Because We Haven't Brought You Enough News on Canadian Agriculture Lately …

Here are two interesting items:

A Macleans article about one investment firm’s effort to assemble one of the biggest farms in the world by piecing together Aboriginal land.

And a very interesting National Post series about Canada’s massive illegal tobacco market, most of it centered on Aboriginal land as well, but including cameos by the Hell’s Angels, mafiosos, and others.

I am in the midst of a few quick trips to Canada, and am reminded of how little of their news crosses the border to us.


Thank G*D! The Tim Horton line is still holding.

"...a very National Post..." ??

"...crosses the border to us..."

You know, there is this thing called the Internet that knows no borders.


Well, this is no too surprising.

In Canada, where I'd argue that the western cultural bias doesn't let people to understand why is this happening, natives will probably end up being crushed as usual because cultivating tobacco is just "bad".

For instance take Bolivia, where natives produced another questionable crop: coca leaves, the raw material for producing cocaine that can be arguably worse than tobacco. Non-native politicians and anti-drug activists fought this and they just ended up losing political power to cocalero leader Evo Morales. Of course, natives are a majority in Bolivia, and no cultural bias against coca is mainstream there, where is used extensively as a natural medication and with religious ends.


Between the hockey posts and now this, I'd say that Dubner is developing an almost Michael Moore-ish affection for the True North, Strong and Free.

Stay as long as you'd like. But bring a coat.

Drill-Baby-Drill Drill Team

Appropriate Canadian Motto: Boring But Good.

Two Countries are actually looking forward to a Warming Planet because of their vast tundra, frozen lakes and bitter cold climes: Canada and Russia.

Despite lip service to enviormentalism, Russia is actively trying to achieve global warming, then they will have the Miami beach resorts on the Arctic,


Regarding the article of the National Post, I must confirm to be surprised by many factors. First, that the aboriginals would find themselves to the border of desperation and have to turn towards illegal operations to win money and secondly by the success of these new markets of illegal substances. This all correlates with the mistakes of the past, and how inhumane Indians were treated back then. We should stop thinking about these illegal activities, as they are sunk costs, and rather turn our attention to improving their standard of living. Education is one possible answer, as in many years the marginal benefit of having put them in schools would have surpassed it cost, and thus be a win-win situation for both sides.


how little of their news crosses the border to us.

I'm a Canadian who is frequently in the US on business - I've been here when a new Prime Minister was elected (that's the leader of our country, yo) and seen it be little more than a single sentence in the evening news.


Lucky. You picked a nice season and I bet their foliage is better than ours this year. We're hoping to visit Gaspe / Nova Scotia or some other coastal region.

I'm not crazy about mega-farms but if they can avoid a monoculture and instead have crop diversity and not fragment forests, I suppose it's better than turning that land into a concrete jungle.

Our region has some of the most fertile soils in the country and yet due to no zoning laws combined with farmers not able to keep their land well, the farmland is sadly turning into Walmarts.


The article in the post shows how tobacco is slowly becoming as powerful as drugs in Canada. I was surprised when I read that the only reason people consider finding ways to stop this is because it has halted the downward slide in smoking among the population. It is better for them to seem well off than to actually be well off by sticking to the law. This issue has brought along with it negative externalities as well as positive ones. As mentioned before, it has halted the decline in smoking rates. And, it's an illegal activity. However, it has helped depressed native economies and helped in the circulation of money as people in this business have a lot of money to spend on "nice" things such as cars and mansions. If measures ARE taken to improve the situation, then new positive externalities will emerge, such as the education of the people in Canada (as mentioned by the flying dragon). When in need, people are blinded and turn to whatever is easiest, which is why many natives in Canada have turned to this illegal activity. If the benefits of educating the Canadians and fixing the problem outweigh the costs of doing so, then it would be best if measures were taken. However, meanwhile they're helping money circulate and they're helping brands and companies as they spend their money on those brand's and companies' goods and services.


Joe Smith

Hard to believe that one million acres on leased land would be an appropriate model for an efficient farm.

Shirley Hicks

The lack of news reflects a lack of interest. Canadians @ home, take heart....


Funny headline. I was thinking just the opposite.


No opinion on the BHP Billiton tender for Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan?