Home » Its safe to say the Atlantic Provinces are slowly recovering economically from generations of misfortune and questionable treatment politically.

Its safe to say the Atlantic Provinces are slowly recovering economically from generations of misfortune and questionable treatment politically.

Its safe to say the Atlantic Provinces are slowly recovering economically from generations of misfortune and questionable treatment politically. With major projects now including offshore energy in Newfoundland and Nova Scotia, new hydro power in Labrador (Newfoundland), and military shipbuilding now underway, along with the deepening research base at universities in the region and new infrastructure investment coming from the Federal government, we can say the future is looking brighter for the region than in many decades.  The new trade agreement between Canada and Europe presents new opportunities for Atlantic Canada as Canada’s gateway.  And more.. 

But policy direction, in particular energy policy, choices, and access, are now crucial in light the imperative of climate change, along with major political uncertainty (especially in trade policy) with our largest trading partner, the US. 

Behind all these developments is the question of What kindof prosperity should the Atlantic provinces be seeking? How can a small, open, dynamic economy like the Atlantic provinces be a more sustainable economy? How can it  take advantage of its assets including location, to develop itself beyond the extremes of boom and bust cycles which often beset small regions?

What policies are most central to address these questions? 

In particular, since energy and our dependence on imported fuels is one of the most crucial, but unpredictable,  determinants of economic stability, what direction can and should our energy policy in this region take?

Question:  As prospective economists, please provide your thoughtful advice to government on the direction of policy and investment in this region to encourage sustainable economic development here, and in particular the complex area of energy- its use and development.

This includes our choices and financial realism regarding hard (built) and soft (human, social, and research) infrastructure. Be mindful of the very limited financial resources available, due to past deficits taken in the region to overcome the historic downturns. How can the region approach the issue of economic growth versus sustainability,particularly in the contentious area of energy?  Is this conflict a false dichotomy, as some people suggest?

Specifically, in no less than 2 and no more than 3 pages (double spaced, 12 pt), provide your most full respond to these questions:

a) What, in your view,are the key strategic issues for the Atlantic provinces to address now, given their limited financial resources but strong human capital?

b) In particular, describe the most appropriate, sustainable vision for energy use and development for this region?

c) What indicators of prosperity should the region focus on? What, along with output (GDP), may be most useful and cutting edge for a small, open economy like ours?

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