Setting your priorities

Nova Scotia Premier Rodney MacDonald visited Prime Minister Stephen Harper on Tuesday and asked him for $400 million for an Atlantic Gateway to Asia from Halifax and the Strait of Canso.

Last week in Vancouver, Mr. Harper announced $321 million for ports and highways in British Columbia to take advantage of surging trade from China to North America.

Halifax and the Strait of Canso are the closest North American ports for ships coming from Asia through the Suez Canal — in particular container ships that are too large for the Panama Canal. The province is pushing for Ottawa to invest in Nova Scotia port facilities and highways as it has done in B.C.

Now, here is the question for the Premier. Two weeks ago he launched a PR campaign to push for more Equalization. B.C. did not. Does the Premier of Nova Scotia want hundreds of millions more in Equalization or hundreds of millions for ports and highways? What if he had to choose?

I much prefer asking the Feds to support growth-oriented economic development infastructure than more Equalization. But I think the Feds – particularly Stephen Harper – will be unlike to dole out the big bucks for increased Equalization and for the port facilities.

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0 Responses to Setting your priorities

  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought it was 600 million for BC ports?

  2. scott says:

    Early bird gets the worm, David. Like us [NB], Nova Scotia has lost focus and is now stearing their ship back towards the iceberg. This is too bad, especially after seeing small signs of positive economic development there.

    Premier MacDonald should realize that “he who begs timidly courts a refusal.” Maybe next time he’ll show up to the negotiating table with a better plan.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What would that plan look like? Clearly this is simply a case of, dare I say, racism. Any other area of the world and this type of practically forced relocation would be called genocide. When one area gets such an obvious boost, and another gets the shaft, clearly something insidious is at work. Maybe someday there were be proportional representation and an Atlantic Party will hold the balance of power. THEN the goodies will flow!

  4. scott says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but drawing EI and lacking competitiveness isn’t a race. It’s an unfortunate economic circumstance.

  5. MonctonLandlord says:

    Why doesn’t NS ask BC to buy it (merge provinces) then this would be exciting politics to follow.

    One province to own both sides and all sea ports, nice.

    Even NB would benefit from the increase in commercial activity.

    Well, this dramatic example is exactly what is needed “over here”. Who will lead in the Time for Change!

  6. Anonymous says:

    I’d really love Scott to go around to acadian populations spouting that gospel-hey, you aren’t a race, you’re just on pogey and not competitive. It would be the last time we’d hear from him I think.

    Again, how ‘competitive’ is getting half a billion from the feds for ports? How competitive is the feds bankrolling auto production in Ontario or Pharmaceuticals in Quebec, or research in Saskatchewan?

    “Competetiveness” has nothing to do with it. At least a maritimer knows when they are getting the shaft and doesn’t blame his butt! There’s a reason Ottawa is as popular in Saint John as it is in Calgary.