Groan

I like Premier Graham – I really do.  He seems sincere and dedicated and somewhat keen.  However, I let out a huge sigh this morning when I read this headline in the DG: The road to prosperity is paved with roads, premier tells builders.

The road from Bangor to Houlton – the most barren economic wasteland in the United States – is paved with beautiful fourlane highway. 

It would have been far more courageous of the Premier to cut highway funding this year and invest in more direct economic development activities such as setting up foreign offices, tripling the provincial investment in R&D, looking at things like deep water cooling as an energy source, etc. 

After 20 years in this business, it seems that governments are comfortable with roads, health and other traditional funding but when you look at efforts that are more directly correlated with economic development (and yes in some sense risk) – there are very uncomfortable.

So we get roads, rhetoric and continued out-migration.  Fun.

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4 Responses to Groan

  1. richard says:

    “The road from Bangor to Houlton – the most barren economic wasteland in the United States – is paved with beautiful fourlane highway. ”

    Yeah. Wish they would at least put up some interesting billboards along I95. Anyway, I am sure Graham miss-spoke. What he meant to say was : The route to my re-election is more paved roads.

  2. Tim Coates says:

    On the bright side, at least there’s a nice view of Mt. Kathadin.

  3. Mike says:

    That is not the most barren economic wasteland in the US at all…. have you ever driven across the USA?? There is a perception that the US is so advanced, etc… but in reality there are small towns after small towns.

    The real problem in America is the same as that in NB… it is all about rural to urban migration. In NB you often think it is unique to your province.

  4. Anonymous says:

    And if you do drive across the USA you will find it one very busy place with great infrastructure.
    Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba are the provinces which appear to be heading in that direction.
    Driving through Ontario and Quebec is like the dark ages.

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