26 January 2007

Charest suggests Euro-trade for Canada

From Premier Jean Charest comes this excellent suggestion on a free trade agreement between Canada and the European Union.

As if on cue, Charest received this endorsement and this one from Quebec business on the idea.

For Newfoundland and Labrador, the prospect of free trade with Europe has some positive aspects.

Upside: Newfoundland and Labrador is the closest point in North America to Europe. That holds huge potential for economic growth given the shortened flying and shipping times. For mainlanders reading this, a jet leaving St. John's can be at Gatwick in something like three and a half hours.

Downside: Any new industrial development might have involve a major deal with government.
Saving grace: The deal likely couldn't come into force until after 2010, meaning a certain bird-lover will likely have flown the coup by then.

Upside: European trade barriers on products like shrimp would drop, again benefiting Newfoundland and Labrador exporters.

Upside: The seal hunt would likely be shut down, thereby ending March Madness and second rate celebrities debating Paul and his ex-wife on Larry King Live about whether they are in Charlottetown Prince Edward Island, Charlottetown Newfoundland or Charlottetown Labrador.

Charest pronounces his trip to the world economic summit in Davos to be a success, here, en francais.

Meanwhile, one of the four Atlantic premiers was accosted by an expat from his own province. Three guesses which one is was. The Premier, not the ex-pat.

In this story, by the way, Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is quoted as saying that people from this province are like homing pigeons. Well, he treats them as if they weren't the homing variety but either way, the comment is more than a little insulting.

He uses this like almost as much as he says "quite frankly", or coughs whenever he is being scrummed and is a tad uncomfortable.

Danny needs new joke writers before someone flips him the bird.