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  #441  
Old Posted May 30, 2017, 5:29 PM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Did you know that the provincial budget does not break down the ministries into things like:
How much they pay for the highways in the City of Greater Sudbury.
How much they pay to the 4 school boards here.
How much they pay for the hospital here.
How much Vale pays the province.
How much Glencore pays the province.
How much the province gets from us paying for licenses.

So, what you are actually asking for would require a forensic audit of the provincial books. As citizens, we d not have that legal right. The only people who can ask for that kind of detail is your MPP.

So, how about you show ME how much Vale in the city of Greater Sudbury paid in taxes and royalties to the province. I bet you will have just as much problem. If you can find that, I will give YOU a case of beer.


The real problem is that the books are so well cooked, no one really knows how screwed over they are by anywhere.
Nice dodge. So what you are really saying is that you can't provide data, like I did, from a credible source, that says Northern Ontario is a net contributor.

The Fraser Institute was able to wade through all the data and construct a pretty specific breakdown by county/district to show net contribution. Why can't any of those proud northern separatists build a similar case if the data is so friendly?
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  #442  
Old Posted May 30, 2017, 7:05 PM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Did you know that the provincial budget does not break down the ministries into things like:
How much they pay for the highways in the City of Greater Sudbury.
How much they pay to the 4 school boards here.
How much they pay for the hospital here.
How much Vale pays the province.
How much Glencore pays the province.
How much the province gets from us paying for licenses.

So, what you are actually asking for would require a forensic audit of the provincial books. As citizens, we d not have that legal right. The only people who can ask for that kind of detail is your MPP.

So, how about you show ME how much Vale in the city of Greater Sudbury paid in taxes and royalties to the province. I bet you will have just as much problem. If you can find that, I will give YOU a case of beer.


The real problem is that the books are so well cooked, no one really knows how screwed over they are by anywhere.
If you are dedicated enough to this cause you could get this info. It would take a lot of work, lots of combing through budget sheets from various ministries and agencies, lots of FOI requests.. but it's definitely doable.
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  #443  
Old Posted May 30, 2017, 10:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Nice dodge. So what you are really saying is that you can't provide data, like I did, from a credible source, that says Northern Ontario is a net contributor.

The Fraser Institute was able to wade through all the data and construct a pretty specific breakdown by county/district to show net contribution. Why can't any of those proud northern separatists build a similar case if the data is so friendly?
You provided information on Hamilton. Hamilton is at least 3 hours from the Canadian Shield, and another 2 hours to the Mattawa River/French River which is the defacto boundaries of Northern Ontario.

Actually, there are people within that party working on that very thing. I personally do not have the access nor the time to go through it.

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Originally Posted by 1overcosc View Post
If you are dedicated enough to this cause you could get this info. It would take a lot of work, lots of combing through budget sheets from various ministries and agencies, lots of FOI requests.. but it's definitely doable.
Do you ever wonder if it is so hard to get a hold of for a reason? What if Queen's park knows just how bad Southern Ontario has been screwing over Northern Ontario for over the last century? Do you think they would want that released to the public?
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  #444  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 2:01 AM
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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Do you ever wonder if it is so hard to get a hold of for a reason? What if Queen's park knows just how bad Southern Ontario has been screwing over Northern Ontario for over the last century? Do you think they would want that released to the public?
There is no conspiracy trying to hide that southern Ontario is "screwing over" the north. That's lunacy.

The provincial government budget is well in excess of a hundred billion dollars, and Northern Ontario is only slightly more populous than Mississauga. If the budget were to break out, line by line, the geographic origin of all of its revenue sources and destination of all of its spending, the document would be massive. It's already several hundred pages long in its abbreviated form—hell Thunder Bay's budget of 0.2 billion is a 400 page document and even that doesn't break out geographic distribution of funds and we only have 7 wards to consider.

Figuring out, in general, the amount of money Northern Ontario receives is fairly easy: look at all the budgets of all the municipalities here and add up what they receive from the province, and subtract what they remit to it (though for your purpose, funds collected on behalf of the province and then remitted to it might stay? Thought they kind of do stay, like business HST I think they calculate the net and the side that owes pays the difference, and that side is likely always the province). And then look at all of the provincial funding for things like health care (almost all of the money to run hospitals comes from the province), highways, education (education property taxes account for a small fraction of what school boards actually spend), and so on, and then once you've got an idea of how much they spent, you work on figuring out how much the region, it's people and it's businesses remit. How much money does the province get in resource royalties? (Those are hidden not because the province wants to hide it's screwing us over, but because there is an incentive for both businesses and government to keep secret the amount of money companies are charged to access resources.) How much income tax did Northern Ontarians pay to Ontario? Or their businesses? How much PST is collected? (I bet it's less than Southern Ontario on a per capita basis, btw—we have a large PST exempt population.) Adding up all those figures, do they fall below, meet or exceed the amount spent on us? My guess is they don't meet or exceed it.

