Setting the record straight, part 453

I want bring this foreward as it’s important for people to understand my position. This is a recent anonymous response to one of my posts:

I’ve lived in every province and NB is by far the worst place I’ve lived. The poverty is worse than you see in most places in ontario (except downtown toronto, montreal and vancouver). The only way I’d think it was the best province is if I’d never lived anywhere else. Add in all these factors that DC frequently mentions and you’ve got a really nasty place to be. That’s the kind of thinking that has New Brunswick last in almost every indicator-its ‘the best’ but for no real reason.

I just wanted to quickly respondto this. I won’t take issue with your position. I understand it. But I will say this. My intent is not to depress everyone and accelerate out-migration. Heaven help me if I become an agent of that which I despise.

I like New Brunswick. A lot. It’s a place with four seasons. With lush, green forests. With wonderful rivers. It has two great coastlines. It has relatively limited crime – at least violent crime.

The people, for the most part, are about as nice as you will find anywhere. They can be a shy bunch and a little hard to penetrate but they are a good people. I have lived in the southern US (six years) and western Canada (better part of two years) and travelled extensively and New Brunswickers for the most part are good friggin’ people.

And the Acadian influence has been, I think, great for New Brunswick. You see it more in Moncton but Acadians tend to be a little more optimistic about the future – again that might be more Moncton than Tracadie and maybe because in general terms things are more on the upswing for Acadians than Anglos right now. Just my opinion.

Sure, there’s a natural element of defeatism and resignation ingrained in the culture – more so maybe on the Anglo side and more in the rural areas but that’s the result of generations of under performance in the economy. It’s been a mighty long time since someone characterized Bathurst as being a ‘vibrant economy’ or Caraquet or Sussex.

But that’s why I push so hard in this blog. Not to piss everyone off and throw up their hands. But to say we can change this.

We can get incrementally better. We can stop the depopulation. We can be a model for thriving rural communities. We can be a caring place that people are happy to move to not away from.

But we’ve got to recalibrate our priorities. We’ve got to get back to focusing on economic development – at the community level. If we can re-energize these communities – large and small- we will bring back a sense that NB can be something. Not just the drive through province. Not just a place that is characterized in movies as the outer limits of North American society.

That’s why I push.

So if anyone reads this stuff and feels worse or hopeless or just concludes that I am a quack, don’t worry too much.

New Brunswick is a heck of a lot better than it was 30 years ago.

Our education challenges should be solve-able. Ironically, stemming out-migration will help this as the data shows that the average out-migrant is more educated than the person that stays.

Our health problems should be solve-able. I think alot of this is tied to attitude and attitudes can improve.

Our economic problems are solve-able. Read blogs 1-900 for my thoughts on this starting in Oct. 2004.

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0 Responses to Setting the record straight, part 453

  1. Anonymous says:

    Actually, for a quick reply, New Brunswick is nowhere near as well off as it was thirty years ago. That’s from somebody who works in poverty. You can’t find a single book or study talking about poverty from the seventies, that was the ‘golden age’. Now, NBers are working longer hours for less money with a far lousier health care system and rampant problems in the schools.

    People SHOULD be ‘getting depressed’. In fact people ARE depressed, thats why interest in politics is so low.

    If you have money, of course New Brunswick is as nice as the next place, although more polluted. Those nice forests are being cut down at an accelerated rate, which of course increases runoff and soil erosion, making flooding more likely, drying up rivers, and increasing the use of pesticides.

    Those nice rivers are empty of fish. NBers are ‘nice’ but it depends who you talk to. There are assholes just like everywhere else. There are nice people like everywhere else.

    My previous post was not about the people, that’s a separate topic. All those things that make it crummy are due to decisions beyond the control of New Brunswickers. Many of people’s beliefs are the result of massive propaganda from the Irvings.

    Take a look at these issues and people SHOULD be depressed. They should take a shot of whisky and then when they shake their heads they should get ANGRY. They should start calling, phoning, emailing their MLA’s and provincial government and saying ‘why the *&^^ is this like this?’ They should be doing what Charles Leblanc is doing, as well as Mr. Campbell in a more limited sense, which is to get up one morning and say “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it any more”.

    I had promised my own particular ‘website’, unfortunately, the election made it somewhat inconvenient but thats almost done with. There’s soon going to be a method for people to actually DO something with that rage-if it comes. If it doesn’t, whether people get depressed, turned off, or pissy makes no difference. Without an organization an individuals opinion goes nowhere and it dies with them. If people simply read the blog and go away saying “gee, thats too bad, now whats for supper” then its pointless.

    Negativism of the intellect
    Optimism of the will.

    What makes a place great is its people, but people have to become great to make it so.

  2. drunk? says:

    If there was no poverty,you’d be out of a job.

    And you should be out of the job,for promoting whisky for anyone.
    Yessir,get drunk then start phoning everyone,you loon.
    No one wants your Ideas anymore.
    Explains a lot

  3. Drew says:

    I thought anonymous’ post made a lot of sense. You, on the other hand, saw the word “whisky”, took it all out of context and shifted into meltdown mode. Relax.

    Seriously, this blog talks a lot about the lack of job opportunities as the primary cause of youth outmigration, but you have to wonder how much the people – particularly the abnormally large proportion of folks with rose-coloured glasses and no sense of objectivity (thanks Al) – are affecting young NBers’ perception of the province and their eagerness to get away as soon as they can.

    I’d bet if you randomly spoke to 10 recent young NB ex-pats, and asked them what was their main reason for leaving, the answers may surprise you.

    We all know ignorance and closed-mindedness exists everywhere, but only in NB does the mainstream media blatantly encourage it. The effects of that fact should not be underestimated.

  4. Anonymous says:

    That actually doesn’t explain much (except for how many people the ‘loon’ label actually applies to). I said I ‘work’ in poverty, not that my job is in poverty. Even if it was that would be a job I’d gladly forego.

    Whisky, of course, is promoted all the time, just walk into the liquor store. Is that a flashback to the temperance movement of a century ago or what?

    Don’t like the ideas, feel free to ignore them, plenty do. Mr.Campbell doesn’t actually ‘say’ he’s “mad as hell” but anybody who does this day in and day out obviously has quite a bit of passion for what he does.

    I mostly wanted to reply to agree with the above. The old ‘protestant work ethic’ just doesn’t cut it when there are no jobs. Having ‘older folks’ say that if you just hunt around hard enough you’ll find a job doesn’t cut it. It’s also tough when you have a very limited resource base. My dad was always of the opinion that you weren’t even supposed to enjoy your work, that’s why you get paid. Go and ask any scientist how much they love their job and you’ll get a far different answer than those who will or have to do anything for a paycheque.

    But there is precious little science going on in NB, another scary sign, and little in the way of cultural industries, which is even scarier. The older generation are still addicted to the print and radio news, the next generation is a different story, so maybe its a matter of waiting-but why wait.