The role of staple processing as a factor in the regional economic growth of the prairie provinces

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Merrett, James Stephen
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The exploitation of Canada's vast national resources has long been recognized as a major contributing factor to the economic growth and development of the nation. However, these resources are not spread evenly over the length and breadth of the country, nor do they all require the same effort or amount of activity to convert them into a saleable staple product that can be transported and marketed either in Canada or throughout the world. This study as an examination of the role of staple exploitation in the Prairie Provinces of Canada, and particularly the economic benefits to that region of processing or manufacturing the raw staples locally before they are exported. The study falls roughly into two broad sections. The first section, consisting of the Introduction and Chapter I and II, contains an examination of the historical importance of the staple wheat in the development of the Prairie Region and compares this with the effects of the exploitation of other more extensively processed resource staples, such as pulp and paper and metallic minerals, on the economy of Central Canada. The second section, consisting of Chapters III and IV, contains an examination of the consequences on the Prairie Region of developing more highly processed agricultural staple products for export. By means of a detailed survey of the specific effects of the raising of livestock and expanding the meat processing industry in Manitoba, some conclusions are drawn about the economic consequences of the processing of this staple product on the entire Prairie Region.