Self Sufficiency: Defined

Interesting stuff. I had made the statement that self sufficiency = elimination of Equalization until an astute blogger commented that the definition never made it into the final Self sufficiency agenda and the Premier never equated the two again. I checked and sure enough, the “self sufficiency = elimination of Equalization” definition has not entered the political lexicon since the agenda was actually launched.

So now we have the Minister Social Development, Mary Schryer, making this statement in a TJ op-ed piece:

Premier Shawn Graham has laid out an ambitious goal for our province: end New Brunswick’s reliance on federal equalization payments and transform our province into a self-sufficient one by 2026.

Anybody have any ‘inside baseball’ knowledge here? Is self sufficiency the elimination of federal equalization? Or is “end New brunwick’s reliance” different? How do we define ‘reliance’? Do I hear a Donald Rumsfieldian discussion emerging?

Can anybody conclusively tell me that “self sufficiency = elimination of Equalization” by 2026?

If you can’t tell by now I get annoyed with politico-speak. Former Premier Lord used to insert the term “prosperity plan” into every second sentence. “Hey, Premier, where you going? “To get a sandwich. Supporting small sandwich shops is part of my prosperity plan.”

I just thought that Graham had morphed (via Mo Robichaud) self sufficiency into a generic term after I read him saying we had to be healthy to be self sufficient.

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0 Responses to Self Sufficiency: Defined

  1. mikel says:

    Didn’t we have this discussion before? A politician define the terms they are using?! Who ever heard of such a thing! Although they never actually defined it, equalization is a no brainer, although they can always SAY they didn’t actually mention equalization-but who actually thinks Shawn Graham is going to be around in 2026?

    The government never defined it, but in the plan they DID say ‘what New Brunswick will look':

    1. A self-sufficient New Brunswick will be productive, innovative, strong and self-
    reliant.

    2. It will promote new ideas and utilize new technology to create jobs, bringing new value to resource-based industries and providing first-class public
    services.

    3. It will have a competitive and sustainable economic base, free of the boom-and-bust cycles we have endured in the past.

    4.A self-sufficient New Brunswick will have a robust, export-driven and innovative economy with a thriving entrepreneurial sector that builds on our attractive
    business climate and natural strengths to create new opportunities for growth
    for small businesses in all regions of the province.

    5. It will have the population
    necessary to sustain a growing economy that will support our valued public programs. It will have a workforce with the training and skills necessary to
    participate in this new economy.

    6. A self-sufficient New Brunswick will have a world-class education system that values creativity and inclusion. It will have a culture of lifelong learning
    with high standards for literacy, numeracy and ongoing workplace training.

    7. It will have a vibrant cultural environment that will promote a sense of identity and belonging. It will provide quality health care services and promote wellness for children and healthy aging. It will provide a good start in life for all our children.

    Hate to be a ‘negative nelly’, but I’d say they are about 0 for 7. Although elsewhere they did say they would be the ‘energy hub’, and they seem to be making progress on that-at least for Saint John. Although I suppose everything is relative, you can look at Irvings growth and therefore say the economy is ‘strong’, and look at one or two companies in Moncton and say they are ‘innovative’.

  2. nbt says:

    . “Hey, Premier, where you going? “To get a sandwich. Supporting small sandwich shops is part of my prosperity plan.”

    Actually, as funny as that is David, there is some truth to it, especially since his [SME] tax policy specifically helped business get some needed relief. Unfortunately, they weren’t aggressive enough in attempting to flatten corporate and personal taxes (so that big business and working families would think about relocating).

  3. Anonymous says:

    This is how dumb your NB rulers are!
    We gassed up in Maine at 3.69 a gallon ,plus a couple hundred other dollars on a few Items that are about twice as much in canada.Yes 1 hour lineup at borders of towns with 1000 people.lol

    Rarely used clause may allow N.B. gas price spike
    Fill up tank on Friday, says consumer advocate
    Last Updated: Friday, September 12, 2008 | 2:20 PM AT Comments27Recommend40CBC News
    With gas prices spiking across the country on Friday, a consumer advocate is warning New Brunswickers to fill their tanks before midnight.

    The price of gas is likely going to go up on Friday night because of Hurricane Ike and the threat it may pose to refineries on the Gulf Coast, said consumer advocate George Murphy.

    Motorists in many Canadian cities found that the price had risen as much as 13 cents per litre on Friday morning.

    Fined $3,500

    Les Fermes Dani of Drummond was fined a total of $3,500 by Grand Falls provincial court judge Jacques Desjardins on Sept. 2 after pleading guilty to a charge of unlawfully marketing produce in interprovincial trade, to wit: potatoes grown in New Brunswick and shipped to Quebec, on March 17 and May 7, 2007. Both charges were laid in Grand Falls provincial court on Aug. 19 by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency. Similar charges against the potato farm’s owner, Daniel Gagnon, were withdrawn by the Crown.

    What a country.

  4. richard says:

    “corporate and personal taxes (so that big business and working families would think about relocating).”

    Now, that IS funny. Companies and working families might THINK about re-locating, but working familes won’t relocate w/o a reasonable chance of getting high-paying jobs. And are taxes the major reason that companies re-locate? No.

    It’s pretty clear that ‘self-sufficiency’ is just a slogan to these guys; nothing more than an excuse to justify whatever policy they want to enact.

