To be understated about it.
What I find amazing about newspapers is that they will let every Tom, Dick and Harrietta talk about economic development like they know about it.
She states (excerpts with my comments below):
Too much is effort focused on getting new business to come from away. Nova Scotia has literally generations of experience with luring larger corporate employers who create many jobs for a short period, then pick up stakes and leave when the going gets tough. John Bragg of Oxford Frozen Foods recently offered interest-free loans to first-time homeowners who wish to buy homes in the Oxford area.
Final point. As I have said before. This stuff is feed for the grist mill. It sounds great. Support local biz. Bad multinationals. How dare we? Listen folks. Nova Scotia is going down. Another major national recession and there may be little left. The only hedge we have is to make hay while the sun shines. NSBI needs to double/triple its efforts and help grow real, durable and successful new sectors in Nova Scotia – urban and rural – and start to help regrowing the population. If NSBI can attract 4-5 new good sized manufacturers to the Debert Industrial Park you will see a dozen thriving local small businesses spring up to service them.
This is not about local or foreign control. Obviously I prefer local ownership. They are more loyal to community. Sure. But there are trillions of dollars in global investment that are all but passing Nova Scotia and the Maritimes by. Once in while we get something like offshore oil or gas and that sector gets an investment boost. We need to build grounded, local industries. Ontario has auto, financial, etc. Quebec has aerospace, biotech, etc. These sectors were seeded with billions in foreign investment and hundreds of millions in public sector investment. If Nova Scotia had leveraged the success with Michelin to attract 100 more – what a different province Nova Scotia would be today. Sure 10 would have closed – maybe 15. And there would be hardship. Sure. But think of it. Tens of thousands of good paying jobs keeping our people here.
If this marketing professor has a way to incubate more John Braggs – bring it on. Other than that shut up and stop playing to people’s fears and prejudices. It’s this attitude that will lead Nova Scotia further down the path it is already on. When they close MSVU because of a lack of students, Professor will just go on down the road. No skin of her teeth. But I wonder if she will look back and regret her comments as she moves to Calgary (one of the top destinations for FDI in the past 10 years in the
world) or Vancouver (beneficiary of billions in Hong Kong investment in the 1990s) or Toronto (one of the most foreign investment intensive cities in the world).