The Post-Staples State: The Political Economy of Canada’s Primary Industries

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The Post-Staples State:

The Political Economy of Canada’s Primary Industries

Edited By

Michael Howlett

Department of Political Science

Simon Fraser University

Burnaby BC


Keith Brownsey

Department of Public Policy

Mount Royal College

Calgary, Alberta

Submitted to UBC Press

November 15, 2005

Table of Contents

Table of Contents ii

Table of Figures vii

Table of Tables viii

Acknowledgements ix

Part I – Introduction x

Chapter 1 – Introduction – Michael Howlett (SFU) and Keith Brownsey (Mt. Royal College) 1

Overview: Staples and Post-Staples Political Economy 3

Staples Theory 5

The Historical Foundations 8

Debates in the 1970s and 1980s 15

Contemporary Staples Theory 23

Organization of the Book 28

References 33

Part 2 – Consumption Industries: Agriculture and the Fisheries 38

Chapter II: “The Two Faces of Canadian Agriculture in a Post-Staples Economy” – Grace Skogstad (Toronto) 39

Introduction 39

Agriculture as a Dominant Staple: late 19th century – 1930 42

Depression and War and the National Interest: 1930-1945 43

State Intervention and Restructuring in the Post-war Period 45

State Retrenchment, Regionalisation, and Globalization in the 1980s and 1990s 47

Regional Market Integration and Dependence 49

Integration into the Multilateral Trading Regime 51

Redefining State Fiscal Obligations 53

The Political Organization of the Agri-Food Sector and State-Sector Relations 54

The Structural Inferiority of Staples Producers in a Mature Staples Sector 57

Conclusion 60

References 64

Chapter III: “The New Agriculture: Genetically-Engineered Food in Canada” – Elizabeth Moore (Agriculture and Agri-food Canada) 70

Introduction 70

The first wave of GE food policy: a mature staples context 71

Jumping on the bandwagon: investment in GE food technology 74

Regulation as a tool for promotion and protection 77

The second wave of GE food policy: post-staple pressures and responses 79

The road ahead for GE food policy in Canada 88

References 94

Chapter IV - The Relationship between the Staples State and International Trade As Pertains to the Canadian Fisheries Industry - Gunhild Hoogensen 100

Introduction: 100

Trade policy, Staples, and the fisheries 104

Subsidies 109

Trade Agreements 112

The role of the trade agreements and WTO – good, bad, and does it matter? 117

Conclusion: 120

References 122

Chapter V: "Caught in a Staples Vise: The Political Economy of Canadian Aquaculture” - Jeremy Rayner (Malaspina) and Michael Howlett (SFU) 126

Introduction: 126

(Overly) Optimistic Expansion in the 1980s and 1990s 126

Emerging Problems with Aquacultural Development 128

A Post-Staples Policy Process? 131

Aquaculture as a Problematic Post-Staples Industry 132

The Finfish Sector 136

The Shellfish Sector 138

The Existing Canadian Aquaculture Regulatory Framework 139

The Federal Situation 142

Provincial Developments 149

Conclusion 156

References 160

Part 3 – Extraction Industries: Minerals and Forests 170

Chapter VI: Shifting Foundations: a Political History of Canadian Mineral Policy - Mary Louise McAllister, 171

Promising Prospects: Staples and the nascent mineral industry 173

Embedded Interests: Establishing the Staples Economy 177

Shifting Ground: Competing Interests 180

Competitive Pressures on the Resource Industry: 181

Access to Land Issues 182

Adverse Environmental and Social Impacts of Mining 184

The Decline of the Resource Community 189

Uncertain Territory: Complex Environments 191

Emerging Conceptual Perspectives 191

Rising to the Challenge? Responses to Change 193

Seismic Shifts or Minor Tremors in the Status Quo? 195

Conclusions: New Frontiers 199

Chapter VII: “Complexity, Governance and Canada's Diamond Mines” – Patricia J Fitzpatrick (Waterloo) 208

Complexity, Governance and Canada's Diamond Mines 208

The Northwest Territories Policy Community 210

Aboriginal organizations 211

Territorial Government 213

Non-Governmental Organizations 214

Proponents 216

Summary 216

Diamond Development in the North 217

West Kitikmeot Slave Society 219

Community Capacity and Public Participation in the BHP Review Process 220

The Implications of Superadded Agreement 222

BHP Independent Environmental Monitoring Agency 225

The Diavik Diamonds (DDMI) Project: Comprehensive Study 226

West Kitikmeot Slave Society Revisited 227

Community Capacity and Public Participation in DDMI EA 227

Superadded Agreements: New Players 230

Advisory Board 231

Cumulative Effects Assessment and Management Strategy 232

Other Diamond Developments in the North 233

Cross Scale Institutional Linkages 234

Conclusion 237

References 239

Tables 240

Chapter VIII Knotty Tales: Exploring Canadian Forest Policy Narratives - Jocelyn Thorpe and L. Anders Sandberg, 243

