From: Dave Hamilton
To: Curtis Johnson
Date: Sep 5 1998 10:05:10 am
Subject: Salt
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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?

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

CJ>  And participate in our wonderful health care system?

Ah, one of the things that keeps me here. I have my own coverage
but it doesn't cost as much as private U.S. coverage costs.

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

CJ>  How about hydroelectric power?  8-)

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

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.

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

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

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