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Posts Tagged ‘Canada balkanization’

Which Canada?

May 18th, 2020 1 comment

source: https://www.msn.com/en-ca/news/politics/conoravirus-shows-why-canada-must-reduce-its-dependence-on-the-u-s/ar-BB13zNuL?ocid=msedgdhp

The opinions expressed in the linked article are prime examples of the illogical thought that has influenced and dominated Canadian foreign and domestic policy.  The underlying premise is that there are actually policies that benefit Canadians collectively.  While this makes sense in a chest beating nationalistic way, the reality is that Canadian policies have seldom been cohesive for the nation as a whole.

There have always been schisms among the dominant regions of Canada and as a result, national policies are formed less to benefit the nation as they are to benefit political constituents.  Ontario has often been at odds with Western Canada, especially Alberta,  while Quebec has always been at odds with everyone else.  In the background are the demands of the First Nations, whose claims, rights and entitlements are perpetually in dispute.

Any pretext of implementing trade policies that “benefit Canadians” should at minimum address who in Canada they actually purport to benefit.  I can think of many examples of regionalism versus nationalism but a recent National Post article illustrates this in the most comical yet painful way.  Irving Oil, is obliged to use the circuitous route presented in the map below in order to deliver their crude oil to their refineries on the east coast of Canada.

Not the direct, as the crow flies route across the country, but by tankers through different nations and two oceans, risking all kinds of catastrophe on the high seas in order to placate the environmental and economic interests of Ontario and Quebec who disallow any pipeline through their provinces.  Only virtue signalling nutters can think that this route of transport could be less harmful than to run a pipeline across the country by land.

That companies have to resort to these kinds of looney tunes machinations in order to survive is a repudiation of the notion that there is such a thing as cohesive national policies.

The balkanization of Canada into small yet powerful constituencies has made the nation a limping player on the world economic stage. And we’re not just talking about regional differences.  As we know, such examples of bizarre Government policies can result from the organized  vocal outcry of any well funded group, from environmentalists, feminists, language advocates, native groups and as we’ve seen recently, medical alarmists.  Canada has become a nation so seemingly obsessed with doing the right thing….that they don’t do anything! All kinds of commerce have ground to a halt if there is any chance of them offending the sensibilities of some vocal group over some populist issue, real or imagined.  The historic drivers of national wealth, resources, have been marginalized as economic engines even as domestic debt continues to increase.

The Canadian Pacific rail line, the very backbone of Canada’s birth, could not be built today if the discomfort of a few moose and beavers were considered insurmountable issues in the day.

Despite the entreaties of the article’s author, the United States will likely always be Canada’s largest and most influential trade partner, if for no other reason than because they are geographic neighbors just across the figurative fence. He can fantasize about trade relations with other nations, but to not continue to foster good trade relations with the US is as illogical as the shipping route taken by the Irving Oil Company.  It’s a nationalistic fantasy that cannot be supported in the real world.

Rather than engage in the self absorption which has pushed Canada into a state of economic stupor, the nation needs to encourage people of vision to forward the interests of the nation as a whole and not just to manage the plaintiff ephemeral bleats of the influential few. Canada desperately needs leaders to look into the future, not at their navels.