This is a big one. Somebody should start to eventually wonder why New Brunswick is not winning these – and hasn’t for years. We seem to be content with a few more small virtual call centres in Perth Andover. I’m all for VAS but New Brunswick has got to start winning at least our share of these. See my note below about the incentive package:

Firm to bring in 300 new jobs
AIM Trimark to set up in downtown Charlottetown
By Wayne Thibodeau
The Guardian

A major job announcement that has the potential to revolutionize Charlottetown’s downtown core was made Friday.

AIM Trimark will locate its Global Enterprise Centre in the capital, creating 300 full-time jobs over the next 10 years.

AIM Trimark’s parent company, AMVESCAP, is one of the world’s largest independent investment management companies.

With one announcement, AIM Trimark becomes one of the Island’s largest private sector employers.

Phil Taylor, senior managing director with AMVESCAP, believes this is only the beginning of a long relationship his company, and others, will have with Prince Edward Island.

The Global Enterprise Centre will not be a call centre, said Taylor. It will provide client relations with financial advisers, as well as act as a backup to its Toronto headquarters in the event of a weather or terrorism-related crisis.

“I’m pleased that AMVESCAP is among the first of, I’m sure, more global companies to call P.E.I. home,” Taylor said at a news conference Friday packed with community and business leaders and students hoping one day to call AIM Trimark their employer.

The P.E.I. government is providing wage subsidies.

Taxpayers will pay 15 per cent of each employee’s salary at AIM Trimark for the first three years. That will cost the province about $2,700-$2,800 per employee.

After three years, the province’s subsidy drops to 7.5 per cent for the remaining seven years of the 10-year deal.

Average starting salaries will be about $35,000.


So, I think the journalist frigged up the incentive figures. Taxpayers will be 15% of the salary for the first three years and 7.5% for seven more. 15% of $35k is $5,250. So over three years that would be $15,750. 7 years at 7.5% = $18,375. So the total incentive would be in today’s dollars based on the average salary of $35k = $34,125 over ten years.

That’s a little more than the “$2,700-$2,800 per employee” mentioned in the article.

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  1. scott says:

    I am not a big supporter of statist policies, especially governments providing wage subsidies. However, as Donald Savoie once said, “when performance is unsatisfactory, one can make a case that government intervention is required…”

    In this case, I believe the subsidies will stabilize their investments, in that, it guarantees they will be around long enough [3 years] to spurn on more economic growth and investment so as to revitalize Charlottetown’s downtown core. AIM is almost like a lure that will hopefully entice more investments down the road to greater Charlottetown.

    As well, I applaud the recent risk taking initiatives [ethonol production plants] implemented by the PEI government as it demonstrates that they are willing to try and turn things around there. I know it is a long and arduous task for islanders to get back to where they want to be, but at least their goverment officials aren’t sitting on their hands talking the talk and not walking the walk. New Brunswick could learn a lot from that government, especially in the last 4 years as it seems like they are finally moving away from the Tourism industry as an economic crutch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Keep in mind a couple of weird things. One of which is that AIM Trimark mutual funds are ONLY available in Ontario, Alberta, and, you guessed it, New Brunswick. So once again, New Brunswick money is being used to finance another province’s growth. So if you want to see the importance of subsidies, just note that the province didn’t even see fit to allow their investments. So the conservative ideology-“hey boys, we’re opening up our markets for ya” just doesn’t cut it anymore, this is still more proof, if anybody actually needs it.

    Note that 35,000 is a pretty good bargain, but anybody that thinks once a company gets those perks they will just dry up doesn’t know their economics. There’s a reason its virtually impossible to get access to information on such things. As the largest employer the company will also be able to get great deals on real estate, and will be able to essentially extort the amount of provincial tax it pays.

    But as said, when you’ve got unemployment, you’ll do whats necessary. In the third world they’ll work for pennies,here the government will subsidize the hell out of you-so lond as you are a BIG company. If you are a small company, or even a group of small companies you’ll get laughed out of the building. Gee, and people wonder why there are anarchists!

    Keep in mind the other bugaboo that can’t be overlooked, and thats the timing. This sends a clear message to Sean Graham from the investment world now that Graham is ‘talking tough’ on publicizing insurance. AIM, is of course, Bank of Montreal, who stands to lose.

    This is the price that is always paid to provinces that don’t kowtow to investors. I personally think Graham is just ‘talking tough’, I don’t think he has the stones to go to the mat, particularly with a slim majority government.

    Of course its a tough sell for investment companies, they’ve had years to invest something in NB but haven’t bothered. Grahams government really hasn’t had time to look into deals like this, but again, I doubt Lord would have nixed those numbers, just look what they handed out to Molsons.

