Are we Canazuela? Has Canada lost the capacity to pull off great national projects? – by David Staples (Calgary Herald – August 12, 2022)

Canada is vast, with endless prairies, mountains and shield rock, cut through by rivers. But 140 years ago, Canada accomplished what’s known as the National Dream, building a railway across the land. Could Canada pull off something similarly ambitious today?

Of course, I’m not talking about building with slave labour conditions and without Indigenous consent, as the original railway was constructed. None of that is part of our world any longer. We have benefits agreements with land and rights holders, as well as amazing machines and skilled workers to do the heavy lifting in construction.

But could we pull off such a project in this modern world? At the Centre Ice Conservative conference in Edmonton on Thursday, chief executive officer Malcolm Bruce of the regional economic development corporation Edmonton Global put this provocative question to me.

“Do you think we could really build the railway again here in this country?” Bruce asked. “Do you think it would ever be possible?” I asked Bruce his own opinion. “I would say no. Today it would never be built.”

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