In many ways Canada is itself a mini-Europe; we are very large with diverse regions with their own needs and economic problems. Creating policy which benefits every single region must be tricky, of this I have no doubt. This is part of the reason that I believe inter-provincial trade should be at the top of our trade and economic growth strategy.
Canada itself needs to be economically sustainable, we don't trade within our own country nearly as much as we should be. In this manner we differ from the European union, the European's greatest benefit from the Euro is the universal trade between closely knit neighbors. We have the potential to have this same advantage - diverse smaller economies supporting each other - if only we'd step back and look at what we have right here within our own borders.
We don't need to surrender our economic and political control to a centralized authority as Europe has had to do to achieve the same thing. We have it right here, in our own backyard!
What's frustrating for me is that as the economies we're focusing on refocus on domestic demand and needs, we're not taking the hint that this might be for specific reasons. The roles are reversing, we're looking to service them and they're looking to buy us. This is what a global power shift looks like, not spectacular from the inside but I think in the future the events happening today will be quite important in describing the rise of the next empires. These periods of major power shift don't come around very often and you should all feel honored to be a part of it. It should unify us, not divide us. All of us, east and west, any race and of any age have a common problem to deal with: the decline and fall of the American Empire.
The "free trade" dealings with other nations should be cautiously observed. This is not a 'happy time' and these nations for the most part are not 'nice nations'. Harper is most certainly responding to this shift in power, but I don't believe the end results will be in our benefit. This is all just-in-time economic decision making, but plans take time and money to implement and the rate of decline in the U.S. is startling.
What decline? you might be asking. The markets are up! and yada yada. It's all about easing, easing and easing. It just goes on and on, the easing, at the cost of the future, along with wonderful "free market" inventions like the Plunge Protection Team are not allowing the markets to crash. They will though, already the IMF is having trouble securing funds as nations rethink the intelligence of pouring resources into a leaky feudalist bucket. Not that it matters, they're mostly fake anyway.
Competition is usually good, but so is cooperation. Our provinces need to stop being so petty about their economic differences and instead work together to create the economic independence Canada seeks. More "free trade" will not protect us from the global economic storm that's brewing once again, it will increase our exposure to it. This isn't about being protectionist, this is about our Country looking out for our citizens. Alberta, Ontario and Quebec should have no problems helping each other out, providing what they can to get Canada's overall economic health on track as we'll only ever be as strong as our weakest link.
Some of our provinces are seriously hurting, Ontario got another credit downgrade today, Quebec is already dealing with mass protest and riots. Will we stand as a country? or fall as a business?
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Richard Fantin is a self-taught software developer who has mostly throughout his career focused on financial applications and high frequency trading.