Canada's Economic Strategy
J.V. Rahilly was an engineering librarian in Ontario.
Laxer’s polemic is a short, economic commentary that deals with a variety of topics centring on Canada’s economic future. He covers the regional disparities in Canada, the issue of free trade versus protectionism, the politics of the federal government versus the provinces, the question of whether “resources” or “manufacturing” should be dominant, and the political realignment of the country. He believes that the Progressive Conservatives, once traditional nationalists, now represent the western provinces and free enterprise, while the Liberals, once traditional continentalists, now represent central Canada (Ontario and Quebec) and stand for economic nationalism. In summary, then, Laxer can see Canada at the crossroads, having to make a decision as to whether to move in one of two directions on not move at all. The two diametrically opposed directions are: 1) toward a decentralized, resource-based economy emphasizing powerful provincial governments; or 2) toward a strong federal government with an industrial-manufacturing strategy.