From: Curtis Johnson
To: Dave Hamilton
Date: Sep 12 1998 4:12:48 am
Subject: Salt
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DH> About a message of Curtis Johnson to Dave Hamilton:

CJ>  Now, now, we promise to let your grandchildren vote in
CJ>  their lifetime. And won't it be worth it to be rid of Quebec?

DH> I'm out of touch with Quebec these days though I have a daughter
DH> living there. The supreme court of Canada has just ruled that
DH> they can go ahead and separate without consulting the rest of
DH> the country - but separation means *complete* separation. They
DH> will have to establish their own monetary system.

That was actually deemed important enough to make page 3
or 4 in the papers here!

DH>> Now, convince me that NAFTA is about anything other than water.

CJ>  How about hydroelectric power?  8-)

DH> New York State pays 1/14 the price for hydro from Quebec that
DH> Newfoundland pays. A contract is a contract, says Quebec.

Hmmmmm. . .

DH>> Like as if Mexico opens great new markets for American and Canadian
DH>> manufacturers who pay their employees 10 times as much as they would
DH>> earn in Mexico.

CJ>  My major reason for skepticism for your scenario is that
CJ>  I have great problems thinking our politicians can think farther
CJ> than one decade ahead.

DH> They don't have to. Special interest groups that lobby them do
DH> most of their long term thinking for them, don't they?

But nearly all CEOs can't think any longer than the end
of their tenure, either.  US businesses are notoriously the most
short-sighted of those in the First World.

DH> I know my water theory sounds a bit paranoid, but I keep seeing
DH> evidence for it so I'll hang on to it for a while. Our major export
DH> in BC has in the last ten years gone from lumber to bottled water.
DH> NAFTA says that anything we sell domestically must be available
DH> to the whole continent. The U.S. challenged that in international
DH> court, saying water is water and that it should be able to pipe
DH> it south. The court said, no, only bottled water is sold, so only
DH> bottled water MUST be exported on demand. Further, if a precedent
DH> is set in Canada of selling water piped to its destination, then
DH> it must be offered to North America. The vendor will not be required
DH> to pay delivery costs (i.e. setting up the pipes) but must make
DH> it available for sale.

Interesting.  I'm still not totally convinced, but you have
persuaded me to keep any eye open for any future developments.

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