The Alternate View of Atlantica
While pundits keep arguing about the need to 'return to the past' to
solve the maritimes problems, there are many issues they are
outright lying about.
First, there is little attention to the fact that it was the US
cancelled free trade in the 19th century. Currently, they do not talk
cancelling NAFTA, mostly because they need our oil, but also because it
seems that any time they simply ignore NAFTA, Canada will capitulate to
their needs. This has been shown with the dangerous addition of MMT to
gasoline, softwood, as well as the beef industry. However, the US is
finicky trader, so attempting to put 'all the eggs in one basket' is a
dangerous precedent-especially when there is an alternative.
Second, and more importantly, the main reason for the existence of
'Atlantica' is the oft repeated mantra that confederation created an
'unnatural' east-west trade regime to replace the previous north-south
trading routes. This is a complete fabrication, in fact, reality is
completely the opposite. It was freight rates which meant
manufacturing within the five hour stretch between Montreal and
was also blatant war profiteering that had Canada's Minister of
the american CD Howe, close down manufacturing throughout Canada's
hinterland, in favour of purchasing from the US during the second world
Currently, according to statistics canada, 90% of New Brunswick's
is with the US, NOT with Canada. That seems to be a very odd 'east
However, there IS an alternative, namely, the one people have been
discussing for decades, and that is the interprovincial trade barriers.
Currently, it is far easier to trade with the US than it is with
canada in many respects. Contrary to popular belief, the main
transportation structure which AIMS is espousing is NOT 'north south'.
is simply a more efficient route to central canada. Business has often
complained about Quebec's lack of interest in improving highways in
in particular the road from the New Brunswick border to Riviere Du
However, the issue rarely gets serious attention.
Mulroney's closing down of Moncton as a CN Rail hub didn't help
but that was one of the final nails in the coffin for rail
the maritimes to central canada. Now, the claim is being made that a
rail should be set up, one that skirts northern New Brunswick entirely.
odd thing is that AIMS claims that this will in fact HELP northern
Now that the Trans Canada has almost been twinned all the way
the province, AIMS comes along and claims that it is no longer
is far more 'efficient' to create AIMS and try to get the americans to
a super highway that will let industry transport avoid those aspects of
Atlantica where there is no market-no wonder they also want labour
So once again this is the same old thing we've heard so many
before. How corporations can get goods through the area while paying
little as possible. It's ironic that the main proponents of Atlantica
staunchly keen on the idea so as to 'avoid the culture of dependance on
Ottawa', while their first recommendations are to build up
ports-all to be paid for by Ottawa.
The alternative referred to above, is to emphasize the 'natural
corridors' which exist in Canada. 'Natural' because they all exist
one country. Ontario does little trade with the maritimes, yet all
provinces have energy structure problems to deal with, yet each does it
isolation. Ontario incentives in the maritimes could have wind power
along the coasts, with excess energy going to Ontario. Likewise, food
issues are becoming an issue due to the massive increase in pollution
energy caused by lengthy transit. While southern ontario hasn't the
area for such crops, the maritimes certainly does.
Ontarians have an vested interest in such inter provincial trade.
Unlike the US, equalization means that they have to pay to keep less
successful provinces up to standards. There are also interpersonal
interests, as there are huge numbers of maritimers living in Ontario
across Canada with family 'down home'.
These issues haven't even been addressed, primarily because
have bought into the 'north south' trade routes. Transport
can come in many guises, rebuilding national rail links, high speed
doubling rails, improving highways, and making interprovincial trade
priorities. This leaves Canada less at the whim of US trade
is also the most constructive way of nation building. AIMS and their
partners talk about spending massive amounts of money in 'lobbying' to
redress in the states, if that money were instead used to create
inter-canadian trade and knowledge, perhaps so many people wouldn't be
fearing for Canada's sovereignty.
Friday, June 09, 2006
The Alternate View of Atlantica!!!
The Alternate View of Atlantica