There is nothing new under the sun

What has been will be again,
what has been done will be done again;
there is nothing new under the sun.

Ecclesiastes 1:9 (New International Version)

Listen to the old dog of economic development giving advice in 2006.

Mr. Manuge was instrumental in attracting many companies to Nova Scotia. John Crossley and Sons Ltd. of England was first, followed by Volvo, the first company from outside North America to establish an automobile assembly plant in Canada. While travelling between Hong Kong and the United States, Mr. Manuge managed to bring a hardboard manufacturing plant from India, Anil Canada, to Nova Scotia. It was the first time an Indian company had made an investment in Canada. But Mr. Manuge’s biggest claim to fame is the Michelin tire plant that came to Pictou County in 1969.

Imagine that. The first Indian company to invest in Canada. Michelin.

I say let’s roll the old 85-year old bones back into the plane and send him to Scandanavia.

I think he’s got a point.

While I love IT, new media, financial service jobs, etc. There will always be a need for manufacturing and – nearshore manufacturing – not everything can be manufactured 12,000 miles from its markets.

Go get ’em, tiger – but don’t forget your teeth.

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0 Responses to There is nothing new under the sun

  1. MonctonLandlord says:

    This blurb might be of interest, focusing on aerospace…

    I am currently reading: Silent Partners: Taxpayers and the Bankrolling of Bombardier.

    Page 182: “…if you looked closely enough at Canadian government actions, you quickly realized that assistance to aerospace was not a matter of luck at all. There was one federal institution with a deliberate policy of lending massively to aerospace: it was a bank owned by taxpayers but one that few of them knew about. Export Development Canada would soon become the focus of debate over government aid to Bombardier and other aerospace companies.”

    This book is awesome, as I become more aware of such misuse of our money. I realize that we are far from the Capital Region. The first cities to break free from sucking on the nipple are Calgary, Vancouver and probably Edmonton. N’est-ce pas?

    Here is another clip regarding the contravertial TPC (Technology Partnership Canada) page 180: “In 2000-2001, the amount of money rushed out the door in the final month [before the fiscal year end] was $484 million, an astonishing 85 per cent of the total budget”

    Ok, now how much TPC projects were allocated to NB? donno, but would like to know.

    Sorry to go on and on, it is just that manufacturing and technology success plays a great role for NB’s plan for self-sufficiency, doesn’t it?

  2. David Campbell says:

    I looked at the TPC numbers once (I think I blogged about it). Anyway, NB received something like $700k from a $3B program.

    I innocently asked an Industry Canada person why NB received none of that funding and was told matter-of-factly that there were no NB companies eligible or applying.

    So, in a nutshell they designed a multi-billion dollar incentive program for companies in Quebec and Ontario.

    A far cry from the 60s and 70s when they designed programs for Atl. Canada only to have them sabotaged by central Canada (read Savoie on this).

    Under Cretien, Martin and Manley we skipped that step (i.e. pretending to be interesting in Atl. Canada economic development) and focused directly on the Toronto-Montreal-Ottawa triangle.

    It’s interesting don’t you think? There was a time in this country where you couldn’t get a nickel of government money if your company was located in Toronto or any other highly successful economy.

    Now, it’s more likely you can get money if you are located in the GTA or Montreal.

    You talk about TPC – I read just today in the Globe that Pratt Whitney received $684 million under that one program. One company. $684 million. That is a staggering amount. Typical incentive programs such as this range between $10k and $50k per job created – with an upward maximum of $100k per job (almost never – except Lord’s Molson plant). At $50k per job, Pratt would have had to have created almost 14,000 new jobs in Quebec.

    I know that they say this program was ‘repayable’ but if you have been reading anything about it….

    But after bashing, I will make one supportive point. The US, France, the UK and Brazil have spent billions of taxpayer dollars – in some cases more than Canada. The dirty little secret is that aerospace is like agriculture – it thrives only when there is massive subsidization – because everyone is doing it. If everyone stopped, maybe Canada could compete on merit.

    Who knows.

    The bottom line is that the federal government has never, ever made a serious attempt to grow a sector in Atl. Canada the way they have aerospace and pharma in Montreal and auto in the GTA.

    And that’s exactly what we need. Less pogie and more efforts to create real, sustainable industries for our future.