Aha! One of those Popeye moments

Popeye was a moderate man. Calm, cool and collected. But once in a while Popeye got mad and said “I’ve had all I can stand, I can’t stands no more”.

Funny, that popped in my head when I read this interview. It’s with Dan MacDonald, the president and CEO of InNOVAcorp. He is quoted as saying:

I would not support some kind of, “Let’s build Silicon Valley Halifax.” It’s naive and it would be like trying to create Paris. You don’t do that. It takes decades and it takes a whole recipe.



Isn’t that the point.

Maybe this region’s problem is not about economics. Or immigration. Or out-migration. Maybe it’s a chronic case of attention deficit disorder. Maybe we have short attention spans.

I, for, one am pushing for “the whole recipe” and as for decades, I’m for that too. Montreal’s pharma sector was seeded in 1975. The Irish ‘Miracle’ was kicked off in 1955 with a paper entitled “economic development”.

Maybe he was misquoted. If he meant we need short term strategies and short term wins – he’s absolutely correct. But they need to be part of a longer term vision. Halifax won’t be turned into a financial hub in five years. It won’t be turned into a biotech hub in five years.

But if they really want it, they will make the right investments now, keep on investing and maybe, just maybe in 20 years or so, they will have a neat cluster.

As for the Paris comment, I have to defer. There will always be one Paris.

Thank the Good Lord for that….

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0 Responses to Aha! One of those Popeye moments

  1. NB taxpayer says:

    Getting away from Wall Street and Silicon Valley Halifax musings for a moment, I was glad to hear Danny Williams talk about things other than fish, oil and gas in his victory speech tonight.

    He spoke strongly about Newfoundland and Labrador being a ‘have province’ (I hate that term) by 2009? and being off equalization for good. I was also happily surprised to hear him mention the Icelandic and Celtic Tiger as models for his government to follow.

    Could there be huge investments from the tech sector and low taxes in NL future? I hope so as they deserve it.

  2. David Campbell says:

    I agree NBT. It would be neat for Newfoundland to craft a long term vision for the province and make strategic investments and a competitive tax environment. Ireland has some similarities to Newfoundland.

  3. richard says:

    AS I understand it, Nfld’s ‘prosperity’ is built on oil. That is very different than the case of Ireland, where ‘prosperity’ was built on decades of massive EU subsidies, and (perhaps) will continue with ready access to EU markets.

    It is up to Nfld to decide what to do with oil revenues; i.e. whether or not they can really build a sustainable non-oil industrial base. I don’t see any long-term plan in place to do that.