Don’t forget to turn out the lights

Once in a while, I get a reminder that New Brunswick’s problems are not unique to New Brunswick. Here’s the first sentence in Jeffrey Simpson’s G&M column today:

It’s an old, cruel joke, the one about the last person leaving Saskatchewan being asked to turn off the lights.

The obvious difference between Saskatchewan and New Brunswick is that little amount of Equalization ($1.43 billion) but even have provinces like SK are feeling the population/out-migration pinch. In fact, so is northern Ontario, much of Quebec, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland. Manitoba, it seems, has turned the corner and is heading upward. In fairness, Nova Scotia and PEI are starting in the right direction (both provinces have created twice as many jobs as has New Brunswick since 1999 – but the overall numbers are not that great).

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