Convention Centre Blues?

I am not one to pit one city against the other in New Brunswick, but the announcement yesterday of funding for a convention centre in Fredericton must be a little frustrating for the guys/gals at city hall in Moncton. Who knows, there may be an announcement coming for Moncton too. But for now, the facts are that Moncton has been lobbying for a convention centre for years – I think it must be close to a decade now.

And Freddy gets the upper hand.

But even more curious is the fact that the Moncton Times & Transcript doesn’t seem to even have any coverage of this topic. The Telegraph and the Gleaner both have major stories. I haven’t seen the print edition of the T&T but it must be in there.

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0 Responses to Convention Centre Blues?

  1. Anonymous says:

    You’ve got to be kidding? Moncton gets more money for a sports stadium than Saint John gets for harbour cleanup and now you’re grousing that Fredericton gets a convention centre? Geez, we know you are in Moncton, but how about if another city gets SOMETHING! In fact, if anything, northern cities should be screaming bloody murder. This is precisely why lack of representation hurts, these cities are struggling to survive, and money is going into convention centres and sports arena’s in the places that at least are a hell of a lot better off than Campbellton, Mirimachi, Bathurst, and Edmunstun.

  2. Freddy Beach says:

    I think investment in any part of NB is positive. Jealousy and inter-city whining accomplishes nothing. What is good for Fredericton is good for the province. What is good for Moncton is good for the province. What is good for SJ, Edmundston, Bathurst,… is good for all of us.

    The provincial gov’t has a need “in Fredericton” for new office spaces as replacement space for the Centennial Building which makes this partnership that much easier to commit to. This does not negate the need for conference facilities in other places in province.

    I can see many people coming to Fredericton conferences through the Moncton airport or driving through SJ so there will be a spillover effect.

    Remember that we are not competing with each other but with cities like Halifax, Bangor, Portland and Montreal for events and conferences. Besides attracting investment to NB through events or conferences is positive for all of us.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bull. What does a convention centre in Fredericton do for Campbellton? Thats the reasoning of people IN the big southern cities to defend what they get. Well then Dave, it’s time to close down your blog, because what’s good for Halifax is good for Fredericton. What’s good for Toronto is good for Moncton. What’s good for Calgary is good for Saint John.

    That’s pure garbage. A convention centre in Fredericton isn’t going to lead to some unknown international corporation saying, ‘well, they have a convention centre now in Fredericton, let’s go there’. Then pay more in taxes to the province which then somehow finds its way up north. That’s just crazy.

  4. David Campbell says:

    Whoa, blogsphere. I am not criticizing the convention centre in Fredericton. I am merely stating that for a Monctonian it came out of left field. The Moncton folks have been begging for funding for 10 years. That’s all.

    “Jealousy and inter-city whining accomplishes nothing”

    This is a central theme of my blog so if anyone thinks I am pitting one against the other – nope.

    But having said all that, don’t kid yourself that crass politics isn’t alive and well in this province. I was talking to a group in Saint John that told me before the recent by-election they were ‘assured their funding would be announced soon’ and after the by-election were told that the province ‘doesn’t fund organizations with their specific mandate’. Is this sour grapes? Sure. But we would all be surpremely naive if we thought that all decisions about government spending were done in a political-neutral fashion.

    Fredericton plays an interesting role in the New Brunswick economy. Because of UNB and its government employee base it has never had to face serious economic crises like SJ and Moncton and the North (read Savoie’s book – Fredericton was always excluded from those targeted economic development programs because it didn’t fit the criteria – unemployment rate, low average income, etc.). But it’s a great town and needs to thrive if NB is to pull out of the rut it is in.

    As for Saint John, you know from reading this blog that I have a special place in my heart for that gritty town. It needs to come back and boom and I think it might.

    Moncton, longer term, is a little more challenged, in my opinion than either SJ or Freddy. There are great opportunities but the city does not have the ‘base’ – the immovable base – that Freddy or even SJ has. There will be less and less call centres, retail will peak – so what’s next? I am sure that is preoccupying the folks in Moncton.

    As for the North, as you know I grow more concerned daily. You know this if you read my blog. I think some policy wonk has convinced the powers that be that the best solution for the north is to wind it down. And I couldn’t disagree more.

    Sorry for the long post but don’t mistake an observation with an underlying philosophy.

  5. Anonymous says:

    That’s exactly my point, from an economic development point of view, it is simply ludicrous to fund Sports arenas and convention centres. Fix up the Aitken Centre, which is HUGE, use the Sheraton. A convention centre accomplishes nothing. Ditto for a sports arena. It is exactly what the maritimes complains with in pertaining to the feds, that they are more concerned with giving frills to ‘have’ areas, while ignoring the huge problems in the have not areas.

