Posted by: Alvin | November 21, 2008

Harper Government to Ban Bulk Water Exports

Call me a cynic about the Harper government, but I suspect this move has more to do with positioning for the next election than doing what’s best for Canadian resource sovereignty. Nevertheless, the intention to pass legislation that will effectively ban bulk water exports was announced in Wednesday’s Speech from the Throne (entitled “Protecting Canada’s Future”). Here’s the link to the Throne Speech as well as the link to the story from Matthew Burrows of The Straight.

There was much talk about whether the Security and Prosperity Partnership increases the likelihood we’ll see these types of water exports. Now, we’ll have to wait and see if the proposed legislation is strong enough and if it’s compatible with trade deals such as NAFTA, and also what it will mean for provinces.

I’m also wondering if, now that Obama has been elected south of the border, we’ll start to see more Canadian-centric legislation coming out of the House. It’s possible that Harper’s people see a strong Democratic Congress and White House as a protectionist threat, and thus are taking the opportunity to shore up our chips in advance of any show-downs over trade issues.

Regardless, overall I think we’re going to see more of this type of thing in the months ahead. Harper is trying for a majority because it’ll be his last kick at the can. It certainly says something about Canadian politics though, a traditional right-wing party won’t win in today’s Canada; and as the Liberals are finding, there’s very little room to play around the centre these days.

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