Monday, June 02, 2014

in support of maritime union

For a long time we've heard about the idea of the three maritime provinces in Canada merging to form a single large province. While the idea has never reached a serious discussion it has remained on the radar screen over the years.

The time has now come for the maritime provinces Nova Scotia, New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island to unite. It's a different world today than at Confederation in 1867. What made sense back then doesn't make much sense today.

The three provincial legislatures today have a total of 111 elected representatives. Ontario has seven times the population of the maritime provinces and its provincial legislature has 107 seats. The maritimes are overgoverned.

Nova Scotia in particular is declining and basically failing. Several of the NS municipalities have folded just this year and just had their populations and roads absorbed into the surrounding county. The trend should really writ large with Nova Scotia itself seeking to be absorbed into some larger entity.

The biggest question is the same as when I was a kid. Where should the capital be? Halifax or Moncton. I think that the answer is clearly Moncton. Moncton is within a reasonable 3-4 hour drive for more of the population than Halifax is. thus it would be possible to be on the road early, arrive at a midday meeting and lunch, be back on the road and home for supper without having to stay overnight.

Halifax seems to have a "toxic" effect on the areas around it. While Halifax has prospered and grown, the NS rural areas have shrunk. often seemingly the growth and prosperity of Halifax has come by depopulating the rural areas. with New Brunswick and Moncton it seems better balanced and other centres such as St. John, Fredericton, and the rural areas being more able to hold their own.

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