  3. Blackjack says:

    It is all very well to assume that foreign investment is good in all cases but sometimes the opposite is true also. I have always disagreed with the procedure whereby foreign corporations come in waving big banners and with promises of hundreds of jobs. There is usually a time limit on the project after which they up stakes and leave having found a more favorable location elsewhere in the world. The fallout from this is detrimental especially when these corporations have encouraged the legislature to give them favorable tax breaks to set up in the province / county / country. This particular initiative sounds an awful lot like another call center and I don’t believe we need any more of this type of investment even though I applaud the PEI initiative enthusiastically. If this is the first step to greater prosperity then the risk is worth it.
    The New Brunswick government is being led around by the Irvings. Nothing will happen in the Province that the Irvings don’t want to happen. The environment is being destroyed and the last thing Saint John needs at the moment is a new refinery and another pipeline through the city.
    It wouldnt surprise me if this Sussex development perished on that particular rock and I am interested to know where it eventually locates. This would have been great for New Brunswick because I know the corporation involved had a New Brunswick connection and were interested in developing an export initiative having been present at a meeting with a lumber merchant where this was discussed. I am researching the project at the moment and am attempting to find out which government department forced them out of the province. The figures coming out of St Martins are astonishing to say the least and I heard that there was 400 jobs being created because of it as well as a sizeable donation to the completion of the trail (figures vary on this but $5 million – $20 million seems to be the range).
    From what I heard there was no financial input required so I cannot see why this didnt happen.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can Blackjack be more specific as to what he’s talking about? I know little about this issue and a link or some more info as to the whole story would be helpful.

    The PEI deal does sound like a call centre, any more than that and I doubt they could find the technical financial expertise in Charlottetown, although no doubt plenty of New Brunswickers will be sending in resumes.

    These are things that would be nice to have people involved in actually voting on, as they do in the states, because in all cases there are huge tradeoffs, and it should really be up to the population as to whether it is worth it. I know the gung ho business types don’t want that, because often people will vote against many initiatives, but you know,there’s a good reason why they say capitalism and democracy don’t mix.

    Nice to see somebody else bringing up the Irving name here as well, so I don’t feel quite so alone. In New Brunswick it is impossible to talk monetary policy without talking about the Irvings. An interesting comment over at Charles site points out that perhaps Irving may even be majority owner of Bay Ferries. These guys quite literally own the province. It’s no surprise that the extent of energy comments made so far by the liberals, who claimed to be ‘all about energy’ is to spend half a million for government workers to have new hybrid cars. That’s how bad its gotten. As the tories point out, they won’t announce final decisions on the home heating rebate because ‘it may not be sound’, meaning it won’t enhance conservation, and the province might not be able to afford it.

    When those kinds of policies are announced then it becomes quite clear who is really calling the shots.

  5. scott says:

    This particular initiative sounds an awful lot like another call center and I don’t believe we need any more of this type of investment even though I applaud the PEI initiative enthusiastically. If this is the first step to greater prosperity then the risk is worth it.

    Again, like McKenna probably hoped, a call-centre was a manner in which to maximize the labour force which you currently have [uneducated] while attempting to attract a better labour force and key investments in the future. I just don’t think he was successful at the latter. Hopefully, our good friends in Prince Edward Island will be able to use these little economic momemtums or bumps to their advantage so that it can lead to further prosperity. I would like to think that is their ultimate plan.

  6. scott says:

    As the largest employer the company will also be able to get great deals on real estate,..

    I don’t see anything wrong with that, especially given the current state of our province.That is a big reason why Moneris Solutions CEO Jim Baumgartnermoved part of his
    from Toronto and set up shop in rural New Brunswick. I don’t think there is another example of a Toronto firm setting up business successfully in rural Atlantic Canada, is there? We need more of this, especially since Sackville has a huge selling point, in that, it is in close proximity to not only Mount Allison University, but a bilingual workforce.

  7. Anonymous says:

    The central problem is that once again we are back in the depression, before world war two when everything was decentralized. Not only do we have provinces competing for corporate jobs, but we have municipalities competing within provinces. Then it all comes down to the ‘highest bidder’. Go ask them in Sydney what they think of that, coal dumps were literally given for free to owners, who then went bankrupt, and left them to deal with it.

    Fortunately at least this is financial services, so the most that will happen is they will build the town up, only to see it crash when and if the CEO happens to get a better deal from down the street. Municipalities are now setting up the infrastructure for such companies, making it easier and easier for companies to switch locations if a better deal comes along.

    As said, it would be one thing if we were the states and people actually had a say, but municipalities are pretty much run by small councils of six men who are so pro-development it hurts.

    So in the short run it may be good news, but as the company gets better offers and shows up at the mayors office and says ‘yes, well, we’re not doing so well this year, we really need a pass on property taxes’. Then the next year showing up at the local MLA’s saying ‘yes, things are grim, that provincial tax is really biting, you’d better do something or we may have to move’. Of course NB is such a small province that its the Premier, not an MLA they would talk to. That of course doesn’t even get into the other lobbying aspects. In PEI in particular we are talking about investment firms, they have a wide variety of interests, so when you have a province looking at a specific policy, and the phone rings from the CEO saying that policy hurts their interests, once again you are *&^%ed.

