Say it ain’t so, Joe

I just downloaded and had a quick look at the provincial budget. Did they actually cut the Business New Brunswick budget? I can’t believe it. I ‘searched’ for the term Business New Brunswick and it looks like they actually cut economic develpment funding.

If this is true, I will be amazed. Truly amazed.

It looks like expenditures went up by $175 million (based on the revised data for 06/07) and Business New Brunswick’s budget was cut from $38k to $29k. Tell me I’m wrong about this (page 17 of the report).

I hoped they had created a separate economic development agency so I searched the budget speech for the term economic development. There is no mention of any other spending.

How is it possible to talk about ‘self sufficiency’ and economic growth if you are cutting the very budget used for these things?

Is there something else? Tell me that Boudreau announced a separate organization called “Invest New Brunswick” or some such thing. Tell me they announced the setting up of 8 foreign trade and investment offices in Asia, Europe and Latin America. Tell me they annoucned the creation of a crackerjack swat team to get New Brunswick back on the map for investment attraction. Tell me they tripled the investment in research and development. Tell me they announced funding for a sector development strategy.

Tell me that I typed the wrong URL and I was actually reading the budget for the Yukon.

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0 Responses to Say it ain’t so, Joe

  1. Anonymous says:

    I suspect its under the ‘self sufficiency’ budget.

  2. Anonymous says:

    It’s because the $10m Broadband initiative has come to and end. When you take that money out, BNB got a (small) increase.

  3. Paulin says:

    I think 5:32 Anon is right. Wait after the self-sufficiency report and the federal budget and you’ll see a mini-budget.

    For a first time budget under a new leadership. It’s pretty unoriginal.

    We’ll see

  4. MonctonLandlord says:

    – Maybe Shawn Graham did not read the budget yet… let a few days for his staff to print a copy for him. What a joke.

    – If Halifax would have kept its proposal for the Commonwealth Games, do you think that the $200M GHG subsidy by Harper to fund the Hydrogene Highway in time for the Olympics could have been split in 2?

    – Considering I ran into the Yukon Provincial Government booth at a career fair in Halifax a few months ago, DC, you could have taken another example to pick on, as New Brunswick is not on the road to self-sufficiency, I actually admire Yukon’s succession initiatives.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think that can be added to all around. Trouble is, most of the industries in NB are already ‘self sufficient’, but not in a good way.

    Take a look at potatoes. In PEI they’ve opted for the ‘freedom’ of the market vs. the contractual obligations that NB farmers got into with McCains. This has meant that farming in half the province is literally just run by McCain. That has good points and bad points.

    The good is that they have a guaranteed customer. THe bad is that McCain dictates policy and like Irving, owns most of the equipment distributors and credit agencies. That means that over time economies of scale get built in. So the farmers get progressively corporatized, yet in cases such as when McCains decided midway through the season to no longer accept GM potatoes, it was farmers who bore the brunt.

    Over on PEI they have to ‘hussle’ for their keep. So I’m always impressed that each and every year they have a booth at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, pushing their spuds and the PEI ‘way of life’.

    In grocery stores PEI is all over the spud aisle. There was ONE time that I saw a New Brunswick farm that had potatoes in an ontario grocery store. They even had an email on the bag so I emailed them and told them how nice it was to see NB potatoes in Ontario. I never heard back.

    Even forget setting up trade offices. How about going down to Hollywood and buying some screen time for the province. On many sitcoms you’d here them mention something about some part of Canada, heck, there are at least jokes about WInnipeg!

    If Toronto can spend millions to get Conan O’brien to go to Toronto, how much would it cost to get The Daily Show to New Brunswick? Heck, even some public access shows in New York would have a huge audience, unfortunately, having nothing similar in Canada means most overlook that opportunity.

    However, to parrot my familiar line, until New Brunswickers start getting up and getting after the government or else doing it themselves, the government will continue to look out for its main constituents-the Irvings and McCains.