A few people have made comments to me about Ireland’s recent troubles. These same people have also insinuated it was a good thing that NB doesn’t have the auto industry like Ontario.
That’s crazy talk. Ireland led the first world in economic growth for nearly 20 years – of course the country will be hit harder by a global recession. Same with Ontario. It added 1.3 million to its population from 1996-2006 while New Brunswick declined. Of course, it will be hit harder by a global recession.
But to even insinuate – even hint – that New Brunswick is somehow better off than Ireland or Ontario because it has been sputtering along for 20 years is crazy. Nuts in fact.
We can have a serious conversation about the Irish economic model and we can look at ways it could have done things differently. Sure. But I will never accept the argument that the Irish model was a failure because it is taking a hard hit during this global recession. I will never say that the auto industry has been a negative force in Ontario’s economic development. It has generated hundreds of billions in economic activity over the past 30+ years and been arguably the most important driver of that region’s rise to be among the 3-4 most important economic zones in North America.
Park any of that smugness. Without Ontario’s tremendous wealth generation over the past decades, New Brunswick wouldn’t have had billions in transfers to prop up its economy. We need a serious economic development effort in New Brunswick but not at the expense of Ontario.