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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

Atlantica: Myths and Reality

Report by Scott Sinclair, John Jacobs

This article by Scott Sinclair and John Jacobs examines the proposed Atlantica or Atlantic International Northeast Economic Region (AINER) agreement. The agreement is part of a continental movement for greater economic integration. As the author explains, Atlantica aims to develop the region as a conduit for Asian goods destined for the Midwest, and intensify Atlantic Canada’s energy exports to the United States. The authors identify problems with the proposed plan for economic expansion. Further, they contend that such an agreement would have detrimental effects for Atlantic Canada.

According to the authors, the promise of economic development is premised on Halifax becoming a major conduit for Asian goods. As the eastern seaboard’s closest deep-water port to Asia, they explain that Halifax is to serve as the arrival point for ships that cannot fit through the Panama Canal. The region is meant to develop an industry of ‘truck-trains’ to ship the goods from the east to the lucrative Midwest markets. Sinclair and Jacobs note that much of the promise is based on under-examined assumptions.

With regard to the Asian goods market, the authors point out that the Panama Canal is likely to be expanded by 2015. Further, they assert that the truck-trains shipping plan does not consider the costs of delayed border-crossing in the post-9/11 climate, the cost of road maintenance that would be, “out of proportion to local population needs,” or the environmental damage and road safety concerns for residents and tourists. The energy export part of the Atlantica proposal is equally flawed, according to Sinclair and Jacobs. The agreement would ship out oil and gas outside of the Atlantic provinces on terms that favour industry while leaving key decisions about energy development and exports to deregulated markets. The authors argue that this agreement would undermine the provinces’ ability to have a say in their oil and gas exports, thereby undermining Atlantic Canada’s energy security. The authors conclude by urging public debate on the issues and asking leaders not to sign the Atlantica proposal.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Scott Sinclair; John Jacobs;
Publisher: Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2007; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: Regional;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Imports & Exports
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Integration
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Atlantic Canada
Policy Articles / Economy / Provincial Economy
Policy Articles / Economy
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral
Policy Articles / Economy / Provincial Economy / 2007
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / Imports & Exports / 2007
Policy Articles / International Trade, Development & Finance / North American Integration / 2007
Policy Articles / Regional & Sectoral / Atlantic Canada / 2007


Keywords / Tags:

Atlantic Canada; New England; economic integration; Asia; imports; energy; exports; trucking; transportation; shipping; ports; deregulation ;