Are they necessary for nation building?
Central Canada consists of Canada’s two most populous provinces, namely: Ontario and Quebec. It is the high population that gives Central Canada political leverage, which has often led to discomfort by other provinces.
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The policies favoring the interests of Central Canada are detrimental to the building of the nation, since they have only used the policies to their own advantage. With regards to trade tariffs that were negotiated with the U.S., Central Canada used the tariff to its advantage by making other provinces appear as their trading partners and not giving them an opportunity to trade with competitive partners.
Policies that have favored the interest of the populations of Central Canada have often led to conflict from the Western, Atlantic and Eastern provinces. Some policies like the procurement policies have made the population of Central Canada to treat other provinces as colonies.
There have also been complains by the Prairie Provinces, which are resource-rich that they have been under exploitation by the national government which mainly serves the interests of the Central Canada region.
National policies of Canada reflect the interests of Central Canada, and it has enabled the region to be the industrial centre of Canada. This is a reflection that the policies serving the interests of Central Canada do not foster nation-building and, instead they perpetuate regional alienations, resentment and conflicts (1).
Regionally or nationally oriented?
Canada is regionally oriented; it is often understood as a nation of nations due to its two main demographic distinct divisions: English Canada and French Canada which is the Quebec province. In this regard, the Canadian country is founded on compromise and cooperation between the two sections of the population.
The region of Quebec, for example, has a distinct cultural identity. The Canadian communities are located in different regions based on their language, culture, religion and politics. These communities live in isolation with different aspirations and views of Canadian history as a nation.
The antagonism between the two nations in Canada has threatened the existence of Canadian nationhood. Canada is divided into four provinces or regions with their autonomy to define their legislative agenda, which is an indication of regionalism.
The existence of two cultures is a clear illustration of regionalism. Quebec, for example, is home to a unique and independent subculture with its autonomy regarding legal, education or institutional system. The conflicts often witnessed in Canada are as a result of regional differences and national identity.
On electoral matters, voting takes the form of regionalism and ethnicity. There is also the existence of regionally based political parties and hence regionalism affects the behavior of national politics (2).
Are they right to upset National Energy Policy?
The main energy policy of Canadian government is the energy policy program, and it was introduced during the high-energy crisis in 1970s. The National Energy Program is mandated to ensure security of supply, equal opportunities for the Canadians to participate in the energy industry and to guarantee fairness in pricing.
It is argued that Alberta has lost a lot of revenue following the coming into force of National Energy Program. The province of Alberta is a major producer of electricity. Many decisions by the Albertans are designed at expanding and maximization of energy resources, which require federal government’s cooperation.
There have been agitations by opposition parties for energy policies that are aimed at benefiting Central Canada while penalizing the Albertans. The National Energy Policy can only gain legitimacy and leverage if Albertans are included in its formulation since it is the leader in production of energy resources (3).
- Weaver, K. The Collapse of Canada? Washington, DC: Brookings Institution Press; 1992.
- Leuprecht, C. Essential Readings in Canadian Constitutional Politics. Toronto: University of Toronto Press; 2011.
- Energize. Energize Alberta Features. Energizer Alberta; 2011 [updated 2011; cited on 17 Nov. 2011]. Web.