Pacific, Continental, Atlantic – everyone wants to be a ‘Gateway’ these days

I wonder if Maude Barlow will be organizing mass protests and stirring up confusion about this initiative or does she just like picking on the poor and the down trodden?

Ontario and Quebec with the Feds are partnering to develop a ‘gateway trade corridor’ with the United States.

The Canadian government already put $600 million in the Pacific Gateway initiative which is designed to facilitate more trade between the west and the U.S.

Poor old Atl. Canada has an ‘Atlantic Gateway’ concept that has been peddled for quite some time and so far to no avail.

But, lack of political power notwithstanding, one would think if the Feds are dumping money into a ‘Pacific Gateway’ and a ‘Continential Gateway’, maybe funding an ‘Atlantic Gateway’ may be in the cards.

Then again, the Feds spend what today would be billions to divert cargo from going through Atlantic Canada with its investments in the St. Lawrence Seaway and all the ports along that stretch of water.

One could make the case that the Federal government paying to divert trade from Atlantic Canada may have contributed to the region’s economic decline (others have, I won’t get into that debate). So maybe they will continue to fund Pacific and Continental Gateways, and tell Atl. Canada to take its Equalization and shutup.

All maybes.

Anyway, back to Maude. I suspect she won’t be complaining much about the Pacific and Continental efforts to better integrate those economies with the U.S. Oh, they will probably issue a press release. But it’s far easier to pick on Atlantica – the devious initiative to better ‘integrate’ the economies of Atlantic Canada with the U.S. Northeastern states.

Basically, that’s sickening.

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0 Responses to Pacific, Continental, Atlantic – everyone wants to be a ‘Gateway’ these days

  1. NB taxpayer says:

    Any gateway funded by the feds requires a significant amount of industry, people — and most importantly — politicians along its outskirts.

    Unfortunately, for us, all we have is a few Timmys and Irving Mainways that keep ppl from falling asleep at the wheel while they drive by the hinterland know as the Atlantic provinces. Some gateway that is. 😉

    On a more serious note, you are correct about the inequity which exist when it comes to funding gateways in Canada. However, you could argue that PM Harper has increased the amount of money collected from gas taxes back into roadway spending, bridge construction and repair. I see it’s happening here. But obviously that’s does not address all the infrastructure needs to fund the gateway.

  2. mikel says:

    You are forgetting that federal funding is much different than it used to be. Federal dollars used to match up with provincial and municipal dollars, but now they go to private investment. That ‘big money’ that went to BC was still only a small percentage of the private investment in Prince Rupert (remember, PR is the first all private port in canada).

    So in Halifax there was SOME federal money that matched the private investment there. It wasn’t as big as BC becuase the private investment wasn’t as big as BC. Why do you think AIMS, the free market boys, wants the government to build up Halifax-because private investment ignores it.

    But there have been no conferences for other gateways. However, there’s lots of complaints about NAFTA and the SPP. So lets be fair, how many times have you talked about poor old Maude or the conservation council…even blamed them. Talk about kicking puppies. These people have zero political clout. Yet how often do we hear about the insane rantings of AIMS? You are media now, ya might want to look carefully at the plank in your eye before throwing stones!

    Finally, as mentioned above, federal dollars have come to New Brunswick for ‘atlantica’. NB is the ‘gateway’ meaning ‘the highway’, and as we know, NB added 300 million to the debt along with 200 million from the fed just for highways. PEI invested their federal dollars in other projects like their industrial parks, etc.

    Once again, you can’t blame the feds for NB’s choices. Apart from highways, and Saint John as an energy hub, have you ever heard anything relating to NB in Atlantica?

  3. David Campbell says:

    Kicking puppies? Come on. Maude’s a lot of things but a cute, cuddly puppy?

    Mikel, when you get a few free hours, go back through my blog and search on AIMS. I have been, and continue to be, critical of anyone advocating an extreme ideological position when what we need is a solutions oriented approach. And, while you put so much stock in the great, evil corporations of Atl. Canada, how come they haven’t been able to pull us out of the economic doldrums? I think many of the region’s large corporations are hardly poster boys for supportive economic development. Extend this out nationally. How come Halifax has more luck attracting Bermuda financial back offices than the back offices of major Canadian banks? Last time I checked, I wasn’t on the Atl. Chamber of Commerce or AIMS’ Christmas card list. Come to think of it, I haven’t got one from Maude recently either….

  4. mikel says:

    Depends on who you ask. She is for an awful lot of canadians who send their hard earned money for the CofC to do what they do. How many ‘average canadians’ do you know send cheques to AIMS?

