Reaching our ‘potential’

Stephen Harper was coy on his ‘plans’ for Atlantic Canada other than a few specifics around the military and not trashing ACOA. He did mention on numerous ocassions that the federal government needs to help Atl. Can reach its ‘full potential’ whatever that may be.

Now once Harper is through instituting marshall law, rolling back ‘basic human rights’ to the ‘1500s’ and bringing us into the US fold, he can take some time for Atl. Canada (don’t you love election time invective? but I digress).

Given he has a tenuous minority government, my suspicion is that Atl. Canada won’t even be on the radar – bigger fish to fry and all that rot.

But if it finds its way in, I hope they take five minutes to understand the role of capital to economic development. Five minutes to realize that the global investment flow has bypassed Atlantic Canada for the better part of the last 100 years. Five minutes to understand the underlying reasons for that (well, that might take 10) such as cutting off Atl. Canada from trade with the billions invested in the St. Lawrence Seaway or the slow erosion of financial decision making from Atl. Canada to Central Canada or the fact that the national government played a highly proactive role in the stimulation of an auto sector in Ontario, an aerospace sector in Quebec, an IT sector in Greater Ottawa, an agrifood sector in western Canada, a dense immigration in BC, etc. etc. etc. while you have to look long and hard to find any proactive sector development in Atl. Canada (with the exception of the seed money for the offshore sector in NL).

If they take this five minute look, they may conclude as I have that we need to grow up a few new industries to replace the ones that are dying. We need to grow up new industries to fund our ever expanding social programs. We need to grow up new industries to limit our vast reliance on the Equalization system.

We can’t let Atl. Canada slowly erode away while the citizens continue to expect more and more social spending. It is a recipe for collapse.

Welcome to Atl. Canada, PM Harper.