Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Banana Republic of Newfoundland

Newfoundland expropriates/steals assets from AbitibiBowater (Globe and Mail) after Abitibi decides to shut down a paper mill. Perhaps equally shocking is that it seems that the Globe and Mail gets it - "If the government rips up duly negotiated agreements just when it feels like it, what's the point in signing them in the first place?" Unsurprisingly, markets require first and foremost, rule of law and property rights and for now, Newfoundland appears to have little of either.

It hasn't been easy for smaller, sparsely (by comparison) populated provinces to get the attention of businesses (if only be sheer virtue of geography) - now Newfoundland's made it a quantum leap harder for themselves. The federal government should tell them to shove it the next time Newfoundland asks for help or attempts to negotiate. Canadians should not pay for the stupendous stupidity and disaster that was of Newfoundland's own making.

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