Dr. Doherty has a new scribe

Last month, when the labour market report came out, I mused that Minister Doherty must have been using the same spin doctor as the previous government. It would seem that things have changed this month.

Although the employment picture actually was quite strong in October, here are the comments of the Minister thorugh his press release:

New Brunswick ranked eighth in labour force growth in the country in 2005 and when comparing 2005 to 2004, New Brunswick’s year-over-year performance was significantly lower than what occurred nationally.

“We recognize that we need to do better over the long term,” the minister said. “We committed to make job creation and economic development a priority again.We will do that through the plan outlined under the Charter for Change by changing the approach to economic development in our province and restoring the can-do spirit.”

I can tell you that there was no language like this ever in the past seven years coming out of the ‘labour’ minister. There was so much spin coming out that even I was getting dizzy.

It’s quite refreshing to hear someone in government actually talking publicly like this.

But now comes the hard part. They need to deliver.

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0 Responses to Dr. Doherty has a new scribe

  1. Anonymous says:

    It’s hardly surprising, in fact its right on cue for the Irving Government. With Irving needing all those people for the new oil plant, and with ‘some’ people griping about the environment and lack of alternative energy sources, they need a way to silence that.

    So if they did like the tories and simply said “hey, isn’t everything great” then people would be saying “well then why the &&&^ do we need another oil plant?” And nobody would support it.

    So from now its going to be all out ‘we need job creation or we’re all gonna dieee’ to make sure Irving has an easy time of it. This is the province of Irving after all. And it is their papers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    For God’s sake, anon 6:41, without development, we may not die, but surely a painful death is coming.

    Look on the bright side: if you want to move out of Saint John, your property value will surely go up.

  3. Anonymous says:

    First, I was talking about the government party line, not debating the oil refinery issue. As David pointed out, at least this is ACCURATE, unlike the tories ‘everything is wonderful’.

    Of course its a different perspective. For the wealthy and for Irvings, everything IS wonderful, and even four years ago the Saint John Board of Trade was glowing about how great everything was. Mr. Campbell doesn’t refer to them and points out that economic development should be good for everybody, and I agree. So the tories their Irving mouthpieces, or the Irvings and their tory mouthpieces were simply stating ‘one version’ of economic development (rich people are very happy and who cares about anybody else?)

    However, this is a new government, anybody that thinks they will spouting the same lines in four years doesn’t pay much attention to politics. After four years it will be “we’ve come a long way but still have some hard work ahead” type of thing, but after six years, I guarantee the ministers will be back to the tory PR, because otherwise people will rightfully be saying “what have you been DOING for the last six years?” That’s just simple politics.

    As for the refinery, whose to say that development has to include a new refinery? New Brunswickers are already paying for a percentage of it. I can’t remember if it was here I posted it so I’ll post it again:

    Oil refineries are now largely run on natural gas. Irving pays one half of the property taxes that a similar operation in Maine pays.

    That doesn’t even get into tax breaks that we won’t ever hear about. Irvings businesses have more convolutions than the government could ever dream of figuring out. Ship workers at one point wanted to start a union but couldn’t even PROVE who their boss was, even though everybody knew it was irving.

    So even without the land expropriation that the government will probably help out with, as well as whatever new tax breaks specifically for the refinery they will lobby for, New Brunswickers will be subsidizing these 1000 jobs that we don’t know anything about. Irving won’t disclose wages, and there is no way to even accurately determine how many will actually be working there.

    Development can take all kinds of forms. It’s a standing joke that the Minister in the last PR piece talked about Oil, gas and nuclear and then after a pause…oh yeah, and wind, solar and tidal. Of course these projects are far more economical, far more progressive, and barely even moving. However, even a second nuclear plant would provide a better investment. These are far more highly trained people than oil refinery workers, and in the government hands at least their salaries are guaranteed.

    And that doesn’t even get into very real problems of pollution and the environment. Imagine the damage from a hurricane inflicting TWICE the damage on the fundy coast. Gas, nuclear and oil is turning the southern part of the province into the most potentially explosive economy in North America, and I don’t mean that word in a good way.

    Tidal, solar, and wind are now accepted cost efficient methods of producing power, that’s why no nuclear plants or oil refineries have been built in the last twenty years. And now Boston has closed down their gas terminal because of safety concerns.

    So it isn’t like there are no options here. Unfortunately, in an age of anti politics, people will take industry doing anything becauese they see government doing nothing (that those are related is seldom debated).

    In a province the size on New Brunswick solar and tidal power could EASILY provide cheap power for virtually every area. Imagine selling the province by saying “not only do we have cheap secure power for your building, we have lower more stable power costs for you workers”. That would be a HUGE economic advantage. However, gas prices in NB, where the oil is located, is among the highest in Canada. And most areas aren’t even hooked up to gas lines.

    But with this going on, and the subsidies they will recieve, it makes it harder to sell investment on renewables. This is the central problem NEVER discussed in New Brunswick-should NB Power be striving to provide cheap power for New Brunswickers, or is power just another export. As we see, once you start exporting it, you lose all competitive advantage, so while New Brunswick takes all the security and environmental risks associated with toxic energy, the only benefit is the jobs.

    Forget the construction, that just means more people for the dole once its over, so what is the price of 1000 plus 20 jobs?