But then consider this: If we are our own province, we need to establish our own ministries. Ministries need offices, they need employees (who need pay), we need a legislature, we need legislators, we need the whole government apparatus. That doesn't appear overnight and it isn't free. A LOT of what we have here is administered from the south, and those costs aren't factored into what I described above, so when you consider that many people in Southern Ontario administer services we receive in the North, and the cost associated with that, the amount of money the government spends that goes toward serving us is even higher. I was flown to Hamilton last year for my mom's operation, that trip cost the government over $2,000 in reimbursements, probably over $100 to administer, and then there was the actual cost of the healthcare services themselves. Consider also, if Northern Ontario is separate, will we continue to have access to hospitals in Toronto, Hamilton, or London when we need specialized care? If we have to go out of province, how smoothly will the process go for us? Ontario administers a Northern Ontario Travel Grant to assist in the cost of travelling to receive medical care when we leave our designated regions (something Southerner's don't have access to even if they travel further for the same thing). If Northern Ontario is its own province, will that program be eliminated? Or will it be added to our provincial health insurance, at added cost?

Thunder Bay receives over 1.5 million dollars per year from Ontario just to buy city buses. That's how much money every house in my census tract pays in property taxes. I'm not sure we could replace that funding if the province stopped paying it out.

The amount of money that Toronto's financial sector pays in provincial income taxes exceeds Northern Ontario's GDP. I just can't buy the argument that we're being ripped off by Ontario anymore. Now that I understand more of how taxes and government spending works, I just can't see it.
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  #445  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 2:01 AM
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Originally Posted by wave46 View Post
How would the fact that the north has districts instead of counties change the amount of revenue that is sent between the areas? County-level governments are mostly funded by local property taxes and provincial transfers, like municipalities, correct?
There is no county level government. There is no local government at all. Over 30,000 people in Northern Ontario don't vote in the municipal elections every four years because there is no municipal government where they live.

Property taxes are applied at the provincial level and are either paid to the nearest large town or to the district seat. Thunder Bay collects and processes the property taxes for unincorporated Thunder Bay District on behalf of Ontario, so they actually go to Thunder Bay's city hall to pay taxes despite not living here.

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My understanding is that limited services in districts are provided by the province of Ontario by a Local Service Board as there is insufficient population for a county government. For instance, instead of country roads, we get secondary highways maintained by the MTO at provincial expense. The property tax rates in these areas tend to be low, reflecting the lack of services.

Please correct me if I'm wrong - I've only lived within municipalities, so I don't really know what living in a rural area exactly entails from a tax point of view.
Local service boards only exist in select areas, have limited funding and are generally elected by a general meeting as opposed to ballot voting. Property taxes are lower but services are nearly non-existent.

LSBs, for the most part, will handle road repair and plowing and operate landfills. They do little more than that, and their funding is very limited.

Thunder Bay has two of the most populous LSBs in Ontario. For whatever reason, the province hasn't bothered to incorporate the areas to the north and west of the city which are home to over 2,500 people. The Lappe LSB is literally the 5th most populous community out of 13 which are contiguous to the Thunder Bay.
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  #446  
Old Posted May 31, 2017, 5:13 PM
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Originally Posted by vid View Post
There is no conspiracy trying to hide that southern Ontario is "screwing over" the north. That's lunacy.

The provincial government budget is well in excess of a hundred billion dollars, and Northern Ontario is only slightly more populous than Mississauga. If the budget were to break out, line by line, the geographic origin of all of its revenue sources and destination of all of its spending, the document would be massive. It's already several hundred pages long in its abbreviated form—hell Thunder Bay's budget of 0.2 billion is a 400 page document and even that doesn't break out geographic distribution of funds and we only have 7 wards to consider.

