This is exactly what is wrong with economic development in this province. You want a case in point, read this article interviewing the eminent Université de Moncton economics professor Pierre-Marcel Desjardins.
Desjardins suggests politicians re-jig their strategies around a “less sexy” agenda, promoting startups and growing small- and medium-sized businesses.
“Hitting a few home runs is nice but having very strong and very vibrant small- and medium-sized businesses will give better dividends,” he said.
One economic development officer he spoke to of late said allowing for the creation of four firms employing 20 people is better than netting one company employing 100; if the one company falls, all the jobs are lost.
This is what happens when an economist weighs in on economic development. Pierre-Marcel Desjardins wouldn’t know economic development if it hit him in the face. Reread my column from this week. 95% of all government effort in the area of economic development is designed to promote startups and growing SMEs and it hasn’t worked.
I don’t want to revisit all my arguments here. You have read them over and over again. But the truth is that somehow these anti-investment advocates have convinced people that the government is only focusing on attracting big business to the detriment of small business.
Let me tell you something. The Graham government has attracted less jobs from national and multinational firms in its first three years than the Lord government. And you Pierre-Marcel Desjardins and CFIB are going to force them to go even deeper underground with all this crap.
I dare the CFIB to debate me in front of its membership on this issue. I would argue the $300 million in new direct payroll from attracting industry to Moncton over the past 15 years is far more beneficial to the CFIB membership than tweaking the tax rates. When former Premier Lord cut the small biz tax rate, New Brunswick went on to have the second worst rate of new business start ups in North America.