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Friday, August 10, 2007

Canada: The Failed Experiment

At the premier’s conference in New Brunswick this week we were once again given a glimpse into the disjointed and fractured makeup of the Canadian federation. The disparities, differences and dysfunction that Canada embodies speaks volumes about the desperate need to overhaul the entire federal system or perhaps even dissolve it.

Two of the key planks in the federal government’s agenda have been the development a solid approach to environmental issues and the creation of an east / west power grid. Both concepts are lofty goals for a federation that includes thousands of miles of terrain, widely varied economies, differing cultures and diverse needs.

The reality is that Canada, as a nation is a failure. Its shear size does not allow a one size fits all formula and it never will. Regional or provincial issues and priorities rarely if ever align and the premier’s meeting this week proves the point.

The Environment:

While some provinces, especially Ontario, would like to see a hard cap on carbon emissions, resource dependent provinces like Alberta are dead set against the idea, preferring instead to see limits tied directly to production. In a nutshell one would wants a set limit on emissions while the other wants a formula based on output.

The problem with not instituting a hard cap is that it doesn’t do much for the environment. As production levels increase so do the level of pollutants and with Alberta planning to increase tar sands production by anywhere from 200% to 500% over the next few years, in an effort to meet U.S. demands, a per ton formula would simply see emissions rise dramatically with the increased output.

On the flip side of the equation, capping total emissions might improve the environment but would kill development and economic growth in the Alberta and essentially hamstring the oil industry. Simply put, if a company can only produce X emissions, when they reach that magic number they are at a stand still and can’t grow or expand.

Enter the much talked about concept of an emissions trading market, an idea some provinces support and others don’t (no surprise there). Ths market would allow companies or provinces who are below emission standards to sell some of their excess credits to higher emission producers for a profit and in doing so give those companies that have maxed out the opportunity to expand and produce more product and more pollutants, at a price.

While Ontario is in favor of the approach, since it would likely be a profitable situation allowing them to sell credits, the problem is that it will cost provinces that are dependent on resource production such as Oil.

Not every province can have depend on a manufacturing economy like the one in Ontario. Someone has to supply the raw materials such as oil and minerals the manufacturers there need and those "supplier" provinces don’t want to be penalized by having to pay extra to the very province's they are supplying.

The East / West Power Grid:

For the past few years the idea of a nation wide power grid has been talked to death but no progress has been made. Such a grid would help ensure the security and free flow of power across Canada and has been touted as the direction of the future. While places like Newfoundland and Labrador have abundant power supplies others, like Ontario, have a huge hunger for that power.

As things now stand most of the transmission lines in Canada run from North to South or from Canada to the U.S. In order for Canada to ensure its energy security and independence the federation needs to develop a link across the entire Country. The roadblock in this case is Quebec.

With Quebec already having made Billions of dollars from power produced in Labrador and with billions more continuing to roll in, the idea of a nation wide power grid is a frightening prospect.

Quebec premier Jean Charest said at a press conference this week, "There will be no talk of a federal line".

As things exist today Quebec has the potential to increase its revenues dramatically by holding the latest Newfoundland and Labrador power project, the Lower Churchill, for ransom in the same way it did the Upper Churchill.

It will do this by forcing Newfoundland and Labrador to pay for improvements to Quebec's transmission capacity and also charging a rental fee for using those lines. The other scenario for Quebec would see the province simply buy the power at a cut rate as the only available purchaser and then resell it into the market for an obscene profit. The latter approach being the technique already used today to rob Newfoundland and Labrador of its resource revenues from the Upper Churchill under a contract that will remain in effect for at least another 34 years.

The government of Quebec sees a federally controlled national grid as a threat to its ability to rape, rob and plunder the people of Newfoundland and Labrador well into the future and wants no part of such a plan.

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador is geographically cut off from the rest of Canada by Quebec and has been forced to virtually give away its power resources in the past in order to get them to an outside market. Quebec wants that reality to continue and is willing to kill the idea of a national power grid in order to make sure it does.

Newfoundland and Labrador is left to decide if it will once again give away one of its most precious resources, fund an extremely expensive sub-sea transmission line, give up on the project all together or try to find a way to attract local industry that can use the power domestically. The latter is clearly the preferred option of the general public but one the provincial government doesn’t seem enthusiastic about for some mysterious reason, but that's another topic.

