People, Resources and Power
Critical Perspectives on Underdevelopment and Primary Industries in the Atlantic Region.

Burrill, Gary; McKay, Ian
Publisher:  Gorsebrook Research Institute, Fredericton, Canada
Year Published:  1987
Pages:  202pp   ISBN:  0-919107-10-9
Library of Congress Number:  HC117.A8P46   Dewey:  338.09715
Resource Type:  Book
Cx Number:  CX3466

This book is about resources and the reasons why the working people of the Atlantic region have derived so little benefit from the natural wealth which surrounds them.

The introduction to this intelligent volume states its purpose clearly: "This book is about resources and the reasons why the working people of the Atlantic region have derived so little benefit from the natural wealth which surrounds them." Most of the articles come from New Maritimes, an independent regional monthly which has made a reputation for itself for the quality of its reporting and analysis.

The answer, as the articles make it clear, has to do with power: economic power, and the political power that is tied to it. "Whether offshore oil and gas deposits are explored, whether the forests are sprayed, whether our fish are harvested with freezer trawlers, whether our mines are open or closed -- not only are we not consulted about these life and death matters, but we are rarely even given the background information others have used the make these decisions for us. Who wields economic and political power, and for what ends? These questions have been left almost completely unexplored in the Atlantic region."

People, Resources, and Power is divided into four parts, on agriculture, fishing, forestry, and mining and energy. An excellent introduction concisely presents the framework of analysis, while the afterword raises the question of what the future holds, raising the prospect of an alliance between workers and primary producers in the region. This is a solidly analytical book, well grounded in fact, a model work of political economy which Canadians concerned with social change can learn much from.

[Abstract by Ulli Diemer]

Table of Contents


Dependency and Resources in the Atlantic Region: An Introduction

Further Reading: Dependency and Resources

Part I: Agriculture

Introduction: The New Corporate Clearances

Potato Capitalism: McCain and Industrial Farming in New Brunswick - Tom Murphy

From Self-Reliance to Dependence to Struggle: Agribusiness and the Politics of Potatoes in New Brunswick - Darrell McLaughlin

The Political Education of Bud the Spud: Producers and Plebiscites on Prince Edward Island - Marie Burge

Leading the Way: An Unauthorized Guide to the Sobeys Empire - Eleanor O'Donnell

Further Reading: Agriculture

Part II: Fishing

Introduction: "The Tragedy of the Commons" or the Common Tragedies of Capital?

The Poor Man's Machiavelli: Michael Kirby and the Atlantic Fisheries - Rick Williams

The Restructuring That Wasn't: The Scandal at National Sea - Rick Williams

Underdeveloping the P.E.I. Fishery - Bernie Conway

Of Pride and Prices: Miminegash, Moss and the Multinationals - Mary Boyd

Further Reading: Fishing

Part III: Forestry

Introduction: From Towering Pines to the Multinationals' Pulpstand

The New Forest in Nova Scotia - Julia McMahon

A Reader's Guide to the Spray - Christopher Majka

The Political Economy of Pesticide and Herbicide Testing in New Brunswick - Bruce Livesey

Underdeveloping Nova Scotia's Forests, and the Role of Corporate Counter-Intelligence - Aaron Schneider
Further Reading: Forestry

Part IV: Mining and Energy

Introduction: The Hidden Injuries of Dependence

The Political Economy of and Illusion: The Strange Case of Nova Scotia's Vanishing Offshore - Brian O'Neill

The Sinking of the Ocean Ranger, 1982: The Politics of a Resource Tragedy - Brian O'Neill

Springhill 1958 - Ian McKay

Old Wounds: Reopening the mines of St. Lawrence - Alan Story

Further Reading: Mining and Energy

Is There Life After Underdevelopment? An Afterword - Rick Williams

The Contributors

Subject Headings

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