I just got back from a session on the Intelligent Communities Forum. The founder, Robert Bell, gave a little talk and made some very good points. He said the only real objective of a city must be to provide a place for people to live work and raise their families and to have an economy that will provide enough good jobs so that when the kids grow up they have the option of staying in the community. Bell understands the importance of continuity. Cities are not just about the here and now – they are about the future and that is where economic development comes in.
I agree wholeheartedly with this. We shouldn’t coerce young people to stay in their communities through guilt or even cash payments (like the tuition rebate if you stay here after graduation). But we should have good options should the desire to stay and good options should they decide to come back once they have saw a bit of the world. I would go further and encourage young people to see the world – I did and have never regretted it – but we need to have communities and economic opportunities in New Brunswick for them to come back to.