Subject: Canadian long-term status and outlook
From: "Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada"
Date: Sat, 5 Dec 2015 23:26:37 -0700
To: "Gordon Ball. PEng Aircraft Landing Nav Systems. Ottawa"

Here are a few [random, scattered] guesses, most of which are probably
very wrong.

Militarily :

Canada is hobbit-land, a land of parasites living under the protective
umbrella of our good neighbors, whom we have consistently betrayed and
badmouthed since the Korean war. Since then we have focused on playing
the very [safe, cheap, dangerous] role of the goodie-goodie boy scout
imagery which only serves as self-delusion for those who don't
understand the need for tough decisions and actions. We are not brave
enough to do anything real. Only during the Harper regime has anything
real been looked at, and even Harper dared not spend enough militarily
to count.

As has been well pointed out, we are what Stalin referred to as "idiot
allies", whom he despised and laughed at, all the while exploiting us,
and similarly traitors in the US & UK, to great advantage. That applies
even more since the Korean war (Stalin died in 1952?), and Pierre Elliot
Trudeau was one of their best idiots. I haven't followed Justin
Trudeau's foreign affairs and military pronouncements, but I don't care
- his withdrawal of fighters in Syria, and toy-boy training, along with
what he DOES in the future, are worth watching. His words, and those of
his father, are worthless, is my guess.

I don't want to berate truly courageous Canadian servicemen (a tiny
fraction of our total armed forces), but they are far too few to really
matter. Canadians can only blah-blah about the honorable fight in past
generations from WWI through Korea, but today's Canadians have none of
that stuff.

Others (including the USA) are eying the Arctic islands, and should take
them. Stalin did in the early-mid-1900's what Canadians will probably
never do in the North, and the Americans only started in WWII. It's
about time someone else did something with "our" North, and with the
decline of American power, perhaps that will happen in due course. The
Americans are the first probable choice, Russians second, Chinese third.
The Russians and Chinese have real leadership, the American now have
the lowest IQ leadership in their history, and their people have grown fat.


Canadians have always lagged in putting their own investment money into
developing our country, usually playing for very safe and stagnant
investments. If all of the jerks badmouthing corporations would put
their money into developing this country instead of free-loading (like
me now - I stopped investing, but feel I can no longer run the risks at
this stage) or screaming for the government to do something, it might be
different, but I'm not optimistic about that.

Given the CO2-global warming madness, plus NDP mis-leadership in
Alberta, we may not have much boost from the oil & gas sector for a long
time. It is said that the global "Commodities Supercycle" from 1998
until a couple of years ago was significantly driven by the Chinese
economic miracle. I'm not so sure, but it that doesn't pick up again, we
could see another 20-30 years of natural resource industry challenges,
and a huge hit on out national purse and personal pocketbooks. While
Canadians (and particularly the socialist) yap about diversification
(they seem to claim invention, and nothing could be further from the
truth), we are much better at building [cultures, regions, sectors] that
are parasitic.

Our budgets have only been in control for a modest period when the
Liberals ran Reform Party policies (and got all the credit for that)
with of course support from [Reform, Conservatives] (who were stupid
enough not to get any credit), and during the Harper regime. I now
think we will lose control of our finances again, but this time we are
very close to the critical period of baby-boomer retirement and their
demand on the health system for aging-related challenges. But this time
perhaps the historically-low interest rates may not endure - it would be
a very different scenario in an environment of significantly rising
interest rates.

We cannot handle these challenges without a complete change in attitude
and policies.

A reasonable possibility is that hard-working and well-connected
immigrants will change this country around. The Canada that emerges
would be very different from the beliefs of the traditional Euro-descent
Canadians, and possibly would be much better for it, but maybe not.

Quebec sovereignty

I have long felt that Quebec will separate eventually, and that they
Quebecers would succeed extremely well. Necessity would probably force
them to do much better than they ever have, as that would force tough
decisions (either that, or they should lose their country).

For now, things seem safe, and there is a collective blindness to the
near-separation that almost occurred.

Third world nation

For several years I have thought that Canada was well on its way to
becoming a third world nation, and I feel much more that way now.
However, it's never too late, and rapidly rising labor costs in China
(perhaps India in a few decades) will probably re-balance global
competitiveness to a great degree. But as to whether Canadians will
actually do anything productive, or simply retreat to a defensive stand
like post-WWII France, that remains to be seen.

Former Federal Reserve Chair Alan Greenspan often spoke of "creative
destruction" - economic downturns that force much-needed [change,
restructuring, lower costs, higher competitiveness]. To me, that is
what will be required before we will act, and hopefully that will happen
before it's too late.

As a role model, we haven't really been able to learn enough from the
Americans. Perhaps we should take the more mature and proactive
Australians as out model. Motivation is difficult when one can
free-load off of rich natural resources, but the Australians have much
to teach us. Brazil is kicking our ass in advanced fundamental research
and in many high-tech sectors, as well as some aspects of mining. We
need to pay more attention to our competitiveness and performance.


-------- Forwarded Message --------
Date: Sun, 6 Dec 2015 03:23:05 +0000
From: Gordon Ball <>
To: Bill Howell. Retired from NRCan. now in Alberta Canada

Dear Bill, Thank you for the detailed discussion of the USA today. I
wonder where that leaves Canada. You seem to agree that the USA is in
decline but it is by no means clear what that will mean for the US and
the rest of the world. Gordon

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