Introduction 243

The Staples to Post-Staples Narrative 246

Questioning the Staples to Post-Staples Transition 250

The Softwood Lumber Dispute 251

Forests as Carbon Sinks 253

Parks Versus Staples? 254

Summary 256

Staples By and For More People 256

Summary 261

Beyond the Staples to Post-Staples Transition 262

Summary and Policy Implications 268

Conclusion 270

References 273

Chapter IX: “The Post-state Staples Economy: The Impact of Forest Certification as a NSMD (NSMD) Governance System” – Benjamin Cashore (Yale), Graeme Auld, James Lawson, and Deanna Newsom 285

Introduction 285

Emergence of Forest Certification and its Two Conceptions of Non-State Governance 286

Two Conceptions of Forest Certification 288

Key Features of NSMD Environmental Governance 295

Emergence and Support for Forest Certification in Canada 298

British Columbia 301

Standards-setting process 306

U-turn 310

Canadian Maritimes 313

Development of the Standards 315

Conclusions: Non-state Governance 320

Part 4 – Transmission Industries: Oil & Gas and Water 325

Chapter X: The New Oil Order: The Post Staples Paradigm and the Canadian Upstream Oil and Gas Industry - Keith Brownsey (Mount Royal College) 326

1. Introduction: 326

The Canadian Oilpatch 329

A History of the Canadian Oil and Gas Industry 333

The Colonial Period 335

The Era of Multinational Domination 336

The Nationalization of Oil and Gas 341

The Era of Benign Neglect 349

The New NEP and Kyoto 353

Conclusions 359

References 364

Chapter XI: "Offshore Petroleum Politics: A Changing Frontier in a Global System" - Peter Clancy, (SFX) 368

Offshore Petroleum as a Distinct Political Economy 370

Spatial and Temporal Dimensions 372

Offshore Petro-Capital as a Political Factor 377

Technology as a Political Variable 384

Science, Knowledge Domains and Epistemes 387

Federalism and the Offshore Domain 390

State Strength and Capacities 393

Offshore Petroleum Regulation in the New Millennium 397

Conclusions 402

References 406


Chapter XII Between Old “Provincial Hydros” and Neoliberal Regional Energy Regimes: Electricity Energy Policy Studies in Canada – Alex Netherton 416

Regulatory State / Urban Modernization & Resource Industrialization 416

Keynesian Welfare-State / ‘Permeable’ Fordism, 1946-1987 424

Provincial State Ownership, Mega-projects and Network Reorganization 430

New Interests and Structural Pressures for Change 434

Neoliberal-Sustainable / Regionalization 438

Drivers of Paradigm Change 442

Federalism and Electricity Grids: Interprovincial and Regional 443

Canada-United States Policy Integration as a Policy Driver: Conservation and Trade Regimes 447

The Emerging Supra National Power of FERC 450

Conclusions 458

Electrical Energy Policy: A Research Agenda 462

References 464

Chapter XIII: "From Black Gold to Blue Gold: Lessons from an Altered Petroleum Trade Regime for An Emerging Water Trade Regime" - John N. McDougall, (UWO ) 479

The Cost of Bulk-Water Transmission 480

The Emerging Trade Regime Affecting Oil, Gas and Water Exports 484

Free Trade Agreements and Water Exports and Investments 489

Conclusion: The Effects of Free Trade Agreements on National Resource Policies 500

References 502

Part 5 – Conclusion: Toward a Post-Staples State? 506

Chapter XIV - Contours of the Post-Staples State: The Reconstruction of Political Economy and Social Identity in 21st Century Canada - Thomas A. Hutton 507

Introduction: the post-staples hypothesis in context 507

New dynamics of regional divergence in the post-staples state 518

Conclusion: normative dimensions of the post-staples state 530

References 535

Chapter XV - The Dynamic (Post) Staples State: Responding to Challenges—Old and new - Adam Wellstead 540

Introduction 540

Contemporary Staples Economies 543

Defining the Staples State 548

Minimalist State 549

Emergent State and New Industrialism: The Staples State’s Golden Era 551

KWS Legacy and Crisis: Wither the Staples State? 553

Competitive State: A Reconsideration of the Staples State 557

Governance 560

Anthropology of the state and neo-pluralism 562

Policy Communities and Networks: Drivers of Richardian (Staples) Competitive States 564

Conclusion 567

References 570


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