    However, that’s an interesting point…’the corporations that exist in New Brusnwick do a bad job at economic development, so we need more of them’.

    Companies do not ‘do’ economic development, they employ people to stay in business. If they are smart, they operate whatever way effects their bottom line.

    You don’t have a search feature, but I read your blog just about every day, and I can’t even remember a single mention of AIMS unless a commentor brought them up. And Charles Cirtwill and Brian Crowley certainly haven’t been specifically brought up to be painted with such derogatory slights as Maude has or the CCNB, even though AIMS is usually the first group the papers go to for reactions on economic development stories (such as the privatizing health issue).

    And thats even though their policies are quite directly stated to be counter to your ‘ideology’. Meanwhile CCNB and CofC say virtually the SAME things about economic development as you do (at least the effects of it).

    When the Irish development story came out there was a blog that made the mention that something odd was going on because the Irving media was being really critical about natural resources when they virtually never make a peep. The ‘irving connection’ was never even mentioned again, except by many commentors who claimed Irving had nothing to do with it, even though it was in their leasehold. When it was quashed it was specifically blamed on the CCNB (and we don’t need to have that conversation again)

    As for the ‘why’ about Nova Scotia and investment firms, we can note that NONE of these investments have ANYTHING to do with ‘atlantica’ or any kind of gateway. Just like aerospace investment in PEI has nothing to do with a gateway. In Nova Scotia I think we’ve got at least a fairly good handle on it, you’ve mentioned before about the use of payroll taxes as an investment strategy, something the NB government is now ‘mulling over’.

    The article I posted on the RIM deal in Nova Scotia also says it all. So the ‘why’ isn’t that hard to find, or at least reasonably conjecture.

    Keep in mind that you’ve got your own ideology, namely foreign direct investment. ‘Solutions’ certainly don’t NEED to be FDI, although they can be.

    The refinery will obviously add a fair bit to Saint John’s economy by employing people. Same for potash. There’s no question about that. That’s not the question. There is nothing ‘evil’ about Irving wanting a refinery, and there’s nothing ‘evil’ about a government sitting back and saying ‘well, here’s an actual investment we don’t even have to go looking for for blue collar workers (the hardest to find good jobs for).

    There’s also nothing ‘evil’ about Irving being quite happy with that policy, and making it known that they’d prefer to keep it that way. As we’ve mentioned numerous times, Fatkat animation NOW employs more than one tenth what a fully operational refinery will employ, and thats with no subsidies and no negative effects on the environment.

    A few more projects like that and people would seriously wonder why they need to add massive levels of pollutants to an already polluted city.

    So to bring out my favourite example, a television station in NB like TVO would instantly create dozens of Fatkats, and with even one international sale of a domestically produced show would recoup a large percentage of its investment. Keep in mind that that model is virtually identical to the creation of a second nuclear facility: Massive government investment tailored for a foreign market with some benefit in NB.

    The difference is that the nuclear industry has a powerful lobby.

  5. David Campbell says:

    Couple of quick points:

    1. Companies do “do economic development”. They are economic development. If Bombardier decides to put new facilities in upstate New York, Florida, Northern Ireland and not New Brunswick (despite the billions in federal government dough), that has an economic development impact. Same goes for local firms. I am not suggesting that firms have as their primary interest economic development, but that wasn’t my point.

    2. As for AIMS. Here are a few posts:

    My comment on government job creation and thoughts on AIMS’ response

    I complain that AIMS’ lauds NB’s fiscal performance

    AIMS’ using the Irish model to push their ideology

    I complain about Brian Crowley’s rigid ideology

    The blog’s title is “beware the ideologues” do the math

    In fact, I have mentioned AIMS in a less than positive light 15 times in my blogging history. This compares to Maude Barlow nine times. Admittedly my tone is a little more severe with Maude.

  6. mikel says:

    We (I) can’t see those links because they are cut off. So let’s engage in some media studies, since you are a type of media.

    15 to 9 may SEEM to indicate that, yes, AIMS ‘wins’. But look at the issues. AIMS is a maritime think tank that is constantly releasing press releases and is linked to virtually every economic or even social forum in the maritimes. Maude and the CofC gets media attention maybe once in a blue moon, if that. Its virtually NEVER contacted in media reports of ANY issue.

    thats quite a discrepancy. For an interesting study on the EFFECTS of media, somebody can research it some more, but I read this blog almost daily and also know quite a bit about AIMS AND the Council of Canadians, and I would easily posit that this blog is FAR more similar to what the C of C has been saying about economic development. That makes the above position even more puzzling, but I suspect that like most maybe you simply don’t follow what the C of C says and only hear about the occasional stuff from the media, which is usually not flattering.