Saskatchewan launched a new official song this week entitled “We Love This Place!”. It’s an upbeat tune that symbolizes the deep sense of commitment and attachment that Saskatchewaners have to their province. The province is also running ads on TV with a similar message – upbeat, hopeful and successful.
However, the economic situation in Saskatchewan belies a different reality. Last year, the province joined Alberta and Ontario as a ‘have’ province – that is, not receiving equalization payments from Ottawa. In addition, there is very little ‘EI’ problem in the province. However, the population is in decline and that should be troubling to the people of the province. No matter how economically strong they are now, if the population continues to decline it will ultimately lead to serious problems.
New Brunswick’s economic problems are far worse. Not only do we have population decline, but we are indebted to other Canadians (now including Saskatchewaners) each year for hundreds of millions to help us pay for basic government services. We also use hundreds of millions of their money to pay for our EI income support programs.
Having said that, maybe New Brunswick needs a new theme song. I am sure that Saskatchewan’s theme song and new ‘feel good’ campaign is working – that people are starting to feel better about their province and their communities. Maybe we should try that here.
In Saskatchewan, people were asked to write or submit songs and the best one was selected. I would be worried about a similar approach here.
…Given the current political climate in New Brunswick, we might end up with ‘Who Let The Dogs Out‘ as the new provincial theme song.