The Political Ecology of the Canso Causeway: Development, Marine Harvesting, and Competing Notions of Progress
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Completed in 1955, the Canso Causeway spans the Strait of Canso and radically transformed the surrounding area’s political ecological landscape. Addressing the strained relationship between fishing and the State, this thesis aims to answer two questions: how did the marine harvesters of the Chedabucto Bay discuss their livelihoods in relation to the Canso Causeway in 2001-2003? Did their notion of ‘progress’ challenge the Province’s assumption that its development agenda promotes meaningful economic growth? Along with supplementary archival research, I present a secondary analysis of interview data collected in 2001-2003 from marine harvesters who fished in the Chedabucto Bay. Exploring knowledge claims of ecosystem and livelihood impacts, I argue that their narrative constitutes an important challenge to the province’s assumptions that its development agenda generates progress, raising critical issues concerning the political ecology of regional economic development in Nova Scotia.