In a few weeks the government of Newfoundland and Labrador is set to release it’s energy plan for the next few decades. It’s expected some insight into their plans for the Lower Churchill may be gleaned from that document but whatever happens its clear that consideration must be given to the Quebec factor.

A Failed Experiment:

Canada as a nation is a failure. You cannot manage such a diverse area by defining regulations, standards, wealth distribution, environmental policy or much of anything else from an ivory tower in Ottawa.

The best option for everyone is not for Quebec alone to separate, as they've been threatening to do for years, but for the various provinces and regions to form separate and fully autonomous states. States that can then work together, under some sort of EU like union, on mutually beneficial issues while going their own way on others.

In this way the separate states will at least be able to deal with each other as equals rather than as powerful provinces pitted against weaker ones. A situation that exists today.

With political decisions made in Ottawa and political clout centered in just a few provinces the rest of Canada is left at the mercy of the majority. Federal politicians, who live and die by the polls, will always side with the larger porivinces, Ontario, Quebec and to an increasing degree Alberta.

It’s becoming increasingly clear to Canadians from coast to coast to coast that the federation is little more than a bad marriage between incompatible partners. Staying together while sniping at each other and arguing over every little issue isn’t going to make things any better. The sooner the marriage is formally ended the better off everyone will be.

Perhaps the new Canadian buzz word shouldn't be "Soveriegnty", "Separation" or "Autonomy". Perhaps a "Divorce" might be more in order. We can always cite "irreconcilable differences" as a valid reason.

32 comments:

Wince said...

Yup, you guessed it...

FIRST!

f*ck canada said...

I've been in favour of de-confederating for years... Canuckistan is a dismal failure; it's time to admit it and move on.

Starrigan said...

Well said Myles.

I'm convinced, now we just need the rest of Canada on side.

NL-ExPatriate said...

Nice to hear someone tell it like it is for a change. Great piece keep up the good work.

A real patriot said...

So right.

When are all you guys coming home and taking whatever job is available without taking pogey?

Michael Williams said...

So you throw brokerage to the wind and surrender to parochialism?

f*ck newfoundland said...

I've been in favour of de-confederating for years... Newfistan is a dismal failure; it's time to admit it and move on. Free Labrador!!!

Anonymous said...

www.tubgirl.com

f*ck canada said...

f*ck newfoundland said...

I've been in favour of de-confederating for years... Newfistan is a dismal failure; it's time to admit it and move on. Free Labrador!!!


Awww... Somebody just learned how to copy & paste. How cute! :)

Starrigan said...

Sounds like Ottawally to me. He's just using nasty words in a pathetic attempt to hide his identity.

Anonymous said...

Maybe your hero Danny Williams will finally sucome to his separatist urges and hold a referendum.

Anonymous said...

"Canada as a nation is a failure. You cannot manage such a diverse area by defining regulations, standards, wealth distribution, environmental policy or much of anything else from an ivory tower in Ottawa."

Ummm... the gist of your article seems to suggest that Ottawa is powerless to manage all these things, so isn't your argument completely circular? It makes no sense.

john said...

The best option for everyone is not for Quebec alone to separate, as they've been threatening to do for years, but for the various provinces and regions to form separate and fully autonomous states. States that can then work together, under some sort of EU like union, on mutually beneficial issues while going their own way on others.

Dude - if they can't agree on anything as provinces, what makes you think they'd agree on anything as states? Grow a brain.

Nonosbawsut said...

You guys are really pathetic.. why don't you all go to some little shit-hole of a country where any one or all of the horsemen of the apocalypse ride and where people have real problems; there your ridiculous belly-aching about living in the best country in the world would be met with the disgust it deserves. Without Canada, NL would be the Haiti of the North Atlantic.

Anonymous said...

With Papa Dan in charge it already is the Haiti of the North Atlantic.

Starrigan said...

Hear that Nonobuttswad, NL is already the Haiti of North America. Strange that would be the case considering our vast resources. It's almost as if someone else were benefiting from them.

taxi driver said...

