McKenna’s new model?

Does anyone have a copy of McKenna’s speech yesterday? Al Hogan is gushing this morning but the summary of the speech doesn’t leave me tingling the way a McKenna speech did a decade ago.

Apparently he is calling for lower taxes, a single national securities regulator, immigration, a regional pension fund and “[f]urthering the efforts to improve transportation infrastructure, including a road corridor to New England and creation of the Atlantic Gateway”.

We know from Lord’s tax cuts that little cuts are not stimulative – at least in the short term – and likely contributed to our need for more Equalization. A national securities regulator means very little for New Brunswick because we have virtually no publicly traded companies here at all to ‘regulate’. More immigration is a good theory but without good jobs for them, why should they come? And a ‘regional pension’ fund to participate in more ‘deals’ – is fine in theory but 99.8% of all NB government pension funds are invested outside New Brunswick so it would seem to me that if there was a regional fund, it would also likely be invested in India and China. The real problem, it seems to me with our public pension funds is that they don’t believe in New Brunwick’s potential anymore than most people and are keeping money generated from the public service wages (from our tax dollars) invested far away from this province.

I do agree with the big guy on the Gateway. I think the feds deliberate efforts to cut off Atlantic Canada as a major trade corridor (by investing what today would be billions in the St. Lawrence seaway and making the port of Montreal the busiest in Canada), has hurt – over time – over 50-60-70 years and any effort to get us back as a major trade corridor will only help over time.

Again, I’d like to read his full speech but this summary left me underwhelmed.

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