Headz or Tails?

The Amherst Daily News and the CBC are reporting that the mega project that would have brought 1,500 jobs to Parrsboro may be in jeopardy.

While no statement has come from Headz Gamez International (H.G.I.), unofficial word from a company source has confirmed that president and CEO Kerry Martens had sold his shares in the company. Several staff members have been laid off already, and work at the old post office building has come to a halt.When contacted by telephone early on Monday, Martens would say only that further word on the development would come later this week.

If it’s true that would be too bad. The Georgia state government put $400 million into a KIA plant in a place more remote than Parrsboro. It is a trend now down south to locate the large manufacturing projects in rural communities. In Canada, it seems that most major manufacturing projects still go to the areas around the large urban centres: Montreal, Toronto, etc.

This would have broken that mold and breathed a little economic life into that region.

I hope it goes but if it doesn’t, I’ll still make the case on these pages that this type of project makes sense.

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0 Responses to Headz or Tails?

  1. Anonymous says:

    This perfectly exemplifies the problems with tying economic development to corporate investment. Say the town did all kinds of investment just in preparation for such a venture, only to see it vanish once all that investment disappeared elsewhere.

    Cut it any way you want, but this is the risk of corporate investment. That’s why I still say massive investment in training and exposure to export markets is far better. COmpanies that are developed locally tend to stay locally, no matter what offers come from away. By tying investment to contracts, this makes sure at the least companies return the investment to taxpayers.

  2. Anonymous says:

    This project was never realistic and should not have been taken realistically by anyone writing a blog supposedly about economics. To think that a board game company that was barely three years old was actually in a position to complete a project like this was always laughable – a quick internet search of the company would have confirmed that. I would suggest before anyone calls a story like this “one of the most important economic development stories in decades” as you did in your August 22nd posting you do a little more homework first.

  3. Anonymous says:

    It depends how you mean ‘realistic’. The guys who spent years working on Trivial Pursuit were told by numerous investors it wasn’t ‘realistic’, which is precisely what was told to the inventor of velcro. In the business world, ‘realistic’ is a matter of perception and factors that are often out of the control of business owners and definitely out of the domain of pontificators.

    It COULD have been one of the most important, especially for the field that the blogger here is most known for, which is rural development. Anytime a story like this comes along it is news, perhaps not in Saint John or Moncton, but definitely rural Nova Scotia, and especially because of the manner of its arrival. I was suspicious of it as well, but keep in mind that its said that IBM set up a manufacturing plant in Vermont because the chairman’s son had a resort near there. You never know where investment will come from. Anyway, no need to get petty, anybody can get their hopes up, and as Tolkien said “news from afar is seldom sooth”.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Realistic means that if you want to do a $25 million construction project and employ 1500 people you have to have a significant source of annual revenue – there was never any sign that the Headz Gamez people were anything but a start-up company.

    The guys who invented Trivial Pursuit never tried to build a manufacturing plant for their games – they licensed their game to a major company.

    Trivial Pursuit games are currently manufactured for the market in Europe in a factory in Ireland that also makes Monopoly and many other games – that factory only employs 500 people but produces 17 million units a year.

    There is nothing the matter with having a dream about a product – but you don’t initiate major construction activity without first having a demand for the product.

  5. David Campbell says:

    I would suggest before anyone calls a story like this “one of the most important economic development stories in decades” as you did in your August 22nd posting you do a little more homework first.

    As we used to say when I lived in Virginia “who peed in your Wheaties?”

    Call me a helpless romantic. I had high hopes that this guy would help revitalize a community that was larger in Calgary 100 years ago. An area that has not had much to be optimistic about for decades.

    As for homework, I suspect I do considerably more ‘homework’ than you do in this area my friend. I have spend 15 years doing homework. I have written over 8,000 pages of economic development studies and reports. I know Statistics Canada’s CANSIM like the back of my hand. I regularly consult the Census, BLS and the BEA in the US.

    I did a Dun & Bradstreet on Headz. They were legit. They were small but with big plans. Turns out they may have been all smoke and mirrors.

  6. Anonymous says:

    8000 pages of economic development studies and yet you thought this was one of the most important economic development stories in decades. I believe in that posting you were trying to tell other people how to do their jobs (like the folks at the Times Transcript) so perhaps you shouldn’t get your nose so out of joint when someone points out the obvious (that this story wasn’t even the most important economic development story that day).

  7. David Campbell says:

    Relax, Anonymous. Nothing gets my nose out of joint (or just about nothing). I was smiling as I wrote that post. It’s hard to communicate emotion via a blog except as many do in this blog when YOU SHOUT AT PEOPLE. I find some bloggers are way to serious. Life is too short.

  8. Cooker Boy says:

    Perhaps Anon is Al Hogan trying to extract revenge?

  9. Anonymous says:

    It’s also true that even IF the story was garbage, it was still quite a story. Take a look at what passes for news in the Times-Telegraph…hmmm. lets check the front page. Hmm. well, gas jumped 3 whole cents. Wow. Every time gas jumps its front page news? Oh look, “NBers are the happiest Canadians”. I guess poverty does breed contentment..who knew? But then maybe they only asked a few dozen people in certain areas with specific incomes.

    What else..’sheriff shortage causes court delays’. Gee, think that is NEWs, think that wasn’t going on yesterday or the day before? And of course almost a quarter of the page is used for ads, headings, weather. Virtually no other papers in the country put ads on the front page.

    For another perspective, if this company is illigitimate and smoke and mirrors, here’s a thought, isn’t it medias job to find that out? Perhaps if it was a story then the facts mentioned above would have come to light sooner rather than later. By the way, many companies build production facilities before sales are known, its not always a good idea, but sometimes it is, its fairly common practice.

    So I think the finger pointing at the Times Telegraph is MORE than justified. Yes, our blogging friend sometimes suffers from the ‘hope springs eternal’ syndrome, that’s a hell of a lot better than the “life is great, fuck the next generation” or the “we’re all doomed, dooooooommed!” persona’s.

    But hey, if you want to come up with sayings, you’re in New Brunswick buddy, not Virginia, we don’t need any more of their culture up here!

    Some maritime expressions:

    1. Who shit in your shoes?
    2. Who farted on your biscuits?
    3. Who frying panned your head?
    4. Who robbed you of your cultural identity,stole your industries, undervalued your economy, and called it confederation?

  10. David Campbell says:

    Hey! You made that last one up…..