For me, reading Donald Savoie is a bit like listening to Diana Krall. When I hear Krall with that throaty, entrancing voice I get tingles. When I read Savoie talking about regional development, ditto.
His piece in today’s G&M has some salient stuff:
Recent developments only confirm what Atlantic Canada has long believed. National economic policies and programs cannot possibly apply in a country as large and diverse as Canada. Some countries do have genuine national economies, but Canada has a collection of regional economies that are different from one another in both important and unimportant ways. Atlantic Canadians, more than anyone, have paid a heavy price for Ottawa’s attempt to define a national economy and for the policies that sprang from it.
That is sweet nectar from the vine. What Dennis Miller calls the soup bone quote. Savoie seems to be a bit of an optimist (considering he is the master chronicler of 140 years of Maritime Canada’s economic underperformance):
But there is now a promise that things can be different. For the first time, Canada has a symmetrical approach to regional policy and a growing recognition that our national economy is, in fact, a collection of distinct regional economies. Regional perspectives can now be viewed as being on an equal footing in Ottawa, at least from an analytical and administrative perspective. It is hoped that measures will now be defined to promote the economic potential of Canada’s regions, rather than to combat regional disparities.