To the editor,
Tim Bousquet's article on Atlantica was a breath of fresh air. He's right, of course: this boat ain't going to float. Aside from the reasons mentioned in the article, it is highly unlikely the American ports would stand idly by while Canadian ports took business from them. In addition, the proponents of this plan were never able to adequately explain its benefits, although they frequently and loudly proclaimed them. Aside from a bit more money flowing through Halifax, what benefits would flow to the rest of the communities in the region? Apparently they would pay for the massive infrastructure needed with their tax dollars, all for the privilege of watching cargo shoot past them on the way from Asia to the US and Mexico.
However, this does not mean that there is no reason for concern. The "gateway" concept was only the sugar used to sell the Atlantica concept to the gullible. The real agenda behind Atlantica is the same as that of the Security and Prosperity Agreement and the Trade and Investment and Labour Mobility Agreement. The agenda is two-fold: first, the harmonization of regulatory regimes between the US and Canada, with the attendant reduction of regulatory control on corporate business; and second, the creation of transportation and energy corridors between Canada and the US, the chief use of the latter being to ship Canadian energy and resources, including water, south.
Finally, what is so disturbing about Atlantica and the "gateway" concept is how quickly local politicians jumped on board. It seems a little chat with their friends in business and a spoonful of sugar and they are willing to swallow anything.
By Cliff White