It’s interesting how one meeting with a person can bias your opinion of them for a long time. I sat in on a meeting between Kevin Lynch, the new clerk of the Privy Council and a few business and community leaders here in Moncton way back in the mid 1990s when he was the top dog at Industry Canada. Lynch has been widely credited with the development of Canada’s knowledge industry strategy back then – based as I recall on the whole notion of ‘clusters’ which became the vogue term during the 1900s.
According to Paul Wells:
…..this is the best-reviewed appointment in recent Langevin Block history. When Eddie Goldenberg, Donald Savoie and Stephen Harper agree on anything, it’s basically a banner day.
Back to the meeting, Lynch railed on and on about New Brunswick and Atlantic Canada not taking advantage of the ‘knowledge economy’, about how we were being left behind. All in all it left me kind of worried that the top dog at Industry Canada had a rather overall negative view of our region. You see, I had hoped that Industry Canada (will its multi-billion dollar budget) would have saw a role in supporting economic development in Atlantic Canada. But I was left thinking that the top dog over there wasn’t too sympathetic to AC’s plight.
He moved on to the Finance department where he would have become intimately aware of Equalization, EI, etc. from the numbers side of things.
Now he’s running the show as the top civil servant in Canada.
Lynch was born in Cape Breton. He earned his BA in Economics at Mount Allison University.
My hunch, based on one measily meeting (and watching a few of his moves) that Atlantic Canada won’t be at the top of his priority list. We already have the Minister in charge of the public service saying they would reverse all the talk about moving federal government jobs outside of Ottawa (this was just a political ploy, he said). Now Lynch.
Gather up your britches guys and gals. Get ready for some tough love.