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Politics Speaker John Ibbitson Unpacks The Great Western Power Shift [VIDEO]
Politics | November 27, 2012

Politics Speaker John Ibbitson Unpacks The Great Western Power Shift [VIDEO]

In a recent interview with Lavin, politics speaker John Iibbitson explains how Ontario, the most densley populated province in Canada and home to both the nation's capital and the biggest city in the country, is changing its ideals. "You're seeing Ontario shift its axis away from the Atlantic cutlure," he explains, "[away from] the Atlantic economy, the Atlantic way of doing things, and [is] embracing the Pacific way of doing things." While the giant province had once been more closely affiliated with the ideals of the East, Ibbitson says that it is beginning to have more in common with the Western provinces in the country. Given its influence, the province's attempt to redefine itself will have quite an impact on the rest of the country.

He contributes these shifting ideals to the fact that Ontario has, as he says, become "a Manhattan on Lake Ontario and whole lot of Ohio around it." If you aren't in Toronto, you are in an area that resembles Ohio, he explains—an increasingly conservative area that relies on manufacturing and agriculture, and is declining in population. This leaves anyone living in these outlying areas looking to the West for a "common cause," as they want to remain competitive. It is the immigrant suburban middle class especially, he notes, that is driving this shift. The concept of Canada's shifting power base is somethign that Ibbitson has covered extensively in his book, The Big Shift: The Seismic Change in Canadian Politics, Business, and Culture and What It Means for Our Future. Based on his acclaimed keynote, The Collapse of the Laurentian Consensus, the book explains that business and political elites in the East are losing power, and the West has filled the power void. He is the Ottawa bureau chief for The Globe and Mail and covers the changing landscape of the nation's federal political system in his polished writing and compelling keynotes.
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