    Want to build a sports arena, build it in Miramichi, better yet, use that money for the animation project we refer to. Want to build a convention centre, build and fund it in Campbellton, or better yet use it to fund some of economic development proposals sitting on ice up there.

    The province figures that since they built a flower garden outside Edmunstun they’ve done enough, they think that by subsidizing lumber companies and handing over resources so that Atholville will keep chugginf a while longer they’ve done enough. That’s NOT economic development.

    Like you say, it’s ALL about politics. If you don’t have the representation, you’re screwed, the maritimes are proof of that. The arguments shoulnd’t be focused on whether Moncton gets a sports arena or F’ton gets a convention centre, the question is, why is funding going to infrastructure like that in the first place? Does the province actually think that people are going to come from other provinces to go to an RV trade show in Fredericton? Or to see a hockey game in Moncton?

    This is designed to keep the ‘status quo’ happy. The workers and tax payers who have jobs and want more ‘stuff’ around. Want to go to nice arenas and centres and think how nice it is to have govenrment that works for them. All while the province gets smaller and smaller, the industries get fewer and fewer, and the wages go down, hydro prices go up, and more privatization is introduced.

    The north is the REAL third world, and needs massive investment. The idea is that if it gets empty quick enough, then ‘investments’ like a new truck stop or garden will be enough for the few people there. It’s ludicrous that there is a university in every city in the south and NONE in the north.

    The parti acadien is starting up again, and if they’re smart they’ll be talking about joining the gaspe, and like canada and the maritimes, they are in the right-the south does nothing for them, and actually is hurting their possibilities for growth. When a government acts in that manner, it loses its legitimacy.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Funny thing about dev in the north vs Moncton, SJ or Freddy… I have not seen any proposals from any northern communities on regional development or infrastructure like a convention center. The money is there, you just have to go get it. Make a proposal and promote it. Moncton wanted a stadium, so they made a proposal and fought for it. Freddy wanted a convention center, they made a proposal and fought for it. Sj wants harbour cleanup, they made a proposal and are fighting for it. I say to my friend from the north, ask more of your local leadership to stop complaining and do something.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Now there is a perfect example of the ignornance of the south. How many down south actually read northern newspapers? How much coverage of northern events does the papers have?

    That’s ludicrous that northerners are sitting on their thumbs going ‘gee bob, another building down south, wish we’d a thunk a that!’

    Harbour cleanup is something that’s been a problem of course for fifty years, so the idea that suddenly now it is an issue to say ‘we fought for it, now we got it’. Of course its still a problem, the province hasn’t given any money, and the feds contribution won’t accomplish anything.

    The problem is precisely that ‘moncton wanted a sports arena’, of course anybody can tell you that only SOME people in Moncton want a sports arena. Come to this blog daily and you’ll see plenty of better ideas of where that money can go.

    The maritimes fishermens union with their municipal ‘leaders’ have been ‘fighting’ for an inshore fishery and fishing museum for over ten years. Easily longer than Moncton or Fredericton have been mentioning these buildings, so the above logic is completely wrong-fighting for something gets you nowhere. There are literally HUNDREDS of economic proposals from communities, co-ops and businesses up north clamouring for infrastructure and funds. THey ‘fight’ far harder than Fredericton or Moncton, places that have all the representation.

    Just because YOU haven’t heard about it means nothing, go do some online searching and you’ll find plenty. You can start with the regional enterprises Lord set up last term. They all have websites and usually list what they are working on and what they are ‘fighting for’.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Since I am obviously ingnorant, please educate me on what proposals other than EI reform or fisheries that has come out of the north and is economically viable. Example: Building an economy on aerospace, gaming, manufacturing, dairy or elearning. Something. Anything. Contrary to beleif, we don’t snap our fingers and get everything we(Moncton, SJ or Freddy)want.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Why should YOU be dictating what northerners want? Why should you decide whats viable? Did northerners decide to spend a fortune in the plastics industry several years back? What makes Frederictonians more qualified to say whats viable than northerners?

    Walk into a grocery store, scallops cost a fortune and there are hundreds of processed variants of scallop products. With the ocean and soil so polluted up there (thanks to Fredericton ideas) an inshore fishery makes perfect sense and has far more potential than most businesses getting funding down south.

    I know of companies in Fredericton getting funding with as few as eight employees and not even in manufacturing, but plain old service jobs. THese come from connections and knowing the right people. Not from good business models, in fact one guy I know got an extra 80 grand one year, and bought himself a dodge viper the same year. So he didn’t even need the funding.

    Fredericton, Moncton and St.John don’t even invest in aerospace or most of those other things listed above, its pretty pompous to deny northerners investment because they haven’t got ideas in industries that the south doesn’t even invest in.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Newsflash! Ottawa controls the fisheries not the province. If you think high unemployment, declining population and reduced services are a good thing, then keep goin at it by yourself. It’s worked wonders for you so far!