A fundamental difference of opinion

For those of you that wonder why I have such a negative opinion of the Moncton Times & Transcript, I offer up today’s ‘We Say’ editorial segment. This editorial summarizes perfectly why this newspaper is, in my opinion, a significant contributor to the the problem of economic development in New Brunswick.

We Say says:

The Conference Board of Canada has released a report predicting New Brunswick’s population is about to take a steep decline and that this will severely hamper economic growth, limiting it tow about two per cent per year over the next 10 years, but there is no reason to either panic or to have a great amount of faith in the report.

This is unbelievable and a bit like Premier Lord during the last election when he said he didn’t believe the Statistics Canada labour force survey data. The Conference Board of Canada is internationally recognized. Who is Al Hogan to question them? (never mind the typo – it’s Al’s). Further, even if there was a grain of truth to the Conference Board report, shouldn’t the local media be raising the alarm rather than trying to downplay it?

We Say continues:

The problem with warnings and economic predictions based on such estimates is that they rely on assumptions that may well never materialize. Moreover, the very warnings tend to spur people on to taking action to ensure the dire consequences are never seen. Add the fact that at all three levels of government, officials are working very hard indeed to not only reverse the population trend, but to prove the predictions wrong, and residents would be well advised to take the report with a very large grain of salt.

The population of New Brunswick has declined every year since 1999 and the majority of the last 15. Who is Al Hogan to say that government officials are “working very hard’ to reverse the population trend? Immigration numbers are down. New job growth is down? How does he define working hard?

Residents would be well advised to take the Times and Transcript with a ‘very large grain of salt’ and judging from the unanimous dislike of the Trashscript from people posting to this blog, I think that recommendation has been heeded.

And for your smile of the day, We Say concludes with:

New Brunswickers need do only one thing – continue on as always, working hard on all fronts. There is no reason to believe we won’t in fact reap the fruits of our efforts.

In this Al is right on. New Brunswick, according to a recent study (of course Al would disagree with any report) has the lowest standard of living of any U.S. state and Canadian province along with PEI and Newfoundland. These are the ‘fruits’ of our efforts.

If all of our ‘hard work’ has led to the outcomes you see today, then I think it is going to take another look at the ‘work’ itself. But these media-supported malaise among the populace will most likely continue us on the path of mediocrity. Pump hundreds of millions into health care, cut efforts to stimulate economic development and then go begging to the Feds for more Equalization.

Sounds like Al’s version of Nirvana.

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0 Responses to A fundamental difference of opinion

  1. Anonymous says:

    There really needs to be a paper which essentially corrects all the stories of the Irving Press of the day earlier.

    I mentioned before about the military report which was DONE BY THE MILITARY, yet the Irving Press goes on to say that they really can’t be trusted and here’s why everything is all right with the military.

    The problem is that people believe this stuff. My parents are literally in la la land and think everything is wonderful. Of course they are both retired and have decent savings, but they look around and see ‘all the Toyota Corolla’s on the road’ and think everything must be fabulous.

    It’s incredible hard to get through to people like that, sad to say, because the media keeps reinforcing it. Nobody wants to sit and think about what a &^%$hole they live in, because it means they’d have to do something about it. If you pretend everything is wonderful, then you can keep thinking only of yourself.

    Part of the problem is that they live in a suburb which sees a lot of growth, but it’s residential growth because there is an exodus leaving the north. It’s hard to counter-act those views, especially when you can’t deliver a good news paper every day. And for Irving, everything IS just wonderful.

  2. scott says:

    I am not sure that our petulant protest will result in any meaningful change in the content or direction of the Times & Transcript.

    But protest I shall.

    ‘New Brunswickers need do only one thing – continue on as always, working hard on all fronts. There is no reason to believe we won’t in fact reap the fruits of our efforts.’

    The questions that Mr. Hogan should be asking himself is just where are these New Brunswickers working hard? And for who?

    Where you say?

    It is safe to say, with the steady trend in population decline, that many New Brunswickers are working hard in Ottawa, Toronto, Calgary as Ontario and Alberta citizens…not as New Brunswickers!

    So I digress, maybe Hogan was right about the NB work ethic, it is probably the best those provinces have ever seen.

    And for who you say?

    With 400 jobs lost in , Nackawic, N.B. as a result of the pulp mill going bankrupt last year, people of that area had to up and leave to find work. So are they working hard in Nackawic Hogan?

    With the closure of Atlantic Yarns’in Northern New Brunswick, many will be forced to relocate to another province or city to find employment. So again I ask this question, are they working hard in those northern NB towns Hogan?

    No matter how the Times & Transcript spins it, New Brunswick is in dire need of a new economic development game plan. If this isn’t addressed soon, in just over a decade our province will begin to resemble Louisiana after being hit by Katrina.

    There will be nothing left. Period.

  3. The Virginian says:

    All this bad news, and no action from NB while the rest of the world is making plans and focusing on trends and what the future will bring them. Example, recently released study from Virginia Tech that the I-85 corridor (Triad-Greensboro area to Atlanta) will be the fastest growing area in the US over the next 25 years. Continued growth in the hi-tech software development, bio-technology, health care (baby boomers wave coming through) and anything to do with the espanic population. El futuro es los nuestros a ser.
    Meanwhile in NB the North is moving South and the South moving out of province. Yes Greater Moncton can boast all they want, but the bottom line is how long without real overall growth in the Province can one area carry the rest.
    MasterPlan: lay off/fire all Entreprise NB personnel. Do nothing for 1 year except to hold 2 conferences of think tank types to draw a plan/vision in blocks of 5 years going out to 25 years.
    Hire people to deliver and adjust the plan as we move forward.
    How can we get our Triad (MOncton, St John, Fredericton) to work together and move this province forward instead of having all this back room crap.
    Go Hokies….

  4. David Campbell says:

    Okay, I am curious to know what line of work both Scott and The Virginian are in. You both are too knowledgeable to be working a kiosk in the Champlain Mall.

    Are you closeted in some obscure government department?

    Are you grad students or just aspiring careerists here because mom and pop are here?

    Maybe you are journalists….

    Do tell.

  5. The Virginian says:

    None of the above David, just another NB’er away from home and trying to keep in touch while away. I do enjoy your blog and it has become a daily read while away. Just chiming in when time permits.
    With my manufacturing background I can tell you that with transportation costs rising because of fuel, unless there are serious and long term efforts done to reduce transportation costs in Atlantic Canada, we will never be able to establish a strong manufacturing base, and move our economy forward with only a service base economy. Its economics 101, producers generate revenues and jobs in providing them with their raw materials. In many industries transportation has become the #4 is their cost structure after labour, materials and energy costs. This government missed the boat when they took off the tolls from the highway, preventing them from providing a solid infrastructure for the regions. Yeah sure they are now talking about highway 11 going north but before it has any impact we are looking at 10-12 years.
    Anyways I digressed.