Textbook Notes (362,932)
Canada (158,106)
POLS 1400 (127)
Nanita Mohan (102)
Chapter 3

POLS 1400 Chapter 3

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University of Guelph
Political Science
POLS 1400
Nanita Mohan

POLS*1400: Chapter 3- Regionalism - Alberta was enraged at the 1980 National Energy Program and “western alienation” which affected the whole western region of Canada - Atlantic groundfish industry collapsed in the 1990’s and the softwood lumber dispute with the U.S. almost crippled the forestry industry, especially in British Columbia - Newfoundland, Labrador, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan fought to remove petroleum revenues from the calculation of equalization payments - Ontario argued that its residents paid $23 billion more in federal taxes every year than they got back from Ottawa, and a widespread sentiment exists in other regions that the federal government favours Quebec because of the threat of separation THEORETICAL CONSIDERATIONS - one way of treating regionalism in Canada would be to equate regions with provinces and territories - in discussing the question of regionalism, the 1979 Task Force on Canada Unity had this to say: o Regional communitites require an institutional framework if they are to become viable units which can express themselves and organize their collective life in an effective manner o For that reason, it seems to us that the provinces and the norther territoties are the basic building blocks of Canadian society and the logical units on which to focusa discussion of Canadaian regionalism, even though they may not be the most “natural regions from an economic point of view. - To define regionalism in terms of such formal political-institutional boundaries would link it very closely to the question of federalism o creation of provinces and territories have two primary effects regarding regional demands o if region was identified as a political unit, the unit could become a persuasive transmitter for regional demands to Ottawa o harder to ignore when it comes from a provincial or territorial premier o on the other hand, provinces and territories are able to facilitate the decision making process by handling local problems that are not controversial at the provincial/territorial level byt that would cause great difficulty in Ottawa - Defining regionalism through an environmental or geographic approach o Regions would be defined by their similarities of physical features, and separated from other regions by prominent topographical barriers o Such a physical approach requires a discussion about economic differences o Often implies that a common environment leads to common political, social, and cultural characteristics - A fourth approach of defining regionalism comes from the “dependency theory” o Emphasizes the relationship between different spatial entities, some dependent on others o In Canada, this generally relates to the dominance of central Canada over the outlying regions, and is often referred to in terms of the core and the hinterland or periphery, or the “metropolitan-hinterland” thesis o Approach focuses on the relations between the political and economic power of the centre and the underdeveloped periphery - Principle regions: Ontario, Quebec, the Prairies, the Atlantic region, British Columbia and the North o These provinces were granted considerable power by the Constitution, but even in institutional terms, not every province is thought of as a region o Ontario and Quebec qualify as separate regions because of their size and provincial status- seem to constitute a single central dominant core GEOGRAPHY Physiographic Regions - Canada is second largest country in the world o A lot of the provinces are closer to states in the U.S. than to other provinces in Canada  Such distances aided in the creation of the provinces and territories in the first place  Distances have also had a crucial influence on the Canadian political system, generating feelings of regionalism, alienation, and regional economic demands - Distance problem is immensely complicated by divisions caused by physical barriers o The vast territory is divided into five main regions by natural barriers running in a north-south direction o Often simpler to travel southward to the U.S. thatn to cress the barriers into another part of Canada o Central historical role of the St. Lawrence River and the Great Lakes has often been noted o After this natural east-west flow was enhanced by the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway, ships were able to halfway across the country, a fact that improves Canada’s capacity to engage in International Trade o Transportation and Communication Systems - railways were the stuff of Canadian politics through the 19 and early 20 th centuries - formed a crucial part of the Confederation settlement of the 1860’s and 1870’s - John A. Macdonald brought the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) to completion in 1865, four years behind schedule - CPR was a private company, but received enormous gov’t assistance in the form of cash, and land grants that became prime real estate later on in the center of many Canadian cities - Due to lack of competition (monopoly clause), CPR was allowed to charge high rates, and freight rates have been a constant complaint of Western Canadians since the day CPR was completed - Canadian National (CN) system- created in 1919-23 period o Seen as not only a service to isolated parts of the country, but also a benefit to bankrupt capitalist intersts - VIA rail was created in 1977-78 o When both CP and CN wanted the passenger side of the business - In 1949, the federal gov’t signed the Trans-Canada Highway agreement with the provinces under which Ottawa paid half the cost of brining a transcontinental highway up to a national standard, and was eventually completed in 1962 - PEI gained a “fixed link” to the mainland with the construction of the Confederation Bridge to replace the ferry service - People soon wanted a nationwide airline service to hold people and cargo, due to the long distances involved o in 1937 C.D. Howe created the Trans-Canada Airlines (now Air Canada) in 1937 as a Crown Corporation o Air Canada was later one of the Mulroney gov’ts first candidates for privatization o Official thinking in the late 1980’s was that the country was now well served by a variety of private carriers, and that the gov’t airline no longer served a public policy purpose o Federal gov’t substantially evacuated the transportation industry, a field in which it was historically very active MAJOR TRANSPORTATION AND COMMUNCATIONS LINKS AND AGENCIES - Canadian Pacific - Canadian National - VIA Rail - Trans-Canada Highway - Trans-Canada Airlines/Air Canada - Trans-Canada Pipeline - Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) - Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) - Telesat - Teleglobe - Transportation presents special challenges in the North o Roads and railways were virtually nonexistent there until Diefenbaker gov’t sponsored its “Roads to Resources” program, and the Yellowknife region of the Northwest Territories became linked to Edmonton - As far as communications are concerned, telegraph, telephone, radio, and television usually developed first in the private sector o Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC)  in most of these sectors, demands also arose for public ownership such as in the Prairie Provinces’ telephone systems - The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) o Created in 1932 in response to pressure for more Canadian content and more enlightened radio programming than was usually provided on local private stations, many of which carried U.S. programs o Became operational in English and French with its own stations, as well as affiliated with private stations Population Distribution - distribution of population is another complication that characterizes Canada, for the people who are not spread uniformly throughout the giant territory - commonly emphasized that the overall density of the Canadian population is one of the lowest in the world - In the 1990’s Quebec came closer than ever before to separating from the rest of Canada - If they were to leave, they would take with it almost one-quarter of the Canadian population, about 16% of the territory, and 21 percent of the Canadian gross domestic product ECONOMY - regional economic differences begin with primary industries- that is the natural resource and energy base of the various provinces and territories - importance of natural resources to the national economy has been a central tenet of Canadian political economy for generations; it is usually termed the staples theory- is identified with the famous economic historian Harold Innis o it postulates that Canadian economic development has relied on a succession of resource exports, (staples), -furs, fish, timber, wheat, minerals, and energy- rather than on manufacturing o Also includes the notions of dependence, such as of interregional exploitation, especially in the relationship between i
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