A strange bit of news I found on the internet today. Thought it was a “This is That” sort of deal…but it’s actually real apparently.
Source: Chronicle Herald
OTTAWA — A group of senators is proposing a full-on merger of Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island into one large province.
Sen. Stephen Greene of Nova Scotia will unveil his plans for Maritime union in a Sunday speech to the Halifax West Conservative riding association’s annual general meeting.
Sen. Mike Duffy of P.E.I. and Sen. John Wallace of New Brunswick also support the concept. All three are Conservatives.
The senators warn that the Maritimes’ current course is unsustainable, and the provinces are sleepwalking toward economic ruin if they don’t make major changes.
The senators say a united province of 1.8 million people would have more purchasing power and a unified position on energy and transportation issues. And Maritime union would erase interprovincial trade barriers.
“My support for this is based on the fact that the status quo is untenable,” Duffy said.
“We have to find a way to be more efficient, and putting up, or allowing to stand, these old barriers to interprovincial trade is not sustainable.”
Duffy said an actual merger of provinces could be 50 years down the road, but any moves in that direction now would be positive.
Wallace said a new Maritime province with more people than Saskatchewan or Manitoba would have more clout. He said the three provinces could merge and still maintain their identities as individual regions.
Wallace, 63, said the opportunities that existed when he graduated from university are not there today, and demographic trends will spell even more trouble for the Maritimes.
He said a combined entity would attract more investment and more immigration to turn things around.
“The approach that we take in the Maritimes, I believe it’s a fractionalized approach,” Wallace said. “We are not coming together to combine all of the positive attributes we have in the Maritime provinces.”
Maritime premiers are far from sold on the idea of a merger. Darrell Dexter in Nova Scotia and Robert Ghiz in P.E.I. are opposed to it, and staff for New Brunswick’s David Alward said it is not on his agenda right now.
“It’s not realistic,” Dexter said.
“No province is going to willingly give up its jurisdictional integrity. That’s why I think these kinds of discussions become distractions to the reality of what you have to do.”
Dexter said the Maritime provinces are already taking practical measures such as creating a regional venture capital fund and a Nova Scotia-New Brunswick working group to streamline laws and regulations.
Some competition among the provinces is actually good for the region’s economy, he said.
Maritime union “is something that comes up every 20 years or so,” Dexter said.
“I prefer to take a much more practical and pragmatic view of this, which is Maritime co-operation.”
Source: Chronicle Herald
What do you think? Is this a good idea? I think it would just confuse people….but that’s just me.