Tuesday 30 January 2018

Inter-provincial rivalries

When I was at Canterbury, the mainlanders would joke about cutting the Cook Strait cable and letting the North Island float away so the North Islanders couldn't bother them any longer.

Interprovincial rivalries in Canada are a bit less jokey, given the crazy trade barriers between provinces and the barriers to labour mobility caused by provincial licensing schemes.

But this one is fun. The National Post's Tristin Hopper runs the "What if the Alberta/Saskatchewan cold trade war turns hot?" scenario.
Peace has returned to the Canadian prairies. After Saskatchewan suddenly banned Alberta license plates at provincial construction sites, an escalating interprovincial trade war has been averted at the 11th hour thanks to a climbdown by Regina.

Despite this welcome d├ętente, what would happen if Saskatchewan and Alberta ever reach a future impasse so great that it led to armed conflict?

The notion is too horrible to consider: Brother against brother, Lloydminster divided, countless great works of Saskatchewan architecture destroyed by shellfire. Nevertheless, below is our embarrassingly thorough assessment of what The Great Prairie War might look like.
Read the whole thing; it's pretty comprehensive. Alberta takes the Cold Lake CF-18s; Saskatchewan's CT-144 trainers are no match. Saskatchewan's geography makes things simple for Albertan snipers, but presumably also makes it easier to see the incoming Albertan tanks. But the British Army training base in Ralston, Alberta could prove decisive.

Anyway, glad to be Outside the Asylum, where nobody could imagine banning an Otago tradie from working on an Auckland construction site. As they say, when goods don't cross borders, armies will. Canadian provincial protectionists take heed.

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