    And then you get forestry all over again, outdated business models and companies being paid for by taxpayers.

    So essentially it’s NBers or PEIers paying to give investors more bang, as we saw with Molson. It’s really weird to see so many people anti ACOA yet say nothing when these other things come along.

    Ironically, MacKay and company talks about this ‘microcredit’ stuff and the meeting in Nova Scotia as to how they will use the program in the third world- hell, the place that needs it is right here! The only way for people to get money without usury is to go on “Dragons Den”.

  8. MonctonLandlord says:

    “It’s really weird to see so many people anti ACOA …”

    If ACOA could be more effective, we would all benefit. A friend of mine said it is easier to get an MBA and snatch a $65k job at ACOA, than to start a business and get a $65k loan from ACOA. A federally-funded payroll to the educated like the example above does not get us on the road to self-sufficiency.

  9. Anonymous says:

    That’s a good one! I’d love to see a reading list on ACOA. I’ve done some cursory looks at the website and mostly found them paying for bridges and water treatment plants in rural locations. For other industries it was mostly paying to go to retail shows. With the internet those things are hardly necessary anymore, and certainly not at the stage when you can’t afford them yourselves, since they are tax deductible.

    However, often money goes through other programs and aren’t listed. When I was at college I prepared marketing plans for some people to get money from ACOA, that was over a decade ago when I was told that they were ‘basically just consultants to new companies’.

    That is the federal branch, so an easy question to ask is when we hear about Moneris and AIM, we hear about the perks from the province, how come we never hear the word ACOA in there anywhere. How come as a region ‘the north’ gets all kinds of money through FedNor for all kinds of things, yet the maritimes, bubkus.

  10. scott says:

    That is the federal branch, so an easy question to ask is when we hear about Moneris and AIM, we hear about the perks from the province, how come we never hear the word ACOA in there anywhere.

    That’s because that is their job, anon. The failure of the last provincial government was partly due to their inability to move forward on the economic development file. In other words, BNB was always fighting fires. As with AIM in PEI and Moneris in Sackville, I’m sure in both intances the feds ponied up their share of the investement. It only makes sense.

    That’s why I have always admired Ralph Klein’s approach to the feds where he said,”To me, the issue is simple. Who should decide who represents Alberta in Parliament? The people of Alberta, or the Prime Minister? . . . Clearly, it is the people who should decide,” and that “Albertans will remember.”

    A word of advice for Premier Shawn Graham, “if you want to turn things around here in New Brunswick, then take the same approach as Mr. Klein and forget about heading to Ottawa with a cap in hand.”

  11. Anonymous says:

    Get real, the only difference now is that Alberta struck oil. Its easy to be preachy when your pockets are loaded, they are the preachiest sons of bitches you’ll meet.

    Alberta gets far more federal investment than NB, notice how the gas pipeline deal will be decided by bureaucrats in Calgary. Klein may talk like that, but when mad cow hit, he was griping to high heaven that those independant ranchers needed a massive federal bailout.

    Oil and gas is subsidized at a rate of 2 billion a year, how much do you think lumber or fish is subsidized federally? Zippo.

    Klein would have been out getting drunk and beating up the homeless if the province didn’t have oil.

    That’s absurd to say ‘heres why Lord lost the election’, particularly since he got more votes than last election, and got more votes than the liberals. How many people come by this blog talking about economic development? The main theme of this blog has been to challenge the Irving News that ‘everything is wonderful’. The average person knows little about economic development.

    Anybody who thinks that Graham coming back with a big cheque from Ottawa will be anything but cheered is delusional. I remember a guy here awhile ago who was going apeshit because David made some pretty benign comments about equalization.

  12. scott says:

    That’s absurd to say ‘heres why Lord lost the election’, particularly since he got more votes than last election, and got more votes than the liberals.

    I’m sorry, my mistake. From now on I will address our Premier as Leader of the Opposition. It has a familiar socialist ring to it since all you moonbats still claim that Gore won the 2000 election over Dubya.

    Btw, who are you quoting above when you said that’s absurd to say ‘heres why Lord lost the election’? You’re right, it’s absurd because nobody said it. I know I didn’t say that. Sometimes I think you’re having arguments with the little voices in your head anon. Maybe that’s why you refuse to post under a name after hundreds of resquest for you to do otherwise.

  13. Blackjack says:

    Can Blackjack be more specific as to what he’s talking about? I know little about this issue and a link or some more info as to the whole story would be helpful.

    I dont have all of the information on this project. I have been waiting for it to drop into the public domain. All I know for sure is that it was a European corporation with a New Brunswick director on board and the project was quoted as being worth 4 – 6 billion dollars depending on who you hear it from. It was to be located in St Martins or Sussex and would create 400 jobs. There was also to be a sum of money paid to the trail (5 million – 20 million depending on who you talk to in St Martins)
    When or if I get any more intelligence on this I will post it here.