Anyone that reads my blog will know that this is my own personal bugaboo – the fact that in every opinion poll ‘health’, ‘senior care’ and ‘education’ are always topping the list of priorities.
This was the findings of the New Brunswick Finance Minister’s pre-budget PR exercise when he went around the province and pretended to look interested. Now, not withstanding that his PR release uses incorrect grammer (health, senior care and education can’t all be ‘number one’), it’s absolutely fascinating to me that while mill workers in the Miramichi are so desparate that they are barracading the exits to the pulp mill, the Peninsula is emptying out even faster than before, and that the Premier himself is finally acknowledging that we have a huge looming population problem – we still roll out the standard concerns of the public – health care, senior care and education.
So, in keeping with the past five budgets, look for, in this budget, more cuts to economic development (though I expect they will throw in a token new program to look somewhat interested) and almost no focus whatsoever on making any substantiative changes that might address our economic challenges.
The province, by my calculation, spends somthing like less than one percent of its annual budget on economic development. 99% on keeping the lights on and the government paycheques signed. 99% on incubating the new workforce for Ontario and Alberta. 99% on the status quo. 99% on stuff that won’t move us one iota towards self sufficiency.
Mr. Minister, keep those deliberations coming – as long as they validate your own lack of vision.