Tom Mann wants a new approach

Tom Mann is Executive Director of the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees and in this commentary he calls for a new approach.   The problem is that I have read this thing three times and I can’t find even a hint of what he is proposing.  Here are some highlights:

In New Brunswick, we need to look at new ways and means. What we were told to believe was the right strategy over the last 30 years has not provided true long-term solutions to economic sustainability in this province.

The government should be asking themselves not “How much money do we need to save?” but “How effectively do we deliver on our mission and make a distinctive impact, relative to our resources?”

We have a golden opportunity to restructure New Brunswick through sound public policy in the interest of ourselves, our families, our neighbours and our communities. Good public policy will require a new political will in this province.

Mann is looking to protect the interests of the public service. That’s his job and bully for him.  I would do the same in his position.  But it might be nice if guys like Mann actually started looking at the revenue side of the ledger (beyond toll highways which he has recommended).  It would be nice if the union would actually make a statement about the importance of economic development as a tool to generate the tax revenue to pay for the public service. 

That’s likely never going to happen.

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3 Responses to Tom Mann wants a new approach

  1. Anonymous says:

    Towards the end of this essay, having argued his case, Orwell muses:

    “ I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words or constructions. ”

    Thus forcing the use of Newspeak, according to Orwell, describes a deliberate intent to exploit this degeneration with the aim of oppressing its speakers.

    Well, seems bout right.lol

  2. Anonymous says:

    Freezing their 70,000 dollar wages for 2 years,lolol, What a bunch.
    So no matter how bad the depression is they are saved.??
    What suckers they think we are.

    New Brunswick is imposing a two-year wage freeze on all its civil servants, Human Resources Minister Rick Brewer said Thursday.

    A day after news started leaking that the Liberal government could cut “hundreds” of bureaucrats in next Tuesday’s provincial budget, Brewer and Premier Shawn Graham met with public sector union leaders in Fredericton.

    Brewer said the freeze will affect all upcoming contract negotiations.

  3. Anonymous says:

    At least David Campbell gets it right! But one pathetic showing for New Brunswick.
    But why a surprise in a Province where a selected few get the gravy train, while the unselected many brains head out. And not hard to know why!
    Who got the highways? Why are certain areas of the province favored, of the country?
    When Maine outdoes you, you know you got a problem!

    Last year when legislative committees in Maine wanted to gauge whether 22 state economic development programs were delivering, they hired a team of private independent consultants.

    Four U.S. firms were tasked with assessing job growth, retention and statewide economic spinoff from the programs over the previous year. They surveyed 1,500 companies and 33 municipalities that participated to measure success.

    Based in part on survey results on state aid – made up largely of tax breaks – the consultants, led by Arlington, Va.’s EntreWorks Consulting, concluded that programs created 3,602 jobs and retained another 13,090 during the past year while economic spinoff was pegged at more than $1.1 billion.

    The consultants also compared economic indicators in Maine with figures from seven states, the New England and U.S. averages and the provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick – all with relatively similar economic profiles.

    New Brunswick ranked lowest in per capita personal income in 2007 among its peers, at US$27,104 versus the top-paying jurisdiction – New England as a whole – at US$40,692, based on numbers from the U.S. Department of Commerce and provincial government figures sourced from Statistics Canada.

    The province comes third in job growth from 2001 to 2007 – at 9.9 per cent – beat only by the states of Idaho and New Mexico; the New England states as a group only grew 0.2 per cent during the same time period, while Idaho’s job growth soared, at 15 per cent.

    “What’s a good learning for New Brunswick is that it’s not just about spending money, it’s about getting results,” said Moncton-based economic development consultant David Campbell.

    Campbell said Business New Brunswick should consider hiring outside experts to assess its own economic development success rate.

    Business New Brunswick Minister Greg Byrne was not available for comment Thursday, but department spokesman Ryan Donaghy said government is constantly monitoring studies done by external bodies.

    “Certainly we do much the same when we use studies, such as the KPMG study, when we look at how many jobs we create and maintain,” Donaghy said.

    Donaghy said some of the economic indicators in the report are out of context. For example, he said the fact that New Brunswick fared the worst on per capita income means less when the cost of living here is lower than in some jurisdictions – a selling point the department uses to attract new companies.

    Stephen Lund, the president and CEO of Nova Scotia Business Inc. – that province’s private sector-led business development agency – said the Maine report is useful for that jurisdiction as the first of several hard looks at economic development.

    “Any job you do in government or business, you should have benchmarks or measures,” he said.

    But Lund cautioned against drawing major conclusions about Nova Scotia or New Brunswick’s economic development successes based on comparing jurisdictions.

    “You also have to look at apples to apples,” he said.

    Lund said that the current downturn could mean economic development efforts aren’t registered – or the opposite.

    “You could have a very successful economy that has nothing to do with your economic development efforts.”

    Maine ranks lowest in international export growth from 2002 to 2007 and sits well below the bulk of the other jurisdictions on employment growth, while eking out an average spot in the mix on other indicators.

    Erik Pages, the EntreWorks Consulting employee at the helm of the study, said Thursday after presenting the results to Maine’s legislature, that despite the fact the state fared poorly when compared with other sectors on job growth, international exports and a few other indicators, government programs were still doing the trick to create jobs.

    “They’re pretty competitive and it’s leading to job creation even though overall the economy is going down,” Pages said, adding that the benchmarking chapter that provides data on the state’s economy as it compares to its peers is mainly for setting the stage.

    “That’s really a context-setting chapter to show that these programs are working in an environment where the economy is challenged in these ways,” he said.

    “To really get a sense of the programs and what’s happening in Maine’s economy, you’ve got to do this over a number of years.”

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