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Canadian Preface to

Printable version / Version imprimable


The NAWAPA XXI Special Report by Virginia-based principal author Michael Kirsch, with contributions from consultants and advisers from across North America, was written as “a proposal for action, to be immediately undertaken by elected officials of government” in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

The Committee for the Republic of Canada is proud to be associated with the organizing efforts for the North American Water and Power Alliance (NAWAPA), a thirty-year continent-wide agro-industrial endeavour destined to become probably the greatest science-driver leap forward in economy known as possible in the world today.

The unprecedented magnitude of this project will employ well over 6 millions people in productive employment: NAWAPA will engage four millions highly productive operatives, supplemented by two additional millions in related engineering programs. As part of this project we will be rebuilding the productive capacity of the former industrial heartland of Canada and the United States, especially its Great Lakes Region.

A Second Canadian-Great Lakes Revolution

The principal founder of the great industrial complex of Hamilton and one of Canada’s leading 19th century nation-builders, Isaac Buchanan [1] was an enthusiastic supporter of “American System” economics and influenced by the writings of Abraham Lincoln’s economic adviser Henry C. Carey, the main proponent of productive public credit in the nineteenth century.

A key co-thinker of Buchanan was William Hamilton Merritt, the father of Canada’s canal system, and a crucial railroad pioneer. Merritt advocated building a comprehensive system of canals and railways linking inland waters with the ocean, a scheme that foreshadowed the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway over 100 years later.

On par with these 19th century revolutionary transformations, the NAWAPA’s future barge canals connecting Lake Superior to the Pacific, and Hudson Bay, James Bay, Georgian Bay, the ore fields of Labrador and Quebec to the Great Lakes, will turn once inefficient or impossible resource deposits into easily accessible regions of development, leading to an explosion of new mining, processing, industrial and research potentials all along its banks.

The Knob Lake Barge Canal will connect the upper reaches of the Côte-Nord Region of Quebec to Southeast Ontario from where it will flow into the future James Bay Seaway and eventually in Georgian Bay. This will create a development corridor from Northern Quebec to the Great Lakes that will foster the establishment, all along the length of the barge canal, of new raw materials processing plants, including integrated steel-making industries, and more technically advanced secondary sector industries. Thus Quebec’s Plan Nord , with the coming into being of NAWAPA, the largest bio-engineering project in history that is destined to become the locomotive for the Canadian economy as a whole for at least a generation, will be harmonized in the qualitatively different and scientifically more cogent NAWAPA policy.

NAWAPA is designed to generate a sufficient amount of present and future economic activity to enact a restoration of public credit as a source for investment.

But first, there must be an immediate re-enactment of the original Glass-Steagall law in the United States and a similar legislation enacted in Canada that would cancel the speculative (gambling) debts in the banking system. With a Glass-Steagall reorganization of the banking system we can then proceed to launch a new Federal Credit System dedicated to large-scale development of trans-continental water and power systems which could and would provide a great economic recovery in Canada, the United States and Mexico.

NAWAPA as a water and power proposal will employ a vast number of industries involved in material and machine production which are vital for Canada to develop and salvage, as well as new infrastructure routes stretching most of the continent, providing millions of Canadians and Americans long-term employment, and training a new generation of highly skilled and creative workers without which no nation could survive.

“For Future Generations”

“The true underlying purpose of an economy is to guarantee the long-term survival of the human species on a level that increases from generation to generation. The purpose of a credit system is to take the wealth created by past generations and “pass it onward, increased and enriched, to future generations,” as Friedrich Schiller [2] defined the meaning of universal history.

“Mankind is not merely another species of animal which reproduces itself on the same level of development over the course of centuries and millennia; rather, man is the only species with the capacity for creativity, i.e., the capacity to develop its own natural resources to an ever higher level of organization. With our creativity, we can create something that outlasts our own lifespan: We invest in something which will benefit future generations, something which will afford them a degree of material and spiritual freedom which extends far beyond what we, as initiators, have achieved during our own lives.

“The idea of a credit system is therefore by no means merely a technical improvement in our banking system; rather it is a harmonization of the financial side of our economy, with the continued existence of humanity for many generations into the future. Therefore it has, if you will, a spiritual dimension. The credit system is thus the instrumentation which aids us in passing the value created by one generation, and enriched by us, onward to following generations.” [3]

Fulfilling Canada’s Destiny as a Northern Economy

The building of NAWAPA will provide the basis to industrialize northern Canada and Alaska for the first time.

A true Northern Economy means creating new cities and a large permanent scientific and technological cadre in the North which will transform our current scientific perspective of the Arctic from isolated research stations in remote and dangerous conditions into an active scientific capability. These new modern northern cities will have decent housing and close communication with national educational and cultural facilities.

Let us encourage research and development for raw materials processing and refining industries under northern conditions. Let us plan efficient transport in the North, not only for bulk cargo but to service mid-size industries which will open up Canada’s Northern and Arctic regions. For this, we will require high speed railways. Let us start the construction of the Alaska-Canada (Al-Can) rail project which has been delayed for much too long. This would be a valuable and necessary Canadian-American contribution to the Bering Strait Rail Tunnel project that the Russian government intends to build. This new Eurasia-North America-South America rail link would certainly give new meaning to the motto High North, Low Tension.

“In the near future calling the Arctic “Earth’s window to space” will become even truer than when that phrase was first coined. Initially it referred to the invisible northern and southern polar portals out of our atmosphere — an influx of extra-terrestrial radiation of which the aurora borealis and australis were only the beautifully visible fringe.

“Soon, it will signify further that the Arctic is our window to space as a new and necessary frontier for humanity: the place where a new cultural renaissance will be fostered. At the same time, here in the Arctic is where we will develop the technologies necessary to achieve that destiny in the stars”. [4]

An Inspiration to the World

It is our informed conviction that our citizens will embrace NAWAPA as a project of great value to present and future generations of Canadians.

Internationally, these are greatly troubled times. Therefore the true self-interest of a citizen of Canada must necessarily be located not only in the condition of the nation bequeathed to its posterity as a whole but in our country’s international efforts to promote policies that will lay the basis for establishing a more just new world economic order.

Presently, it is all mankind that cries out implicitly for a more secure order in mankind’s affairs. If it be true that “Development is the New Name for Peace”, then it would certainly be within the power of the people of Canada to establish NAWAPA as an inspiration, a living example which this imperiled mankind of today’s world sorely needs.

Gilles Gervais and Robert Hux