The City of Moncton unveilled its economic development strategy yesterday and I have read this and applaud the effort.
For some, this may look like just more words on paper. But to me there were a few subtle issues that are worth highlighting.
For example, the need for more post secondary education options for Anglophones. U de M has been a tremendous benefit to the city. Just look around. However, our Anglo kids for the most part leave and many never come back. This is a city that prides itself on its bilingualism we need better options for our English kids – a UNB campus? A Mt. A campus downtown? How about a satellite Dalhousie university campus? I’ll let them figure it out but as of the last Census, the percentage of Francophones with a University degree passed the Anglophones and I think that needs to be a ‘race to the top’.
Also the arts and culture focus is key. I used to be ambivalent about this sector but no more. When I look at the most dynamic communities in Canada and the United States almost universally there is a sense of energy and vibrancy eminating out of its artistic and cultural institutions.
There are times a city should look inward and deeply reflect – however, this is not the time for Moncton. That time was in the 1980s. Now, it is a time to look outward and raise up Moncton as a leading city in Canada for economic growth, for quality of life and for standard of living.