for the case of the West Kootenay region of BC. Tracey framed legalization as an economic transition which is too familiar to rural BC and other similarly originating “industry” towns across rural Canada. So far, legalization, a federally mandated directive, is revealing substantial implications to local cannabis production and governance in rural areas of BC. Legalization is failing to address the illicit economy and an equitable rural economic transition.

Tracey is currently revising a manuscript for publication for the Journal of Canadian Studies special Issue: Critical Perspectives on Cannabis in Canada. Reviewers have described Tracey’s article as “original” and “timely” for how it addresses a unique and important part of Canadian politics and economy. A double-blind reviewer said: “I think articles like this have an important role not just in extending academic debates but can be important interventions in rapidly developing policy questions in Canada and globally. I offer the preceding notes in that spirit—that this can be the kind of well-defended intervention we need!”

Tracey is in the midst of completing a Mitacs Accelerate Internship supported by Community Futures Central Kootenay. She is also a mom to three young children living in the West Kootenays. More information about Tracey’s PhD project can be found here.