NB Biz Council

I have said this before and I remain delicate in my commentary but I am beginning to think that the New Brunswick Business Council is now actively trying to undermine efforts to attract industry to New Brunswick.

I honestly don’t get this. I really don’t. It can’t be just about self interest. In the 1950s the very same calibre of business leaders were actively campaigning to attract more industry to New Brunswick. Now, when we have a government that seems at least mildly interested in ramping up industry attraction efforts, arguably the most powerful lobby of them all is actively opposing it.

Most of these guys are international players. They go to Toronto. They see with their own eyes the the tens of thousands of jobs created from attracting industry. They go to Montreal and see the tens of thousands of jobs created in the digital industries sector. They must know about the growing cluster of financial services back offices – paying salaries, I might add in the $60k-$70k range and higher. They must see the tremendous benefit of Asian investment in Vancouver over the past 20 years.

Maybe they are arguing for ‘balance’ – but other than call centres there is no foreign investment here – no large IT firms, no large manufacturers (other than forestry firms that are here for the trees).

I don’t know. I read other member of the Biz Council over the weekend again cautioning against the attraction of industry. It’s a bit sad, really.

One of the poorest jurisdictions in North America. A region that has chronically underperformed in the area of investment attraction for decades. A region that is shedding population. A region with dozens of communities that could desperately use a new ‘plant’ or a new ‘development studio’ or a new ‘back office’. And our top business leaders are opposed.

Nobody’s arguing that we should turn New Brunswick into a branch plant with no local entrepreneurs. Guys like me are just arguing for a little more emphasis on attracting industry as a balance.

Sigh.

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0 Responses to NB Biz Council

  1. NB taxpayer says:

    You’re right about the attitude, David. And it’s not just the NB Biz council either. I was in Moncton last week and met with a consultant of a major firm (name and firm will remain anonymous).

    When I mentioned that investment in industry was lacking in this province (and also the city), she went on to say, “that’s the way we like it, and that’s the way we want to keep it.” Wow, and this individual is in charge of a large portfolio with the job of promoting and marketing business and industry in this province. I just don’t get it?

  2. David Campbell says:

    How do you change a culture, NB Taxpayer? How?

  3. NB taxpayer says:

    By installing a premier that actually [and sincerely] wants true change. Look at what Obama, Huckabee and Paul are accomplishing in the United States in just a few short months. Can you imagine if they gained power??

  4. Trevor says:

    We must be missing something? I hope we are missing something…

  5. Anonymous says:

    This is typical of the blinkered, philistine, pig ignorance that I have come to expect around here (pardon the quote from Monty Python). The people that are overseeing stuff like this in NB are a little like Pythonesque caricatures and they should be taken to task. Its easy for the like of that woman with her, guaranteed salary, warm comfortable office and nicely padded chair to keep her fat arse protected while people like us in the real world do our best to get by. This woman is wasted in the private sector, let her join the bureaucracy where her attitude would be welcomed – that is, of course, unless she is part of them already. She certainly is not on a productivity bonus with that attitude.
    Name and shame I say!

  6. mikel says:

    I would suggest she is, and you really have to feel sorry for NBT who seems at a loss as both the private and public sector seem ‘afflicted’ with the same disease.

    However, this is the BUSINESS council. It is a council which represents business and industry. So of COURSE they are saying that-what did you expect? Plus, I’d really like to see some evidence of those business types in the fifties who were making these other claims you speak of.

    Business people protect their own interests, thats how they get by, that BY DEFINITION almost, is what businesses do.

    These large businesses have been raving for YEARS about how good things are, you really expect them to wake up and say “boy we could really use some competition to shake things up”

    That’s the job of politicians, sort of. Again, thats why it was so sad to see you guys railing against the people protesting against Atlantica. At the time everything was bitch bitch bitch about these ararchist ne’er do wells. Since then though I’ve noticed most bloggers have picked up the same themes though.

    But again, how many of you guys are politically active? The biz council is VERY politically active, and of course politicians respond to noise, not blogs. So you can’t very well sit and gripe about how things ‘will never change’ and then do nothing to change them.

    I have no idea what the deal is with the states, anybody that thinks any ‘new’ ideas are coming out of the US federally is just dreaming. But this country isn’t that. The mention above of ‘we need a Premier who will do X’ reminds me of the Simpsons episode where the slogan is “can’t someone else do it”. It’s a bit extreme for politics but the theme is right on-they say that bad things happen in good measure because good people do nothing.

    The really sad thing is that most New Brunswickers want the same things, but that richest one percent owns all the media and has people thinking that the political system is interested in their concerns.

    But its unclear about which culture you are talking about changeing. If you are asking ‘when will we be able to get corporate interests to look out for OUR interests’ then you will be waiting a long long time. At the very least think twice before inviting it to take over parts of your health care system.

    But these guys are a ‘special interest’, although its taken close to ten years to broaden that definition from environmentalists, farmers, women, minorities, etc., now its gotten so bad that virtually everybody thinks of corporations when you say special interests. But in politics IF you have other interests besides the corporate one, then you’ve got to get it out there.