I’m sitting in the Dal library, doing school work. It’s a dull, brutal building on the outside with almost no windows, and is pretty labyrinthine on the inside, with the stacks relegated to the perimeter to accommodate a really nice looking atrium. I like atriums, and it is nice to work next to it, and I am pretty sure that this is the sole architecturally redeeming quality of the whole place, but man is that a lot of potential study and stacks space.
My thesis, very generally, is looking at the history of the Columbia River Treaty. This means, of course, that I am skimming Straight Talk, a collection of speeches and writing by Stephane Dion published in 1999. I am exactly the kind of person that benefits from closed stacks libraries.
Anyway, from an address at the UofO in March of 1998. Emphasis, as always, is mine:
First of all, our federation is decentralized. That is very clear when you compare it with the other major federations. And that’s a good thing, by the way. Such a large and diversified country as Canada could not function other than under a very advanced federative form. It is a good thing that we have strong provinces, and I am a great admirer of “the provincial state”, if I may use such an expression. Each province can try out solutions that are specific to its own culture and its own context, and through healthy emulation, learn from the others. At the same time, however, the provinces cannot behave as ten inward-looking republics, and there are broader responsibilities that are the purview of a federal government. That’s why it’s also a good thing that we have a federal government that is strong in its areas of jurisdiction, and consistent, sustained relations between the two orders of government.