Friday, June 16, 2006

Sinking Atlantica

The “Reaching Atlantica: Business Without Borders” conference just wrapped up last weekend. It's an Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce proposal to expand economic and political links between the Maritimes and the Northeastern US, and it kind of makes sense when you look at the map, doesn't it? Atlantic Canada plus Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, New York state and part of northern Massachusetts.
In fact the front page of the Atlantica website states :
"After the Americans rejected Reciprocity and Confederation was born, the continent was divided into two national 1867."
If this sounds like an unusual reading of history to Canadian ears, it may be because the VP soon-to-be-President of the Atlantic Provinces Chamber of Commerce is an American and the CEO of Eastern Maine Development Corp.
And while there are many alarming references to minimum wage legislation, size of public employee workforce and “union density” as barriers to “Labour Market Flexibility” and “Public Sector Efficiency”, it is in the Atlantica Media pages that they really get down to it :
"If the vision of Atlantica could be realized, it would be a wonderful facilitator toward restoring Atlantic Canada's heritage as a thriving centre of international trade, but even better would be to integrate all of Canada and the U.S. inside one big continental economic and security zone, which would also eliminate the looming problem of American passport controls at the border which former Ambassador to the U.S. Frank McKenna estimated as potentially causing a reduction of up to 7.7 million visitors to Canada, and losses of nearly $2 billion annually - mainly from the tourism industry.
The ideal solution would be a European Union-style "perimeter" that would allow Canada and the U.S. to jointly manage common external border entry points while largely dismantling internal border restrictions. Last year, an independent task force sponsored by the U.S. Council on Foreign Relations, of which former Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Affairs Minister John Manley is a co-chair, recommended that Canada, the United States and Mexico become a single trading zone. This is so logical that it should be a no-brainer, but resistance from the above-mentioned "usual suspects" is of course a given."

I'm sorry, who were those usual suspects you mentioned again?
Ah yes, here it is :"the usual suspects - unions, rabid ultranationalists like the Council of Canadians, radical feminists, and other fellow-traveling leftist flat-earthers"
Dear Atlantica : While your proposal is generally well researched and adequately reasoned, in your list of usual suspects you refer to "fellow-travelling leftist flat-earthers" when the more usual designation of "godless tree-hugging Commie fags" would be more consistent with the rest of your material.

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