Figuring out, in general, the amount of money Northern Ontario receives is fairly easy: look at all the budgets of all the municipalities here and add up what they receive from the province, and subtract what they remit to it (though for your purpose, funds collected on behalf of the province and then remitted to it might stay? Thought they kind of do stay, like business HST I think they calculate the net and the side that owes pays the difference, and that side is likely always the province). And then look at all of the provincial funding for things like health care (almost all of the money to run hospitals comes from the province), highways, education (education property taxes account for a small fraction of what school boards actually spend), and so on, and then once you've got an idea of how much they spent, you work on figuring out how much the region, it's people and it's businesses remit. How much money does the province get in resource royalties? (Those are hidden not because the province wants to hide it's screwing us over, but because there is an incentive for both businesses and government to keep secret the amount of money companies are charged to access resources.) How much income tax did Northern Ontarians pay to Ontario? Or their businesses? How much PST is collected? (I bet it's less than Southern Ontario on a per capita basis, btw—we have a large PST exempt population.) Adding up all those figures, do they fall below, meet or exceed the amount spent on us? My guess is they don't meet or exceed it.

But then consider this: If we are our own province, we need to establish our own ministries. Ministries need offices, they need employees (who need pay), we need a legislature, we need legislators, we need the whole government apparatus. That doesn't appear overnight and it isn't free. A LOT of what we have here is administered from the south, and those costs aren't factored into what I described above, so when you consider that many people in Southern Ontario administer services we receive in the North, and the cost associated with that, the amount of money the government spends that goes toward serving us is even higher. I was flown to Hamilton last year for my mom's operation, that trip cost the government over $2,000 in reimbursements, probably over $100 to administer, and then there was the actual cost of the healthcare services themselves. Consider also, if Northern Ontario is separate, will we continue to have access to hospitals in Toronto, Hamilton, or London when we need specialized care? If we have to go out of province, how smoothly will the process go for us? Ontario administers a Northern Ontario Travel Grant to assist in the cost of travelling to receive medical care when we leave our designated regions (something Southerner's don't have access to even if they travel further for the same thing). If Northern Ontario is its own province, will that program be eliminated? Or will it be added to our provincial health insurance, at added cost?

Thunder Bay receives over 1.5 million dollars per year from Ontario just to buy city buses. That's how much money every house in my census tract pays in property taxes. I'm not sure we could replace that funding if the province stopped paying it out.

The amount of money that Toronto's financial sector pays in provincial income taxes exceeds Northern Ontario's GDP. I just can't buy the argument that we're being ripped off by Ontario anymore. Now that I understand more of how taxes and government spending works, I just can't see it.
This is not going to happen overnight. The division of the province into 2(or more) will take at least 10 years. When Nunavut was carved out of The Northwest Territory, it took about 10 years to do. In that time, new ministries were set up. A capital was chosen. A legislature building was built. Offices were opened. For anyone to think that the most populous province and thee second largest province can do it any faster is crazy. That means that there is at least 2 more elections that would be held as Ontario.

As far as the current budget, they could simply have the normal one that is an overview, but also have a forensic one. One that is a per item, per person, per community. Yes, that would be thousands of pages long. However, in today's computer world, it could easily be indexed and organized for easy searching. So, I could find out what the premier ate when she was in Sudbury and how much she paid for it. Or, I could find out the general operating costs of HSN.

As far as healthcare, there are 2 hospitals in the province for cardiac medicine. London Health Sciences in London, and Health Sciences North in Sudbury. Someone from Toronto could end up in Sudbury for a heart operation.

Just like other provinces, we would, over time, build our hospitals to suit the needs. Chances are, each of the 5 major hospitals in The North would specialize in something. Then we would go there if our local hospital feels it is necessary. For routine checkups, you could do remote healthcare. That is where you sit in a local office and a doctor from far away is on the computer screen in front of you. A nurse does what is needed for the doctor to get the information needed. I experienced this a couple off months ago here in Sudbury.



Of course there are going to be challenges. I am not even suggesting otherwise. However, those challenges are worth it if we get to have a better life.

The simple solution right now is a referendum in the 11 ridings. If we vote for it, then give it to us.
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  #447  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 3:54 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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You provided information on Hamilton. Hamilton is at least 3 hours from the Canadian Shield, and another 2 hours to the Mattawa River/French River which is the defacto boundaries of Northern Ontario.
The Fraser Institute report had count level data for all of Ontario.

The Hamilton article was an entirely separate one making the point about cities not being able to maintain infrastructure.

