Time is ripe for North­ern Cor­ri­dor

Calgary Herald - - OPINION -

The North­ern Cor­ri­dor project was con­ceived as a util­ity and trans­porta­tion cor­ri­dor de­signed to pro­mote in­ter­provin­cial and in­ter­na­tional trade, and to en­cour­age devel­op­ment of mid-Canada re­sources. From the stand­point of long-term eco­nomic and so­cial ben­e­fit in the age of glob­al­iza­tion, this con­cept has po­ten­tial equal to or greater than the build­ing of the Cana­dian Pa­cific Rail­road.

The pri­mary ob­sta­cle to com­menc­ing is po­lit­i­cal. Suc­cess­ful im­ple­men­ta­tion re­quires a cor­ri­dor be es­tab­lished from coast to coast to coast, re­quir­ing fed­eral and provin­cial govern­ments to agree on the terms, con­di­tions, and reg­u­la­tory au­thor­ity gov­ern­ing the North­ern Cor­ri­dor. There is a prece­dent for na­tional ini­tia­tives to pre­vail over provin­cial lands in spe­cial cir­cum­stances. Ex­am­ples are CPR land and rights of way, De­part­ment of Na­tional De­fence lands in var­i­ous prov­inces, and First Na­tions reser­va­tions.

This is a na­tion-build­ing project and de­serves 100 per cent fed­eral com­mit­ment.

The stars may now be aligned to gain the fed­eral and provin­cial govern­ment agree­ment to tran­si­tion from an in­ter­est­ing re­search project to ac­tive devel­op­ment. From the re­cent fed­eral-provin­cial con­fer­ence we learned that seven of 10 provin­cial pre­miers have ex­pressed agen­das that are clearly sup­port­ive of the North­ern Cor­ri­dor con­cept. R. Chea­dle, Cal­gary

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