Skip to main content

The Globe and Mail

Separation anxiety: As Scots fret over whisky, what about Screech?

These are stories Report on Business followed this week.

Follow Michael Babad and The Globe's Business Briefing on Twitter.

Separation anxiety
Ever wonder what might be at stake if provinces other than Quebec threatened to separate?

Story continues below advertisement

Probably not. And understandably.

But I got to thinking about it after the Edinburgh-based Scotch Whisky Association raised its concerns Friday in the run-up to Scotland's independence referendum.

The skittish Scottish producers aren't taking a stand. They simply warned on Friday that, no matter the outcome, they need "an effective diplomatic network with the necessary global reach" for the €4.3-billion in U.K. exports that they represent.

And that got my mind wandering, and me wondering whether, for example, the maple syrup industry might have weighed in had the PQ won the Quebec election and actually called a referendum. Let alone the poutine and Montreal smoked meat interests.

So what if:

Newfoundland and Labrador bolted: Newfoundland Screech is now an industry on its own, from the rum to flavoured coffee to blueberry spread.

PEI held a referendum: There goes all things Anne of Green Gables.

Story continues below advertisement

Quebec carried through: I shouldn't make light of maple syrup. You can bet the Fédération des producteurs acéricoles wouldn't. Quebec is home to the strategic maple syrup reserve, whose value became known word-wide when it was robbed of $30-million of the stuff.

Ontario decided it's sick of Dutch Disease: I have no idea where the banks and insurance companies would move their offices if Ontario quit. Maybe Alberta?

Manitoba left the country: Google "snake-watching capital of the world."

Saskatchewan separated: The world's farmers would worry about all that potash. But you wouldn't.

Alberta went its own way: Actually, I seem to recall something about letting the Eastern bastards freeze in the dark, anyway.

British Columbia separated: People would have to cross a border for B.C. bud. Of course, prices are dropping because pot's now legal across the other border.

Story continues below advertisement

The week's top news

The week's must-reads

The week in Business Briefing

The week in Streetwise (for subscribers)

The week in ROB Insight (for subscribers)

Report an error Licensing Options
About the Author
Report on Business News Editor

Michael Babad is a Report on Business editor and co-author of three business books. He has been with Report on Business for several years, and has also been a reporter and editor at The Toronto Star, The Financial Post and United Press International. His articles have appeared in major newspapers around the world. More


The Globe invites you to share your views. Please stay on topic and be respectful to everyone. For more information on our commenting policies and how our community-based moderation works, please read our Community Guidelines and our Terms and Conditions.

We’ve made some technical updates to our commenting software. If you are experiencing any issues posting comments, simply log out and log back in.

Discussion loading… ✨