  5. mikel says:

    While its true that its mostly a slogan, there are some details on ‘what a self sufficient NB will look like’ from the government’s Action Plan. Namely:

    A self-sufficient New Brunswick will be productive, innovative, strong and selfreliant.

    It will promote new ideas and utilize new technology to create jobs, bringing new value to resource-based industries and providing first-class public
    services.

    It will have a competitive and sustainable economic base, free of the boom-and-bust cycles we have endured in the past.

    A self-sufficient New Brunswick will have a robust, export-driven and innovative economy with a thriving entrepreneurial sector that builds on our attractive
    business climate and natural strengths to create new opportunities for growth
    for small businesses in all regions of the province.

    It will have the population
    necessary to sustain a growing economy that will support our valued public programs. It will have a workforce with the training and skills necessary to
    participate in this new economy.

    A self-sufficient New Brunswick will have a world-class education system that values creativity and inclusion.

    It will have a culture of lifelong learning with high standards for literacy, numeracy and ongoing workplace training.

    It will have a vibrant cultural environment that will promote a sense of identity and belonging. It will provide quality health care services and promote wellness for children and healthy aging.

    It will provide a good start in life for all our children. As a result, fewer New Brunswickers – and, in particular, fewer children – will live in poverty.

  6. David Campbell says:

    To Mikel’s post – I realize you can wrap all these nice little very hard to measure statements into a nice sounding document. What I want to know is if there are hard targets – financial, numeric that we can judge the government on every year. For example, if self-sufficiency = no more Equalization than the public should know that Equalization continues to go up and is expected to go up at least until 2011 according to Dept. of Finance forecasts. If you are going to eliminate Equalization and it goes up every year during your first mandate, the burden is on you to show how the increases in the first five years will turn dramatically downward in the next five.

  7. mikel says:

    You mention the benchmarks, but whether ‘people know about them’ isn’t up to government-its up to media.

    Government can only do so much, they CANT start up companies to do what the private industry won’t do. That’s where NBT is off the mark-New Brunswick is almost LITERALLY run by industry, you’ve pretty much proven it, and the few subsidies they hand out are the exceptions that prove the rule.

    You can just look at mining to see how much ‘red tape’ gets in the way of industry. People were actually saying that its so easy to mark your property for future drilling that in order to avoid having your property marked you should register with the government and do it yourself. There is literally NO ‘red tape’ except on the trees.

    The ‘self sufficiency’ plan comes down to ONE main theme – transformation. The most perfect and damning piece of evidence is to look at the cancellation of the referendum on MMP. Even at the website the ONLY ‘democratic change’ the government flouts is ‘fixed election dates’. Wow, talk about transformation. The province certainly doesn’t need more democracy-now its got fixed election dates!

    So that’s a COMPLETE joke, and the only reason people tolerate it is because they have no choice. For the economy, just look at natural resources. They state that they have to ‘transform’ the way they deal with natural resources to avoid the ‘boom and bust cycles’. Of course we know they are lying right there, its virtually impossible to avoid boom and bust cycles in a capitalist economy. You CAN limit them, like say do like Norway and have hundreds of billions saved up from your resource sales.

    So just ask how much NB has ‘saved up’ from, say, the increase in nickel prices. Didn’t they just add 300 million to your debt? And that was WITH higher commodity prices. For oil they gave Irving the tax break to end all tax breaks, and regular readers of this blog know how little they get out of property taxes for the refinery.

    In forestry the ‘transformation’ has been to change legislation to allow forestry companies to send NB wood outside the province because the minister says “well, the mills are all closed so WE can’t use it, at least now it gets used”. Wow, talk about ‘innovation’.

    We know education is hugely important, the government is essentially inviting in corporate education and the most innovative thing they could think of was to piss off a majority in the one program that seemed to work, and drag out the language issue for more flogging.

    For health, it is VERY true that to be self sufficient people need to be healthy. That is a HUGE government cost. Canada would be a mirror image of the states if it weren’t for healthcare spending. In NB its even more true, it was at this blog that people learned that the New Brunswick government pays the LEAST amount of individual drug costs in the country. In NB its a miserly 33%, while in BC its close to 50%-in Germany its 80%. People should realize that that’s not REALLY ‘universal health care’ and certainly not a national one.

    IF the government were so interested in health, where is the increased government spending on individual drug plans? After all, thats just more money leaving New Brunswick and heading for Quebec and Ontario, or the US. Forget lowering taxes, this would REALLY save money. Of course the rationale is probably that NB has a high proportion of public employee’s who have worker plans-yet nobody talks about the fact that to be competitive NB companies will have to provide more generous benefits packages to cover medication costs that other province’s cover.

    I could go into even more detail, but that’s probably MORE than enough. The ‘evidence’ shows that they, like Lord, have ZERO interest in New Brunswickers ‘prosperity’. Its a good marketing slogan though, because it fits in with the privatization model. If you have enough people thinking ‘self sufficiency’, that’s a GOOD thing. Then people won’t mind so much when health care services are privatized, or corporate taxes lowered, because ‘we have to learn to look out for ourselves’. Never mind the fact that I did the math AGES ago and the amount NB spends on public education which then benefits other provinces BY FAR outmatches the measly amount the province gets in equalization.