As the federal election ground on, Canada in theory, has become a signatory to the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership). It has become clear to me and many others that if Canada is to benefit from agreements such as TPP and others that are in the works, it has to get competitive.
Take for instance transportation. Generally Canadians have some of the highest costs of transportation in the world. It doesn’t take a scientist to figure out why.
If you put all the people in one part of an area and put all the jobs in another part of an area and you insist through cultural norms that everyone drive automobiles, you are going to have a transportation nightmare.
What other countries have done better than we have, is urban planning.
Restricting areas that can be developed, insisting on high density, mixed use development and insisting that development be close to public transit or be easily accessible by bicycle or on foot. Most importantly, they have invested in public transit, specifically rail based transit which have lower operating costs than busses.
They have also invested heavily in pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure because the payback periods are so much shorter than those of roads.
The populations of the countries that have followed these fundamentals use far less electricity, fuel and water than we do.
Food travels fewer miles from producer to consumer because more land is available for agriculture.
Generally their populations are healthier both mentally and physically due to not being confined to automobiles.
So it is no wonder that companies would want to shift their operations to parts of the world where the people are just as happy, but where they know that the people aren’t going to have to ask for exorbitant amounts of money to pay for living far away from the place of work.
Eric Diller, Sidney