Some Regional Problems of Canada
The Empire Club of Canada Addresses (Toronto, Canada), 24 Nov 1955, p. 111-125
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Some Regional Problems of Canada

The speaker's recent completion of a cross-country tour, giving him an opportunity to see for himself some of the serious problems which confront Canadian primary producers. Industrial developments, particularly in the provinces West of the Maritimes. Great disparities of opportunity and wealth in the several regions of Canada; disparities between provinces, and between individuals within provinces. Comparisons of per capita incomes. Some production and financial statistics. The impossibility of measuring how much any individual or any region contributes to national development. The fact that Canadians cannot afford a situation in which some people get a chronically smaller share of the national income in spite of the extraordinary efforts that they may put forward. Poverty of some as a shadow, directly or indirectly, on the prosperity of others. Examining Canada's regional economic problems, with examples. The need for Canada to adopt policies that will compensate those sectors of our economy that are not in the advantageous positions that some of our industries are in. Why some regions of Canada have industrialized while others have not. The fairness or unfairness of national policies. The industrial advantages of Southern Ontario, dependant on its location. The factor of transportation. Freight rates. The "bridge subsidy." The Maritime Freight Rate Assistance Act. Consequences to development of some of these transportation costs. The need for governments to take steps that will balance the returns received by primary producers with secondary producers, and to play a positive role in planning investment on a broad front throughout Canada so as to counter some of the trends toward centralization that create problems not only for the under-developed areas, but also for those areas in which most of the development has been taking place. Serious problems in the form of inequalities in the standards of public services that can be provided due to the uneven distribution of income in the various regions of Canada. The field of education as an example of this uneven distribution. Tax rental agreements as a basic approach to the problem of enabling the ten provinces of Canada to finance programmes. New suggestions which introduce the so-called equalization grants. Such grants not subsidies but something which may lead future federal-provincial fiscal relationships into a welter of accusations and acrimony. Decisions taken now which should recognize that we are all Canadians, differing in our approach to many problems, but sharing a common interest in providing adequate standards for all our people.