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Nova Scotia should no more be interested in merging with New Brunswick than is Newfoundland. As if our finances aren’t bad enough…New Brunswick’s are much worse.Why would we do that to ourselves? One of N.B’s biggest financial burden is the Official Bilingual policy which McKenna implemented as a requirement by the Feds in order to get Fed gov’t highway money. This Official Bilingualism policy has been an enormous financial drain on a province that needed just the opposite! Also it has created more rancor amongst the citizens. It is near impossible to reverse this policy now. Bill Black makes no mention of this huge political fiasco and financial burden if there is a Maritime Union. The cost of administration will not go down…it will go up EXPONENTIALLY. Look at the massive financial drain that both the N.B. govt’t and the Federal gov’t of Canada is experiencing due to having to duplicate all gov’t correspondence, translate laws etc. in two languages. If N.S. merges with N.B. we will not only have to absorb their costs but, provide the program for the entire new merged Maritime province. This program will throw most English speaking Nova Scotians out of their government jobs. It is expected that French speaking people also know English, since they are surrounded by it everywhere, and realistically need it to survive on this continent. But English speaking Canadians in Nova Scotia and Canda, in general, are not familiar enough with French to be able to hold or take Bilingual jobs. Most new positions in a Maritime Union would have to be Bilingual, unless the parties involved agreed to drop the program. Also, new immigrants to this province would be effectively barred from most gov’t jobs, as they are now barred from most federal government jobs due to their lack of proficiency in both offical languages. Summary…why should we want to merge with poor cousins? Truth is, N.S. has a lot more going for it than N.B.and can’t afford to take on that province’s financial troubles. I agree completely that we need to reduce the number of MLA’s and governement in general…but we don’t need to merge to do that. N.S. policiticians need to take the bull by the horns and make the cuts which need to be done before the federal government tells us that we have to merge, using financial levers. It’s too bad that there wasn’t more effort made to cut down the number of electoral districts during the recent re-drawing of boundaries. It’s time to make an amendment. And why are there still so many health authorities with their massive administration costs? If we don’t make these changes ourselves, they will be forced on us…plus we’ll be forced to merge with N.B. an PEI. IF we should merge with any province, why not NFLD?
J.Jamieson | January 2, 2013 | Reply
Thank you for your comment. I must say I disagree with your poistion on bilingualism. I believe you overstate the requirement and underestimate the number of anglophones who would qualify.
Bill | January 2, 2013 | Reply
The residents of the region are too parochial to implement Atlantica at this time. It would be a huge political battle, with the parties in opposition making lots of noise. I suspect it will get shelved again until we wake up to our new found status as a Greece/Spain wannabee (with a commensurate spanking to our collective credit ratings) before the electorate will wake up to figure out that we are over-governed. We cant afford all the bureaucracy we have, and once the boomers retire and reduce the amount of taxes they pay (and start sucking up social and health services), the chickens will come home to roost; the math doesn’t work. The best we can hope for is to keep working within the system we have. Slowly reduce the size of municipal councils, amalgamate some areas (New Glasgow; Antigonish, etc) and reduce the size of the legislature. We also need more cooperative agreements for joint purchasing, etc between provinces.
It’s painful to analyse this stuff, see the train coming, and no one is doing anything to get out of the way. the money we have just thrown away on last century’s technology (pulp and paper) is unbelievable. I do like the agreement to outsource to IBM, but the devil is in the details. Government has a hard time driving a tough bargain – very rare.
Ross Cantwell | December 9, 2012 | Reply
More “scars” from the political past? Perhaps Maritime Sharing might better describe what should be the aim.
ordon a.... | December 5, 2012 | Reply
Yesterday’s Globe and Mail had an interesting comment on this; referencing the fact between 35-40% of the revenue streams of each of the Maritime Provinces come from equalization and that all three have been recipients of equalization payments forever. Given all three Maritime Provinces typically run annual deficits, have significant levels of debt and have the oldest citizens in the country, it’s time we consider new political models to address these challenges and take advantage of our combined resources. I think it is healthy to discuss and debate among ourselves and other Canadians and I applaud you working to ensure it receives appropriate opportunity for comment.
Peter Conrod | December 4, 2012 | Reply
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