We are definitely entering the Twilight Zone

twilight zone, n.
Definition: An area of ambiguity between two distinct states or conditions

There’s an election coming. That’s almost a sure thing. What this election is to be fought and won on is already being discussed with the Tory’s claiming it’s about ‘leadership’.

Apparently, the Tories are going to champion their economic development record as well. From today’s TJ:

Lord has said he will be meeting with Mesheau this Friday, and added that in terms of job creation, New Brunswick’s unemployment rate – at 8.9 per cent in July – is at a 30-year low.”We’ve added close to 5,000 jobs per year in the last seven years, while the Liberals, in the 12 years they were in, added about 3,300,” he pointed out.”If Shawn Graham and the Liberals want to campaign on the economy, please, bring it on. We’re there.”

This is really pushing the limits of subterfuge. Lord knows (not rhetorical) that the unemployemnt rate is dropping primarily because of out-migration and not the rapid growth in jobs.

Lord may or may not be right about the 5,000 jobs but don’t forget McKenna went through a major recession (Canada-wide) in the middle of his mandate while Lord has been in power during the most successful economic expansion in Canadian history – and the population of NB is declining. Further, it is estimated that for every $1 billion in government spending, between 10,000 and 20,000 jobs are created. Lord’s spending is up by $2 billion per year since 1999 – so even if that 5,000 figure is correct it means that all the net new job creation is taken up by government spending. And the cherry on top of that analysis is that the bulk of the new government spending is based on increased Equalization and federal transfers.

So, my final point is this. If Lord has been so successful with the economy, please have him point out the new sectors that have thrived under his government (not including government sectors such as health care). Other than the few virtual call centres popping up all over the province (brought in, I might add, before Lord got into power), what new job creation projects have they spearheaded?

I think what you have is a government that has elevated spin doctoring to an art form. These guys will go into the Miramichi and talk about unemployment rates at record lows and throw in a few other out of context statistics and get votes.

Who will mention that the Miramichi is in a population free fall?

The Green Party?

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