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Originally Posted by swimmer_spe View Post
Do you ever wonder if it is so hard to get a hold of for a reason? What if Queen's park knows just how bad Southern Ontario has been screwing over Northern Ontario for over the last century? Do you think they would want that released to the public?
Didn't realize you were just a conspiracy nutter.

I'm out. Can't rationally debate that breed. No evidence. No facts. Just conjecture and bullshit.
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  #448  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 4:10 AM
Truenorth00 Truenorth00 is offline
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The amount of money that Toronto's financial sector pays in provincial income taxes exceeds Northern Ontario's GDP. I just can't buy the argument that we're being ripped off by Ontario anymore. Now that I understand more of how taxes and government spending works, I just can't see it.
I recognize this argument. It's the same crap that Albertans spout. They always imagined that with all those resources would come other sectors. Notably head offices and financial markets for commodities. With a handful of exceptions (like Imperial Oil, this never really came to fruition. Toronto has gone on to become a global centre for resource companies and financial activities around resources. That activity has not moved Alberta despite the oil being there. And it never will.

Toronto is the mining capital of the world. See this about Toronto's position in the mining sector: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6NDn1LqKA3A
That's what really has northerners jealous. Just like the Albertans.

I get the same sense from Northern Ontarians who complain about their resources "benefiting" Toronto. They think all wealth generation associated with a natural resource should go to them. Except the economy doesn't work like that. Nobody is going to be flying to Sudbury to write up derivatives contracts. Short of a full scale seizure by government of all resources by this new province, the companies that mine them will still do all their finances in Toronto.

In any event, like I said, if they think they can do better on their own, I am happy to see them. Given them their share of the debts and assets and send them their merry way. What I don't want is re-merger when they inevitably cock it up because the economies of scale suddenly turned negative on them.

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  #449  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 5:24 AM
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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
I recognize this argument. It's the same crap that Albertans spout. They always imagined that with all those resources would come other sectors. Notably head offices and financial markets for commodities. With a handful of exceptions (like Imperial Oil, this never really came to fruition. Toronto has gone on to become a global centre for resource companies and financial activities around resources. That activity has not moved Alberta despite the oil being there. And it never will.


I get the same sense from Northern Ontarians who complain about their resources "benefiting" Toronto. They think all wealth generation associated with a natural resource should go to them. Except the economy doesn't work like that. Nobody is going to be flying to Sudbury to write up derivatives contracts. Short of a full scale seizure by government of all resources by this new province, the companies that mine them will still do all their finances in Toronto.

In any event, like I said, if they think they can do better on their own, I am happy to see them. Given them their share of the debts and assets and send them their merry way. What I don't want is re-merger when they inevitably cock it up because the economies of scale suddenly turned negative on them.
While there are separatists here in Northern Ontario, most people here aren't asking for a total separation. They are asking for fairer treatment where communities actually benefit because of the extraction of the resources. And most people here wish that only Northerners had control over our own land use planning.

I've seen so many examples of mining companies that don't pay their fair share of municipal taxes. MPAC which is part of the Ontario government decides on the assessed value of the mines. And in forestry, I've seen a number of lumber companies that pay the Ontario government to cut down trees but only employ Quebeckers for logging and then trucking the raw logs to sawmills in Quebec to be processed. So you can't say that at least we get jobs.
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  #450  
Old Posted Jun 1, 2017, 6:11 AM
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While there are separatists here in Northern Ontario, most people here aren't asking for a total separation. They are asking for fairer treatment where communities actually benefit because of the extraction of the resources. And most people here wish that only Northerners had control over our own land use planning.
Those are reasonable demands. Claiming that there's a provincial conspiracy to rob the North is not just unreasonable. It's unhinged.


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I've seen so many examples of mining companies that don't pay their fair share of municipal taxes. MPAC which is part of the Ontario government decides on the assessed value of the mines.
Are you suggesting MPAC is flawed or their assessment methods for mines?

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And in forestry, I've seen a number of lumber companies that pay the Ontario government to cut down trees but only employ Quebeckers for logging and then trucking the raw logs to sawmills in Quebec to be processed. So you can't say that at least we get jobs.
So we should add interprovincial trade barriers to prevent the outflow of jobs from one region to another? Should we only do it for minerals, or do other sectors matter too? And how do we decide which region specializes at what?

Also, explain how any of this would be any different under a separate provincial entity with a way that does not involve inter-provincial trade barriers or outright nationalization (or rather provincialization) of those resources.
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  #451  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2017, 2:01 AM
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MPAC which is part of the Ontario government
Not really. It's a separate entity at an arm's-length from the government.

