I took my harp to a party, nobody asked me to play….

….So I put the darn thing away.

That’s how I feel sometimes when I see this stuff. When I hear talk about spending potential ‘gateway’ funding on electricity infrastructure to the U.S., I just get frustrated.

What about the inland port? What about rail infrastructure? A transportation gateway is just that. Spending the money on infrastructure to make it easier for NB electricity to be used for U.S. economic development doesn’t make much sense to me.

I believe in the concept of an “Atlantic Gateway”. A Halifax columnist unearthed a quote from 200+ years ago where some Crown representative sent a memo to London saying that Atlantic Canada should be the ‘gateway’ of trade from the U.K. to her Majesty’s colonies in North America.

I think it still makes sense today. But filling potholes or putting up transmission lines is not the answer. Making sure that New Brunswick directly benefits from the ‘gateway’ is the answer.

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0 Responses to I took my harp to a party, nobody asked me to play….

  1. Kit says:

    The gateway concept is not new, in fact the transportation aspect of it was enshrined at Confederation, enacted late, maintained for about 110 years and then forgotten.

    From Wikipedia: “The British North America Act (BNA Act) of 1867 formally established an agreement calling for the construction of the Intercolonial Railway in Section 145:

    145. Inasmuch as the Provinces of Canada, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick have joined in a Declaration that the Construction of the Intercolonial Railway is essential to the Consolidation of the Union of British North America, and to the Assent thereto of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, and have consequently agreed that Provision should be made for its immediate Construction by the Government of Canada; Therefore, in order to give effect to that Agreement, it shall be the Duty of the Government and Parliament of Canada to provide for the commencement, within Six Months after the Union, of a Railway connecting the River St. Lawrence with the City of Halifax in Nova Scotia, and for the Construction thereof without Intermission, and the Completion thereof with all practicable Speed.”

    Funny how we always seem to reinvent the wheel… And I don’t believe confederation said anything about fast tracking resources south of the border.
    All this to say I agree with your assessment.

  2. David Campbell says:

    That’s a great piece of research. The strategy of making the Maritimes the ‘gateway’ for inter-Canadian trade would have been a good strategy until the Feds put piles of cash into making the Port of Montreal the main (by far) eastern Canadian port and cutting the Maritimes almost completely off. Then they bulked up the transportation subsidies for this region’s coal to be shipped more cheaply to central Canada. Then they didn’t need that coal any more and they jettisoned the subsidies. And here we are. Ouch. That’s way too much history (and a bit of interpretation/revisionism on my part).

  3. NB taxpayer says:

    The strategy of making the Maritimes the ‘gateway’ for inter-Canadian trade would have been a good strategy until the Feds put piles of cash into making the Port of Montreal the main (by far) eastern Canadian port and cutting the Maritimes almost completely off.

    True. Although, this could have helped to reverse our fortunes. lol

    This satement puts regionalization into perspective: “Word from Ottawa is that Opposition co-Leader Belinda Stronach is outraged at the transfer of so much of Ontario’s funding for the proposed mega-province, mega-city and mega-projects, including the Tidnish-Minas Canal and Northumberland Tidal Power, at a time of national crisis given Alberta’s default announced by Prime Minister Harper of that province from Calgary this month as well as the on-going negotiations with the national government of Quebec.”

  4. Kit says:

    nb taxpayer.
    Thats great. It has to be a parody.
    because if it isn’t, then its nothing new. There have been three previous mega-project concepts for crossing the Isthmus at Chignecto.

    From Wikipedia:
    ” [1] In the 1880s a railway line was built from Sackville across the isthmus to Port Elgin and on to Cape Tormentine which played host to an iceboat service and in 1917 a ferry service to Prince Edward Island was established to connect with the Prince Edward Island Railway.

    [2] The isthmus also saw one of Canada’s earliest mega-projects in the 1880s when a broad gauge railway was built from the port of Amherst to the Northumberland Strait at Tidnish for carrying small cargo and passenger ships. This ship railway was never successfully operational and construction was abandoned shortly before completion. [The stone entrance to this can still be found a Amherst NS] and;

    [3] In the 1950s, while construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway was underway, a group of industrialists and politicians from the Maritimes called for a Chignecto Canal to be built as a shortcut for ocean-going ships travelling between Saint John and U.S. ports to the Great Lakes to avoid travelling around Nova Scotia. The project never progressed beyond the survey stage.”

    Nothing new here – and it will never happen. But the idea of a new mega city, central to all three of the Maritime provinces is hilarious. I thought that was Moncton’s job!