Why doesn’t someone ask the question?

Is it that hard? Has every journalist and political analyst in New Brunswick forgot about the economy?

Someone needs to ask the Tories and the Liberals where jobs are going to be created over the next 5-10 years. They need to be pinned down on this.

It is incredibly serious. Just about everything else hinges on it. How can you ‘bring people back’ without jobs? How can you spur immigration without jobs? How can you reverse population decline without jobs? How can you generate increasing own-source tax revenue without jobs?

I have pointed out elsewhere that job creation over the past seven years is second worst in Canada. I have further pointed out that the few jobs that were created were government and call centre jobs. I have further pointed out that many of our bedrock industries are in trouble: forestry, fishing, tourism, etc.

So, where are the jobs coming from over the next 5-10 years?

I have a suspicion that the Miramichi pulp mill may not last 12-24 months. Even the mill in Nackawic – the one Lord gave a record level of subsidies – said they will likely need more government assistance.

We know that Premier Lord and the Tories have not had a coherent plan for job creation in seven years. They promised a ‘made in New Brunswick’ solution to economic development in 1999 but since that time we have seen a decline in the # of small businesses (7% drop), a major decline in non-oil exports, a decline in tourism and almost no growth in any of the so-called growth sectors in the 1990s (IT, e-Learning, new media, etc.).

I am not even sure the Liberals know the answer to this question. They have mentioned a few sectors: aquaculture, energy and forestry that they are going to try and grow – this is much better than the Tories – but I am not convinced that we can have the job creation required to bring the economy back and turn around our population problems.

Do New Brunswickers care?
It would seem that the majority of us don’t really care. The media doesn’t help much. I swear that Samuel Lebreton is a puzzling fellow. I have been following his comments in the local media for years and almost without exception they are positive on the economy. Even when there’s a downward trend he makes things look positive.

As the top labour market analyst in the province, doesn’t he have the obligation to ask the questions I ask here?

But beyond Al Hogan and Lebreton and Jody Carr, people just need to look around. Even in Moncton. I’ve had four people tell me in the last two months they are moving out west – and their from Greater Moncton!

I have to believe that unless you are a hermit you are seeing these trends.

But yet we are completely willing to serve up another four years to an administration that has led us down a very dangerous path of depopulation, out-migration and tepid job growth – based soley on the 1990s call centre initiative and government spending.

I hate to sound like Jerimiah here but things are trending downward and I don’t see any real interest in substantial change.

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0 Responses to Why doesn’t someone ask the question?

  1. Anonymous says:

    I hate to sound presumptuous, but in a democracy, seeing as how you know so much and are taking so much trouble-shouldn’t you be running for office? You wouldn’t even need to win, just running would give these things some exposure, which is better than none. Everybody says they have no time, no interest, are doing enough by paying taxes, etc. Yet obviously it is not enough. I hope you’ll think about it for next time. I know its an upleasant idea for most people, but honestly, with the way things are going do you really think writing a blog is doing enough?

    PS Don’t try to throw that back at me, I am aware I’m not doing enough, although I am running.

  2. Anonymous says:

    PPS: Can you repost that thread you had awhile ago where you listed all the economic statistics? I lost my copy of it and can’t remember what its called, however, I’ve been sending them around. Do you have one with some of Jody Carr’s quotes as well? I remember there was a post of that kind too but I can’t find it. It’s not enough, but at least its something eh?:)

  3. MonctonLandlord says:

    I just hope there are more Ministers with a post secondary degree than last time, let’s aim for half, it would be a great improvement.

    Well, I am loosing hope, gotta wait for another election, this one showed no leadership. Leadership implies a vision and a Team! What kind of team was built since the last election? Both parties need leadership, is it too late? Why not a promise from both leaders that if they loose the election they would immediatly step down.

    Colleagues from Ottawa were in Moncton yesterday on business and they were wondering why the election isn’t getting national coverage. How can I respond? (when I agree with them).

  4. David Campbell says:

    To your point about me running for office. I honestly think some people are gifted with the skills to run for public office and I don’t have those gifts. I had hoped that by providing a forum for serious economic debate, this could be my bit.

    As for point two about Jody Carr. I probably shouldn’t be so hard on the poor guy. He’s a 20 something thrown into a context and is way over his head. But here are a few blogs referencing Jody Carr:

    Labour shortages – cause and effect

    Let’s blow this popsicle stand

    June labour force data

    Get ready for a humdinger

    Labour market data reporting

  5. Anonymous says:

    Good points above, but I don’t agree. The only ‘gift’ a politician needs is a genuine concern for the people (or) the province (or both). I’ve disagreed quite often in the past with you, but nobody can doubt the sincerity of a fellow who puts out blogs sometimes several times a day every single day. That shows a concern that is rare (as apparant from the number and quality of blogs in the province).

    However, I understand well the bit about ‘hoping this could be my bit’. I’ve also done ‘my bit’ in a small way and wished it was enough. Clearly these little bits are not. For those ‘looking to the future’ just take a look at the ‘up and comers’ and you will see as little to excite you as the current ‘leaders’. Again, in a democracy I am not looking for leaders, but representatives, and they don’t fare well on that score either.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I should also mention that I’ve heard you on radio and clearly you have the ‘image skills’ -ie. good communicator, debater, that are necessary (at varying degrees). That’s a superficial point, but one that should at least be made.

  7. MonctonLandlord says:

    DC would make an excellent deputy minister or crown corporation president. Actually one of the top policy lobby jobs is up for grabs as Executive Director of CENB Conseil Economique du N.-B. Rumour is that this used to be a political patronige appointment based on who is in office. But the members got together and decided that it was time to stop lobbying for survival funding, but rather to be an efficient lobby group independant of government (yes, folks, in New Brunswick!).

    Politicians require acting skills. DC is too much a straight shooter, kind of like Kevin O’Leary on ROBTV.

  8. David Campbell says:

    It’s a veritable love-in. I’ll buy you an ‘anonymous’ drink some day. I don’t know anonymous but MonctonLandLord seems to understand the issues of the day.

  9. Anonymous says:

    If you think politicians need to be actors you haven’t met Abel Leblanc-or remember Elizabeth Weir! That’s enough for this comment thread, tho I’m offended at the insinuation that I don’t understand the issues of the day:)

  10. David Campbell says:

    Anonymous, don’t be so prickly. I didn’t say you didn’t know the issues of the day. I said I don’t know who you are and while there are certain ‘anonymous’ posters that sound familiar – I can’t tell everyone apart. You could be Einstein but how would I know?

  11. Anonymous says:

    I am, in fact, Einstein.

  12. suckies says:

    Liberals and Drink,can’t have one without the other.
    So liberal voters would vote for anything eh!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Seems we have a tory troll…