Redux: Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out

Want to know the difference between the three provinces that are in population decline? Only one doesn’t admit it. Saskatchewan has made population decline its top issue. Newfoundland and Labrador seems to discuss it ad nauseum. However, that pesky province, New Brunswick is pretending it doesn’t exist. Premier Lord recently said that job growth in 2005 would be the best in 30 years! Margaret Ann Blaney chipped in “We are very encouraged!”.


The Premier, it seems, has spent a lot to time in/with Manitoba in his mandate signing agreements and going on joint trade missions. However, Manitoba is going up and NB is going down. He would be well advised to figure out why. New Brunswick hasn’t seen a 7,400 person population growth since 1976 – 30 years ago, folks.

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0 Responses to Redux: Don’t let the door hit you on the arse on your way out

  1. scott says:

    I don’t know, I would have to say that Saskatchewan would have to take the crown for overall denial.

    Last year, the federal government were proclaiming the province of Sask to be a “have” province.

    If this is the case, why are people leaving the province in droves?

  2. David Campbell says:

    Saskatchewan is a ‘have’ province as defined as a province that does not require Equalization. Believe it or not, SK gets a fairly good royalty off its oil and gas. So, people are leaving SK in ‘droves’ but the oil and gas royalties are keeping revenues at a good level (to cover public services and have a little left over).

    So, I am not sure they are in ‘denial’. Saskatchewan’s Minister of Immigration, Pat Atkinson, says her government has a target of attracting 1,500 immigrants and their families by 2008.

    Does NB have an immigration target?

    Look, I’m not trivializing this. I just think the Premier and his Ministers would be better off talking about the population decline in public and formulating a concrete strategy to generate the economic growth required to fuel population growth.

    Just whipping out canned cliches about prosperity and ‘we’re encouraged’ about the economy doesn’t cut the mustard.

    I’ll say this. It must be one of the toughest jobs in the world to be a Premier or a Cabinet Minister in a province with a declining population. To drive into Miramichi or Campbellton or Tracadie and know that things are getting worse. To get letters and emails from people complaining about the economy. To read the paper every day and read about the ‘lowest literacy rate’ and the worst ‘average test scores’ the ‘most obese’ and the ‘lowest levels of immigration’ and the ‘smallest amount of money spent on R&D’ and ‘the lowest rates of Internet usage’ and this mill closing and that factory closing. I admire them for even taking on the job but I think they can do more.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The thing I don’t understand is why are Lord and Co. fighting so hard to maintain this decrepit status quo?

    What benefit is there to anyone to run and maintain a dying province?

    I’m sure they know the ways to change and how to go about making it work, but yet they don’t.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Here’s where some perspective is in order. Who really runs this province, whose interests are put above all others and who can buy or sell the Premier at will? I can think of two families, although certainly there are other resource corporations who have their hand in there.

    So look at it from the flip side. If you’ve got money, everything in NB is rosy. Who cares about unemployment or welfare if you aren’t unemployed or on welfare. For the Irvings they have a complete province that bends to their will. You want a dangerous gas pipeline, no problem, want a tax break and permission to build an LNG terminal no questions asked-you got it. Starting a new company, you’ve got a desperate workforce just dying to make minimum wage.

    Anybody who thinks Lord actually runs this province is deluding themselves. Even Graham knows to keep his mouth shut on the LNG terminal and anything related to Irving.

    New Brunswick is a feudal economy run by ‘families’ NOT corporations. If they were actually corporations, such as in Ontario, then people could actually INVEST in them, could actually affect them through shareholders meetings and market incentives, instead of having their tax dollars siphoned off by them.

    So population decline is simply the way the market operates-people go where there are jobs, just as they have since 1867. If you are a corporation or a billionaire family, things are just wonderful-which is why their newspapers constantly tout this. People looking at Lord are well to remember John Dewey’s remark: “government is the shadow that big business casts over society”.