Canada Is a Country, Not a Set of Provincial Fiefdoms

Winnipeg Free Press, May 28, 2013 | Go to article overview

Canada Is a Country, Not a Set of Provincial Fiefdoms


CALGARY -- Christy Clark's recent assertion British Columbia didn't need the federal government or Alberta reveals why Canada's founding fathers were concerned about provincial politicians: Thinking in isolation harms the interests of all Canadians.

The context of her remark, made during the election, was how B.C. could become an energy superpower if more natural gas was developed and delivered through pipelines, as opposed to "allowing" oil pipelines to criss-cross British Columbia more than they already do.

In particular, Clark's position on the Northern Gateway pipeline, articulated last year, is based on extracting compensation from Alberta or the federal government. (She also demanded deals with aboriginals and environmental protection but those are de rigeur these days and, thus, superfluous demands.)

Clark's pay-to-play ultimatum is silly and I say this as a temporarily exiled British Columbian. The constitution is clear resource revenues belong to the provinces. And should Ottawa begin paying off premiers to "allow" national resource development, there will be no end to diverted federal tax revenues or the impairment of national prosperity.

Then there's the risk of retaliation -- B.C.'s government might need a friendly Alberta government one day.

As Calgary Herald columnist Don Braid noted recently, courtesy of the Alberta premier's office, "50 per cent of B.C.'s growing natural gas production crosses Alberta to get to market."

Alberta's politicians could just as easily demand a cut of revenues from that interprovincial flow as B.C.'s politicians do from any proposed new oil pipeline.

What is good for the B.C. "goose" is just as easily extracted from the B.C. "gander."

When provincial politicians protect their own constitutional turf, or object to federal transfers that rob taxpayers in policy-smart provinces to subsidize policy-challenged governments in others, they are on solid ground.

But protectionist politicking undermines greater Canadian prosperity, which is why so many founding fathers opposed such provincialism.

In 1865, George Brown, the Upper Canada parliamentarian, complained a trip to Nova Scotia or New Brunswick was like visiting a foreign country, where a "customs officer meets you at the frontier, arrests your progress, and levies his imposts on your effects."

This led Brown to argue "heartily for the union, because it will throw down the barriers of trade, and give us control of a market of four million people. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Canada Is a Country, Not a Set of Provincial Fiefdoms
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.