Thursday, February 15, 2007

Maine governor to address NB legislature

Follow up on their meeting and signing of a memorandum of understanding on education and energy cooperation last week, Maine Governor John Baldacci said he had spoken more times in the past four months to Premier Shawn Graham than to any premier in his four years in office. Cooperation between Maine and New Brunswick is certainly a good thing that I encourage, I think that on energy and education there is lots of room, but also in terms of tourism, transportation, economic development and natural resources.

Northern Maine has a very depressed economy while central-western New Brunswick has been booming and at times has had employment shortages. Lots of people from this region, especially nurses, cross the border to work in the USA. However few Americans cross the border to work in Canada, that is a perfect example of economic cooperation.

However, I am not sure how I feel about the Maine Governor being given the change to address the New Brunswick legislature. I am not sure how long it has been since an outsider was allowed the privilege, the last case I know of was Winston Churchill in the 1950s. I am going to see if I can find out more details.

While it is very good that Shawn Graham is being much more driven in building relationships with our neighbours than his predeccesor, I cannot imagine the Maine legislature granting him a similar privilege and I do not like the optics of us rolling out the red carpet to our American neighbours for fear that they will appear to be our masters.

UPDATE

The address will be shortly after the legislature begins its sitting at 10 a.m. on Wednesday.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

NBpolitico, do you know what time governor will be speaking in the legislature on Wednesday.

Your fears are well placed.

nbpolitico said...

I am not sure, as soon as there is an announcement I will let you know.

mike said...

If anybody fears an american 'master', it sure isn't the governor of MAINE:)

richard said...

Just be thankful it isn't Woodenhead McGuinty from out here in Ontariariario.

nbpolitico said...

mike, I was speaking of the perception. Those in Maine may begin to think that they can take advantage of us through the recently signed agreements if we seem to be bending at the knee for their governor.

Anonymous said...

And just when was Winston Churchill Here?

scott said...

Did you attend?

Beausoleil said...

Hogwash! This is so backward thinking! Get with it! It is done everywhere in the world!! Are we so boondogs that receiving a foreign dignitary is now a faux pas? We must stop looking at our neighbors with mistrust. I commend Premier Graham for being bold and modern. How can we play an important role in the world by being over zealously protective.

jajakoom said...

jajakoom said...
PNB, I’m not sure I understand your concern about having the Governor of Maine coming in to speak to fellow politicians in New Brunswick. Presumably, as our “house of the people” we should make everyone feel welcome, especially those who are in elected positions similar to our premier, regardless of their jurisdiction. That doesn’t mean you invite every Governor to speak, but as one of our three neighbours, it seems like a “nice” thing to do.

It’s like having the USA president or the Mexico president speak to the house of commons in Ottawa – it doesn’t mean much, but it is a polite gesture.

Why should we be concerned about whether they reciprocate?

Honestly, what difference does it make? I think your concern about the appearance of the event is just a tad inflated. Besides, if the Maine National Guard decides to invade, our border officers have huge quantities of pepper spray with which to repel them! :-)

nbpolitico said...

It is a matter of normal diplomatic protocol that there is usually some sort of reciprocity in the case of these sorts of things, that obviously isn't the case here which is unfortunate.

I am not sure when Churchill spoke, but in the main lobby of the legislature there is a bust of him on the wall with a plaque indicating the date.

beausoleil said...

There is no such normal diplomatic protocol of reciprocity that exists! I have researched this and have found none whatsoever! This is your figment of your imagination to get youself out of this one! This is not an exchange of ambassadors! And, a Governor is not a head of state or even a head of government of a sovereign state. It is just inviting a Governor of neighboring American state to present his views in the Province of New Brunswick. Your thoughts doesn't hold up one bit! But, your opinions are still respected anyhow! Good try anyway!