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From a certain perspective, the French had been given the country, and Parent chose to look at it that way. So, to redraw the picture of the position of the French in Canada, and to work deeper into the sense of la pensée économique we turn to Esdras Minville’s reconstruction of the circumstances of Quebec in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. After the Conquest the Canadiens withdrew to the communal life of their relatively independent, that is non-commercialized, agriculture, counting on their natural increase to regain for them in economic and social 42 A history of Canadian economic thought life what they had lost politically.

The region’s major metropolitan centre, Halifax, so runs this theme, is somehow economically disconnected from the hinterland economic activity of its region. If the Maritimes is not to be a hinterland to some external metropolitan foreland, if Halifax is not itself to be a hinterland, but a foreland urban centre, then Halifax must become the exclusive metropolitan centre for the hinterland activites of the region. The two must get together. Halifax must become the ‘growth pole’ of the region, but it has not.

The Department of Industry, Trade and Commerce had a similar mandate. IT&C had grown out of the post-war manufacturing boom in Canada, when it was thought that devastation in Europe and the Orient had created a Canadian niche, or the opportunity for a niche, in international markets. IT&C was national and international in scope. DREE was national and regional. There was no thought of joining the two. By the mid-1970s Europe had recovered, North America had a trade deficit, and newly developed countries on the west Pacific rim were outproducing the United States in some significant lines of manufacturing.

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