Urban myth

Carl Whicher
National Post
May 21, 2002

Letter to the Editor:

Re: Globalization Equals Urbanization, Lawrence Solomon, May 9.

Mr. Solomon’s comments on commodity prices declining are bang on, but metal prices have historically always been priced globally. However, this does not mean that we must give up their production. Thirty years ago, Canadian technologies in mining and forestry were world class. Today they are nowhere. This has nothing to do with urbanization, but is a symptom of a Canadian malaise in R&D.

Kemano, B.C., was burned down because remote control technologies today allow it, and because Alcan expected savings of $8-million a year, the risks of remote operation notwithstanding. The same communication technologies that allow remote operation of Kemano allow service outsourcing outside Toronto, be that in Colpoy’s Bay, Kitimat or even India. The gradual proliferation of government bureaucracies and Crown corporations in a very few centers has certainly caused the demise of a few mining towns, and it is no longer necessary. The reason is not globalization, but (bad) government policy.

We need to do what is in Canadians’ best interests. We need urban renewal in the four centres housing 52% of Canadians, and we need rural renewal too. I say "vive la difference"!

Carl Whicher, Kitimat, B.C.

To read Larry’s article, "Don’t tax, toll," please see: http://www.urban.probeinternational.org

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