Tourism: Another casualty of the Tory indifference

The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick makes an empassioned plea to become an election issue in today’s Daily Gleaner. In the past seven years (yes, including before 9/11), the tourism industry has been in decline – and this year they are expecting another 10% – 15% decline in industry revenues.

Now, those of you who read this blog regularly know I am not the biggest fan of tourism, but this is another example to me of how the economy somehow doesn’t warrant any real attention anymore in New Brunswick during election season.

It’s as if we are stuck in the early 1990s where high deficits and high unemployment were the indicators of a poor economy. Well, folks, in 2006, the indicators of a poor economy are all around us: substantial decline in exports (non-oil), 7% drop in the # of active small businesses, labour shortages due to out-migration, key, bedrock industries such as forestry and tourism taking significant hits, increasing dependence on Equalization.

But I read the Premier will be announcing another 120 doctors today in Moncton. I feel like Alice in Wonderland. 500 new teachers promised even though the number of students continues to decline due to out-migration and depopulation. 120 new doctors even though the number of patients continues to decline.

Lord’s biggest contribution to the economy over the past 7 years has been government spending. He has hired thousands of new government workers (broadly defined) and spent billions in new government money – a large part of which comes from Equalization and other federal transfers.

How can it be that a Tory government can have such indifference to private sector job creation and be so aggressive about public sector job creation?

Please explain this to me.

I’m starting to feel completely stupid. Like I have completely missed something.

Would someone please tell me where the jobs have been created over the past seven years (not including government and call centre jobs)?

Would someone please tell me what jobs will be created under the Tory plan over the next four years? What sectors? What targets? What investments will be made to make this happen?

Because I see and hear nothing except more government spending and government jobs.

Which is a complete shame.

What I want to hear is where the government is investing in the future economic health of the province.

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0 Responses to Tourism: Another casualty of the Tory indifference

  1. ignoranceperfected says:

    Forget about american tourists.I have talked to americans who have finally noticed canada and don’t want anything to do with what they see.
    How about quebecers,threatening young kids visiting their country for sports and a liberal government who kept up a steady barrage of insults,mainly from quebec and ontario,the two most bigoted places,probably in the world.Canada just better spend their time preparing for the backlash.The elephant is starting to roll.

  2. MonctonLandlord says:

    Again, tourism operators are mostly small buisnesses. (DC reports 7% decline).

    Many are affected by the double property tax scheme in NB. It is time NB changes its tune and eliminate the provincial property tax on business owners – commercial property (the only province in the country like this).

    Imagine owning a $500k Bed and Brfst in Moncton, and a $500k Bed and Breakfast in Halifax.

    The additional property tax collected by the Provincial Government represent a wooping $12,000.00 in surtax. This money, in NS, would be used as profit, and at the discretion of the owner, could pay for renovations to enhance the property, while in NB, this profit is remitted to the province. Sad isn’t it? Where would you open a BNB if you had $500k?

  3. David Campbell says:

    Monctonlandlord,

    I agree with you on the double property tax scheme. I think it’s not good policy and should be scrapped.

    But you have to remember that property taxes collected and used by the provincial government have gone up by tens of millions of dollars in the past seven years. Much more the corporate taxes. I think it’s because this is easier to hide. Now, Lord is offering to cap assessment increases but for me the damage has been done. If they do what you propose, they cut another $20 million or so off all the massive funding increases promised. So don’t expect it soon.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind that Nova Scotia gets more of its money from other venues. If you go do an analysis (granted its been awhile since I did this) you’ll notice that each province has a difference emphasis for taxation-that’s designed to ‘set them apart’ to various investors. So NB has a much lower corporate tax rate (mentioned above)

    However, one thing not mentioned is that this is a government which is barely balancing the books, and isn’t depending on whom you ask. And of course it wouldn’t even be close without the feds.

    In other words, you drop that tax, and where do you get your funds from? Take from that and you then have to get more fed funds or cut services, that’s a direct impact like was hinted at for equalization.

    Politiically there may be something to that. If you cut taxes like that you can say to the feds “we want to cut these taxes to grow this sector…we don’t have gas like the other provinces, so we need you to cover this investment til it pays off”

    However, you can only do that to so many industries, which one do you pick? Here, the reasoning is that if you have property, you can afford it, and of course with a decent accountant you can usually minimize through spending (such as hiring more people).

    There are of course just as many americans who at first loved what they saw in Canada. Right after the last election there was a huge real estate spike. Go to just about any rural area and it is primarily americans buying. In a nearby small village I know of six american families who have military age children who bought there ‘in case’ of a draft.

    Most people also realize that what some government people say has very little bearing on the people. Far more likely is the effect the dollar has, most people don’t realize it, but the exchange rate is NOT market based. During NAFTA negotiations americans made it clear that Canada’s low dollar amounted to a subsidy and canadian officials included that in the NAFTA text, and the exchange rate has been lowering since the mid nineties (after the initial cheap sell off of canadian industries, now US companies own most of the companies in the desired sectors)

    Combine that with the increasing hassles at the border and you’ll definitely see a decline in US tourists, its a double whammy. Canada is ‘nice’, but its not THAT different from the northeast states.

    The main issue I think with tourism is that owners don’t qualify for ANY government programs, they are completely on their own. I know a company owner who repairs and sells furnace ducts, they’ve never had enough business but with 8 employees always get money from the government. The owner owns two Dodge Vipers and two trucks (not work related).

    Meanwhile, a place like the Habitant in Richibucto employs twenty people, more than will be working at the LNG plant in full time jobs, yet because they are in tourism they can’t get bubkus. Yes, those are low paying jobs, but they ARE jobs, and that keeps people off welfare, and just as importantly, keeps them in their hometown.

  5. thats ago says:

    Complain,but with a smile,cause we live in the best province in canada.

  6. MonctonLandlord says:

    DC, cap is for residential only.

    Small Businesses still under attack in New Brunswick!

    Source:
    http://www.cbc.ca/cp/Atlantic/060828/t082804.html

    “… He’ll announce that a Conservative government will put a three per cent cap on property assessments for owner-occupied residences. ” – CBC

  7. Anonymous says:

    Owner occupied is not really that great. My folks owned a duplex but couldn’t make any investment of it, only from taxes because they were working at the time. If they had lived in one half and rented the other they would have paid half the tax. Nice, but then they’d have had to sell their home and then pay the capital gains tax on that, plus have to live in a duplex (quite a step down).

    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.

  8. to it and at it says:

    > 120 new doctors even
    > though the number of
    > patients continues to
    > decline.

    The population is aging, we’re gonna need those doctors.

  9. MonctonLandlord says:

    To: to it and at it
    “> 120 new doctors even
    > though the number of
    > patients continues to
    > decline. The population is aging, we’re gonna need those doctors. “

    Where is the government gonna get the money to fund these promises, there is no new money!!! None!

    … They will pull a Dalton, Health Care Premium, yes folks $600 per year deducted from your income! Get ready, it will be here, no debating required.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Unlike the Irvings people like my folks actually invest and spend more in New Brunswick. The money that they would save would go back into their communities. That’s very unlike corporations which contribute less than 3% of governments revenues. They get the free ride while small businesses, which employ far more people, get the shaft.

    To the ‘ibeenaround’ poster, try to make some sense and people can debate. Have no idea what the ‘story’ refers to.