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Originally Posted by Truenorth00 View Post
Are you suggesting MPAC is flawed or their assessment methods for mines?
Both. The biggest issue Thunder Bay has with revenue collection is MPAC's wholesale devaluing of industrial properties and conversion of industrial facilities from industrial tax classes to commercial tax classes. It isn't just mines. Thunder Bay's entire waterfront is now considered commercial instead of industrial, our big box stores were steeply devalued because "they don't have reuse potential", and our largest mills were all given devaluations of 20% to 50% over the past few years. The devaluation of the paper mill in Dryden has nearly bankrupted the town because they've had to pay back so much taxes from their single largest employer.

MPAC is a serious problem here, and I think unlike labour or energy costs, that is something being a separate province could fix. It won't solve the real problems though.
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  #452  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2017, 2:23 AM
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The Fraser Institute report
OK, lost me there.
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  #453  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2017, 4:16 AM
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So we should add interprovincial trade barriers to prevent the outflow of jobs from one region to another? Should we only do it for minerals, or do other sectors matter too? And how do we decide which region specializes at what?

Also, explain how any of this would be any different under a separate provincial entity with a way that does not involve inter-provincial trade barriers or outright nationalization (or rather provincialization) of those resources.
We have trade barriers on booze and food. Why not on minerals and wood?

It is illegal to buy booze from Quebec or Manitoba and bring it in to Ontario. Yes, lots of people do it, but it is still illegal.

The legal challenge to transport food products, such as milk is also near illegal.

So, why not make it illegal for ore or logs to be shipped out of province?
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  #454  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2017, 4:34 AM
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Because we're trying to reduce inter-provincial trade barriers, not grow them.
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  #455  
Old Posted Jun 2, 2017, 5:07 AM
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Because we're trying to reduce inter-provincial trade barriers, not grow them.
I lived in Nova Scotia for a few years. Milk was about $2-$3 more expensive than in New Brunswick. The milk in NS could only come from NS cows. The reason it was more expensive was if it was the same as NB, then the milk cows in NS would no longer be sustainable and would mean most farms would close.

Sometimes protectionism is a necessity.
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  #456  
Old Posted Jun 3, 2017, 2:06 AM
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I lived in Nova Scotia for a few years. Milk was about $2-$3 more expensive than in New Brunswick. The milk in NS could only come from NS cows. The reason it was more expensive was if it was the same as NB, then the milk cows in NS would no longer be sustainable and would mean most farms would close.

Sometimes protectionism is a necessity.
Doesn't the fact that government protections are required, and the finished product is more expensive, indicate that the dairy farms in that region aren't sustainable?

If there was true demand for Nova Scotian milk, and if it were produced efficiently, then giving New Brunwick dairy farmers access to Nova Scotians wouldn't be as big a threat as it is perceived.

The one tenet of capitalism that I've always believed in the most is that unsustainable enterprises must be allowed to fail before they reach a point where economic stability hinges on their existence. We don't have much of an economy if we have to use a bunch of rules and regulations to prop things up that wouldn't otherwise exist.

And again, that's no guarantee that those jobs will remain. Manitoba and Quebec have trees too. So does Asia. We could create a new market for Ontarian lumber by allowing larger constructions made of wood, but damn it, that's what Torontonians want!!
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  #457  
Old Posted Jun 4, 2017, 7:16 PM
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Doesn't the fact that government protections are required, and the finished product is more expensive, indicate that the dairy farms in that region aren't sustainable?

If there was true demand for Nova Scotian milk, and if it were produced efficiently, then giving New Brunwick dairy farmers access to Nova Scotians wouldn't be as big a threat as it is perceived.

The one tenet of capitalism that I've always believed in the most is that unsustainable enterprises must be allowed to fail before they reach a point where economic stability hinges on their existence. We don't have much of an economy if we have to use a bunch of rules and regulations to prop things up that wouldn't otherwise exist.

And again, that's no guarantee that those jobs will remain. Manitoba and Quebec have trees too. So does Asia. We could create a new market for Ontarian lumber by allowing larger constructions made of wood, but damn it, that's what Torontonians want!!
I agree that some regulation is bad, however, requiring a resource to be reined locally makes sense.

The race to the bottom needs to stop. Stop sending raw logs and ore to China to be processed.
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