As several Senators mull over the idea of a Maritime Union to foster a stronger economy and more influence within the Federal government. Will the people within in the provinces of New Brunswick, Prince Edward Island, and Nova Scotia support the idea of provinces merging for the betterment of their society? It is within the connection of cultural identity, history, and life which makes people leery of change.
As many young people chose to stay and take their chances with the Atlantic Lottery to live in the Maritime provinces, where you win a good job through patronage for long hours and little wages. Many look on and know it isn't enough to play the maritime game for employment. They look for more and go west.
It is the promise of that green grass that pulled my family from New Brunswick. We wanted a little more to ensure we could have a better lifestyle, save for retirement, and be able to afford our children's future education.
Dave Campbell estimates that:
The Alberta oil sands support somewhere between $230-million and $350-million worth of employment income for New Brunswick residents -- most of which finds its way back to the home province. The induced effects of this spending would support another 1,000 to 2,000 jobs across the province.
We all have the dreams for our families working hard for something better and wanting to have a little more. It is that pull west in which many young people leave each month because with their education and labor skills they can make that much more for their families.
It is a choice to take a gamble to stay in the Maritime provinces and hope for the best or to move west where the grass is greener. It is not a choice many on the east coast take lightly as they sit back watching their provincial government's making the same policy mistakes twice with no provincial gains.
Will the merging of three maritime provinces as one propel the change needed for the Maritime provinces? As the future looks bleak for the have-not provinces, isn't it time for them to strive to be a have province just to want a little more for its people. Something needs to change and maybe it is time for the Maritime provinces to take that risk by propelling forward to form a Maritime Union.
Someday my dream is of returning home to New Brunswick to sit by the fire and enjoy Christmas with my entire family. It is a dream I look forward to in the distant future. We still have many years before retirement until that time we will look on as cynical spectators observing maritime politics hoping for the change that will enable us to move home sooner than later.
The oil and gas industries accounted for around $65 billion of economic activity in Canada annually in recent years, or slightly less than 5 per cent of GDP. Source: <a href="http://www.ceri.ca/docs/2010-10-05CERIOilandGasReport.pdf" target="_hplink">Canada Energy Research Institute</a>
Canada exported some 12,000 cubic metres of oil per day in 1980. By 2010, that number had grown to 112,000 cubic metres daily. Source: <a href="http://membernet.capp.ca/SHB/Sheet.asp?SectionID=9&SheetID=224" target="_hplink">Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers</a>
Canada refined 300,000 cubic metres daily in 1980; in 2010, that number was slightly down, to 291,000, even though exports of oil had grown tenfold in that time. Source: <a href="http://membernet.capp.ca/SHB/Sheet.asp?SectionID=7&SheetID=104" target="_hplink">Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers</a>
Despite talk by the federal government that it wants to open Asian markets to Canadian oil, the vast majority of exports still go to the United States -- 97 per cent as of 2009. Source: <a href="http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/statistics-facts/energy/895" target="_hplink">Natural Resources Canada</a>
Canada's proven reserves of 175 billion barrels of oil -- the vast majority of it trapped in the oil sands -- is the second-largest oil stash in the world, after Saudi Arabia's 267 billion. Source: <a href="http://www.ogj.com/index.html" target="_hplink">Oil & Gas Journal</a>
One-third of Canada's oil sands bitumen stays in the country, and is refined into gasoline, heating oil and diesel. Source: <a href="http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/statistics-facts/energy/895" target="_hplink">Natural Resources Canada</a>
Despite its reputation as the undisputed centre of Canada's oil industry, Alberta accounts for only two-thirds of energy production. British Columbia and Saskatchewan are the second and third-largest producers. Source: <a href="http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/statistics-facts/energy/895" target="_hplink">Natural Resources Canada</a>
Alberta' government <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/03/27/alberta-oil-sands-royalties-ceri_n_1382640.html" target="_hplink">will reap $1.2 trillion in royalties from the oil sands over the next 35 years</a>, according to the Canadian Energy Research Institute.
Thanks to improvements in energy efficiency, and a weakening of the country's manufacturing base, oil consumption in Canada has had virtually no net change in 30 years. Consumption went from 287,000 cubic metres daily in 1980 to 260,000 cubic metres daily in 2010. Source: Source: <a href="http://membernet.capp.ca/SHB/Sheet.asp?SectionID=6&SheetID=99" target="_hplink">Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers</a>
The National Energy Board says oil and gas employs 257,000 people in Canada, not including gas station employees. And the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers says the oil sands alone <a href="http://www.capp.ca/aboutUs/mediaCentre/NewsReleases/Pages/OilsandsaCanadianjobcreator.aspx" target="_hplink">will grow from 75,000 jobs to 905,000 jobs by 2035</a> -- assuming, of course, the price of oil holds up.
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