When will it end

Edmonton Economic Development Corp. (EEDC) and the City of Edmonton — together with 18 other regional stakeholders — have launched a targeted marketing campaign to 300,000-plus students at seven post-secondary schools in Toronto. The Succeed Sooner campaign created by DDB Canada (Edmonton) will generate an estimated 11 million advertising impressions from March 3rd to April 4th to promote the many opportunities and advantages of a career in Edmonton.

Toronto post-secondary students are being asked to visit the campaign’s anchor website — www.succeedsooner.ca — for information on Edmonton jobs, housing and quality-of-life. The campaign website is linked to www.edmonton.com/jobs where a customized version of wowjobs.ca provides job seekers simple and direct access to all posted jobs in Greater Edmonton. (The website wowjobs.ca is an Edmonton-based search engine that automatically collects and sorts jobs from the websites of all linked employers into one, easily searchable location.)

In theory, I don’t have a problem with government money being used to try and recruit Ontario students to jobs in Alberta. But eventually this becomes zero-sum game. All four western Canadian provinces are trying to recruit people from eastern provinces. Ontario is trying to recruit (at least specialized workers) from other Canadian provinces. The money is escalating. In the end, nationally, we need to have more workers. Shuffling people around Canada leaving shortages isn’t the solution.

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0 Responses to When will it end

  1. Anonymous says:

    I think the opposite is more dangerous (expensive and wasteful).

    Since the beginnning of time, people locate, or re-locate, to where resources and opportunities are more plentiful.

    North America was settled by people seeking fish, timber, farmland etc. and moving from areas of the world where those things were more difficult to obtain.

    What is unacceptable is when people stay in an area that is depleted of opportunity and resources then claim they have a right to live where ever they choose and imply it is the government’s job to serve up jobs and opportunities for them.

    People do have a right to live where they want but there are limitations on how much the government should be expected to do to (artificially) create opportunities and resources.

  2. nbt says:

    That’s why the current “self-sufficiency” theory is flawed. Most of the time local economist or short sighted pundits want to compare New Brunswick’s structural challenges to other Atlantic economies. When in retrospect, if we are ever to be competitive (which I think we would have to to become “self-sufficient”), we have to start competing with other “have” provinces like BC and Alberta. Not to mention, other jurisdictions in the US and around the world.

    Sure, the two provinces mentioned above have an abundance of natural resources, but what do you want them to do? stop exploiting their strengths so that they can move down to the level of provinces with declining industries like New Brunswick. That would be absurd and you know it. It’s not about them, it’s about us and what we have not done.

    The bottom line, as I said before, is that New Brunswick is now in a severe competitive disadvantage for investment vis-a-vis not only the United States and globally, but also in comparison to “have” Canadian provinces like Alberta and BC.

    Take Alberta, the one you mentioned in your post, as an example. They concentrated on eliminating their deficits and paying down debt before embarking on extensive tax cutting. Now that they have their debt in control, they are poised to reduce already low personal taxes even more and business taxes even further. Notwithstanding the Harris government, New Brunswick and Ontario chose to to delay balancing the books, especially during the 70s, 80s and 90s where running deficits was like a political sport.

    Unlike Alberta, which already possesses the lowest tax rates in Canada, New Brunswick does not. Even the cuts to business taxes in the early part of the 21st century haven’t made up for the over-spending of the 80s and 90s. Moreover, the effect of extra tax increases due to “bracket creep” meant that billions flowed into the provincial treasury from taxpayers during the late 80s and throughout the 90s. Furthermore, spending levels, high personal taxes and the size of government have continued to increase in our neck of the woods.

    So the choice is clear, we can continue on the path where we make the same mistakes over and over again (definition of insanity), or we can take the necessary steps in order to achieve better results which, in turn, would hopefully put our province at a competitive advantage for investment within the federation and globally.

    To make a long story short, we can continue to make excuses and tear down others trying to compete, but this mindset will do nothing to change our longterm structural challenges. And if this attitude continues, many of our of challenges will remain unanswered.

    The bottom line is, as you said, more taxpayers in their peak earning years are required. Hopefully will get a whole bunch more paying less tax. Because if taxes remain high, we’ll continue to lose more to other “low tax” jurisdictions who are doing a better job of competing for human capital and investment. Thus, shrinking our tax base and putting more stress on those that remain.

  3. mikel says:

    Others aren’t ‘trying to compete’. Alberta simply has resources and wants a workforce. Before anybody packs their bags though I took a quick look through their jobs list and its not nearly as impressive as you might think. Like every other place in canada the problem is not ‘lack of people’, the problem is lack of companies that want to pay liveable wages.

    But I don’t think I even have to dispute NBT’s point here, I think it would take a LOT of work to convince ANYBODY that the reason Alberta is burgeoning is their tax system.

    The debt scenario is an interesting one. Even as late as 1999, the province with the lowest debt payments relative to revenue was NOT Alberta-it was British Columbia-and that was under Clark who was NDP or Social Credit or one of those crazy left wing parties.

    I don’t think I really have to expend much energy in trying to convince anybody that the reason that 62,000 moved into Alberta and 3800 left NB in 2006 was because people were so impressed with there province’s fiscal policy. In fact, seeing as how only 40% of Albertans even bothered voting, I doubt very many Albertans even know what it IS.

    As to the first post, government SHOULD be expected to create opportunities when they are, in fact, the body that CAUSES the original resources to be exploited and eliminated. Following that thinking we can easily ask how some european villages have managed to exist with a workforce for thousands of years, when in New Brunswick tiny villages can’t do it for more than two or three generations even though they are surrounded by wood, land, water and tons of resources that most of the richest populations in the world lack.

  4. Gawain says:

    We’re not shuffling people around Canada — workers are being made aware (communications, marketing) of opportunities in which they may have an interest and these opportunities are not being created by government. The real winners here are workers.

    It is a preposterous proposition that we should somehow prevent the free movement of labor across provinces. This labor movement indeed may contribute to labor shortages in the Maritimes, but market pressures will create a labor equillibrium, even if it is not necessarily in the favor of the Maritimes. If the [higher-paying] jobs were here, people wouldn’t move, would they? We need to create the quality employment that will lead to higher levels of retention, and so far, that level of job creation has been conspicuously low.