Welcome to bizarro

According to Wikipedia, in the Bizarro world, society is ruled by the Bizarro Code, which states that it is a crime to do anything well or to make anything perfect or beautiful.

Don’t you think things are a little bizarre in New Brunswick right now?

I just read the Telegraph-Journal article about the labour market where the government was patting itself so hard, there will undoubtedly be a spike in physiotherapy claims this week.

Quotes:

“All together, this is great news,” said Samuel Lebreton, a senior economist with Human Resources and Skills Development [chief propagandist for the government].

“We need to look at this over the long term and what we have seen is consistent job growth,” said Ms. Blaney.”That is attributed to the programs we have in place, with our focus on lower taxes and with small businesses growing.”

Real facts:

Fact #1 = We have the 2nd worse employment rate in Canada.

Fact #2 = We have seen the third worst rate of employment growth since 1999.

Fact #3 = We have a population decline.

And Ms. Blaney says “that is attributed to the programs we have in place, with our focus on lower taxes and with small businesses growing.”

Well, on that point, Ms. Blaney, we completely agree. The serious economic problems facing New Brunswick are attributable in large part to your ‘programs’ or lack there of.

Another point, which is glossed over, but very relevant. The TJ article casually mentions that the two top sectors for job growth were retail (5,000) and government (4,000). Just what the province needs more part time retail jobs and bureaucrats (forgive my cynicism here but the Premier talked about cutting the civil service not expanding it). There has been a drop of 6,000 manufacturing jobs from May 2004 to May 2005.

So, let’s be crystal clear here. We are losing manufacturing jobs and gaining retail jobs and Ms. Blaney says this is attributable to the programs they have in place and the top labour market economist at HRSDC says this is ‘great news’.

Still don’t think we’re in bizarro land, yet?

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