I just got done listening to a little bit of Cross Country Checkup on CBC. Rex is in Newfoundland and the program is on out-migration from – essentially the Atl. Provinces to central and western Canada.
I just had to turn it off. I really did. I am getting either fatigued or cynical about all the crap floating around these days. We get guilt ridden editorials in the Toronto Star. National call in shows like Rex’s. Local columnists issuing dire warnings.
New Brunswick has had 14 straight years of net out-migration – more moving out than in. Now it makes the national news? Newfoundland has been bleeding population for years – now it might be an issue of interest?
Let me tell you (or remind you) what’s different about this little round of liberal, central Canadian guilt at the decline of Atlantic Canada. In the 1990s Ontario (post Rae) went through an unprecedented economic growth. Jobs were everywhere. But the government didn’t spend one red cent trying to ‘recruit’ Atlantic Canadians into Ontario. Sure many Maritimers left – but in fact the net out-migration to Ontario was very limited and in fact places like Halifax and Moncton actually had net in-migration from Ontario during the 1990s. Check it out.
But did that matter to Ontario? Not in the least. 10,000 immigrants were landing in Ontario a week – do you think anybody gave a crap about attracting whiny Maritimers who would spend the first ten years of their life in Ontario pining for the shores of the Bay of Fundy?
When unemployment in the Maritimes was at 15%, Ontario made no effort to formally recruit Maritimers. Now when we are closing in on full employment in the Maritimes, Western Canadian governments are spending oodles of dough to skim off the best and brightest of our workforce.
What’s changed? You tell me. Maybe they don’t want as many immigrants (there was a study that insinuated that Maritimers were easier to integrate than immigrants). Maybe they like Maritimer work ethic again (I was in Red Deer in the late 1990s and I was practically told that they ‘do things different out here’ – assuming I would want to work my 20 weeks and go on EI). Maybe this is some payback on McKenna for stealing all the call centre jobs in the 1990s. You took our jobs, now we’ll take your people.
Whatever, it doesn’t matter. The truth is that the lack of interest by guys like Bernard Lord in trying to build a strong economy has led to this. If we had been attracting RIM, Toyota, Ubisoft, etc. over the past 10 years, we would be the ones spending money to attract people back to the province. We would be the ones putting serious immigration strategies in place.
Now, who knows?
Project this out ten years and it doesn’t look pretty.
Why am I cranky? I don’t know. Maybe it’s because I just spent 20 minutes trying to console my mother after she packed up her son and family and they moved to Nevada.
Now that they are gone, I can tell this story. I couldn’t before because he was known. My brother ran River Rehabilitation Services in Miramichi for over a decade. It was a successful practice for most of that time. He set up a satellite clinic in Doaktown a few years ago and almost immediately after doing this, the government came in and plunked down a competing service. When my brother wrote a letter to BNB Minister Mesheau, he was told (in a letter) to stop complaining. From that day one, my brother, the devout Tory to the end, decided to leave and now he has gone. In addition to the nasty letter from Mesheau, he also worried about the mill closure and was getting frustrated trying to rehabilitate many people who didn’t want to be rehabilitated.
I came across this definition for the Old Testament prophet Jeremiah:
The wailing prophet, famous for his hard luck stories, groans, lamentations and evil prophecies.
I’m getting a little tired of wailing, to tell you the truth.
I think I’ll migrate this blog into another needed one about celebrity gossip.