Bigger fish to fry (not Heddie)

It’s a bit creepy but I had two people stop me on the street here in Moncton and ask me if Dion is going to be good for economic development in New Brunswick.

After getting over the shock of being recognized by that teeny photo on the blog, I tell them a couple of things:

1. Not to be too Bogartish about it but the problems of 700k New Brunswickers don’t mean a hill of beans to the folks in Ottawa. Dion wants to tackle climate change, social justice, innovation. Heady stuff to be sure. New Brunswick, with a shrinking population only slightly larger than Calgary (and that gap will close within 7-10 years), is more of an annoyance than anything else. The truth of the matter is that the problems in New Brunswick are really important – but only to New Brunswickers. For the rest of Canada, they can’t figure out what the whining is about. “We send you all that Equalization for crying out loud”.

But for me, economic development in New Brunswick – specifically in New Brunswick – is more important than climate change, social justice or innovation. If you don’t have sustainable communities (in the economic sense), the rest is just semantics.

So where is the intersection between national priorities and New Brunswick priorities? It’s a weak link at best. At the end of the day, change will have to come from here and hopefully it will get the support of the Feds but the days of waiting for a Prime Minister to swoop down and impose economic development are over – and if they aren’t in your mind – you are living in the 1970s and haven’t emerged yet.

2. And if I haven’t lost them at Bogart, I say Dion is not the PM yet – and may never be so if anyone is interested in the Federal posture towards economic development in Atl. Canada, they should look up Tory in the phone book. Yes, I know that some of you are still getting used to the idea (in fact, a lot of Tories are still getting used to the idea) of a Conservative national government. But it’s there and it may not be going anywhere soon. So provincial politicians should get out their pencils, come up with a plan and ask nicely for Mr. Scary to join the fun.

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0 Responses to Bigger fish to fry (not Heddie)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thats definitely backwards thinking, and part of the problem NB is so far behind. When everything is about economics, it becomes harder to sell. The rest of the world is talking about social justice, climate change and ‘innovation’. The only place that isn’t is the US, and their dollar is sinking compared to the euro every passing day and every passing trade deficit.

    However, even at the state level in the US, which is where the real meat is in US politics, they are looking at climate change, social justice and ‘innovation’. Why? Well, because thats what LIFE is about. If you actually think its far more important that NB have more thriving communities than it is for people to have basic human rights, and for life to exist on the planet, you’re a walking talking dinosaur and hopefully the next generation doesn’t share that.

    In reality it is climate change, social justice and innovation that MAKES sustainable commmunities. In NB there is still the tired old hanging on to fossil fuels, people are actually talking about an ‘energy hub’ even though there is evidence that it will hardly create any jobs. Irving still can’t even find partners for their refinery.

    Social justice is equally important, because if an economy doesn’t serve the people then people will serve the economy. It’s pretty hard to blame the feds for New Brunswickers handing over all of their resources to make McCains and Irvings among the richest families in the world. VLT’s are literally a cash grab from the poor, whose lives are so miserable they will pawn away what few dollars they have for the vain hope of ‘winning’ a decent life.

    If you want sustainable communities it is easy enough to do, we’ve talked about that. You can do it with just the forestry industry. You simply stop handing all the resources to five foreign companies to eradicate the forests with no benefits for the communities which are right next to the forests.

    That’s not just ‘economics’ its social justice because that land belongs to New Brunswickers, not five foreign companies.

    For innovation we’ve discussed that before. Its absolute lunacy to be putting massive funds in nuclear power and refineries when wind and solar power are already proven to be cheaper. Not only that, they have almost zero upkeep, unlike nuclear, and they can be spread all around the province. Again, imagine communities in the north being able to tell investors they have almost free power, and not just free, but local, guaranteed, and non polluting.

    Those are EXACTLY the springboards to prosperity, not the plodding dull way of doing business that barely worked ten years ago. Its now at the point where its almost a simple transfer of wealth from poor to rich. If you want to build sustainable communities, get money to the people who spend it locally, they don’t do like the pension funds (ie the rich people) and invest their money elsewhere.

    Get with the times dude, otherwise NB will ALWAYS get the bums rush-and deserve it.