Do you work in Nl, starrigan?

nonosbawsut said...

ah starrigan the poor little useless fir tree, at least your name reflects your nature.. turning the noble name nonosbawsut into one of your puerile anal jokes.. the only vast resources that you and your kind (the other NL nationalist twits) have in your land of make-believe are paranoia, in-gratitude, gutlessness, and most of all stupidity

Anonymous said...

nonosbawsut what about other resources like the endlessly renewable floe of lies, myths and fabrications

Stephen said...

Dude - if they can't agree on anything as provinces, what makes you think they'd agree on anything as states? Grow a brain.

The difference is that they'd be free of the shackles that are Canada's decrepit Constitution. You grow a brain.

calvin said...

"The reality is that Canada, as a nation is a failure." - Be carefull now Myles .We dont want the truth getting out and freeing some minds do we ,Sir!!!

Starrigan said...

Nonobutswad said "the only vast resources that you and your kind (the other NL nationalist twits) have in your land of make-believe are paranoia, in-gratitude, gutlessness, and most of all stupidity"

There you have it folks right from the a$$holes' mouth. I really like the in-gratitude remark. It makes me reflect upon all of the great things Canada has done for this province like destroying our fishery, depopulating our island, not having the balls to stand up to Quebec when it comes to Labrador power, the great effort Ottawa has put in to help us develop the lower Churchill, not to mention the charming jokes and insults that are hurled at us, of course how could I forget their unwavering support for our offshore oil industry, mineral depletion .... I don't want to get too carried away by the gifts bestowed upon us by this great federation. Nonobutswad you are indeed a moron, misguided and apparently you don't have the mental capacity to absorb the facts about our place in Canada. You are a sad sad little man.

nonosbawsut said...

ah Starrigan, the poor, little useless, twisted, retarded fir tree.. how's your pogey? taking your pills like the doctors told you?

Starrigan said...

You're funny!!! Who uses retarded these days, I think the correct term is developmentally delayed. Is that the best you got? Where's the well crafted sarcasm? Can't you shine a little light upon all of the great things that Canada has done for us? No?

I thought not. Move along pee wee.

nonbawsut said...

The Dictinoary defines a Starrigan "as a young fir-tree, which is neither good for firewood nor large enough to be used for timber, hence applied with contempt to anything constructed from same"..one would say the wood was retarded in its growth and hence not of full stature.. you seem to be implying that you are developmentally delayed, I wasn't, but if you insist, I must agree that you are.. hmmm what "has Canada done for us".. look in your wallet (or purse), where did that funny-looking paper come from.. why is it one of most respected currencies in the world?? Oh I forgot it was stole from us.. I could go on and on about how NL is part of the first-world now in Canada... but you and your kind are so intently gazing at your navels (in your case probably your anus)that you don't realize there is a real world out there beyond your paranoid fantasy world

a real patriot said...

C'mon starrigan. dazzle us with your comeback.

Something like:

"Your mother wears army boots."

Or "Oh, yeah?"

When will you quit your job on the mainland and come home without drawing pogey along the way?

Starrigan said...

very nice real patriot, maybe you and homobutswad should get a room. LOL

nonbawsut said...

ah Starrigan, the poor, little useless, twisted, retarded, self-identified developmentally delayed, fir tree.. relying on your anal fixation again.. you really should come out of the closet

Starrigan said...

? who said anything about anal ? I guess you just had a little Fruedian slip??

nonosbawsut said...

ah Starrigan, the poor, little useless, twisted, retarded, self-identified developmentally delayed, anal-fixated, fir tree.. Freud would easily have connected the dots between your constant references to others as a particular part of the body and your thumbsucking.. mommie really didn't like you did she

calvin said...

"I don't want to get too carried away by the gifts bestowed upon us by this great federation. Nonobutswad you are indeed a moron, misguided and apparently you don't have the mental capacity to absorb the facts about our place in Canada. You are a sad sad little man."

August 14, 2007 8:10 PM - I would like to say ,very well said.!!!!
Canada doesnt KNOW SHIT!!!And when the few do Speak-Up ,Your Made to feel like the "Stupid NEWFIE"OH But,your Canadain.Have anyone of Us living away ever been Identified as "Hey Canuck".NAW ,Its Hey "NEWFIE GOOFIE".Chock Shit full my Son, this crowd on the mainLand!!!Myles,keep writing my man .

Anonymous said...

Fruedian slip??Or Socail Profile MaybbbbbEEEEEE???