From the fur trade to fisheries and forests, Canada was built on the toil and sweat of those who wanted to prosper. But these days, it’s harder to create opportunity. And sometimes, government is to blame. The latest example comes from Nova Scotia.
In a recent drive from Saint John to St. Andrews, New Brunswick, I marvelled at the mostly four-lane highway that connected the two points on the map and how empty it was on a Friday evening on a long weekend. I compared it with much of the TransCanada highway in British Columbia, four-laned in portions where it should be six, and often only two-laned where it should be four, as well as to the regularly packed four-lane highway between Edmonton and Calgary.
The 1990s was an economically dismal decade for British Columbia. The province effectively missed the prosperity party enjoyed by the rest of Canada due largely to poor economic policies. As a result, the province actually became a have-not province and a recipient of federal equalization payments.
We witnessed young, educated and skilled British Columbians leave the province for opportunities elsewhere and BC had the lowest per person GDP growth among the provinces between 1990 and 2000.