As kids we used to pick on our old Grammy. She was getting old and deaf and we would whisper outrageous things in her ear. Her response? Always a skeptical “maybe”.
That came to mind when I read another article about Frank McKenna bringing many of the movers and shakers of the world to Fox Harbour for a round of golf and networking. This type of event normally leads people here to puff out our chests and revel in the fact that these people would deign to come and visit little old Atl. Canada.
Listen to Frank McKenna:
“It just makes Atlantic Canada glow,” he said. “Everybody who has come here, from all over North America, tells us we’re the luckiest people in the world to live here.”
Tell that to the tens of thousands of people that have been forced to move out of New Brunswick over the past 20 years because of a lack of economic opportunity.
The implication is that somehow having influential people come to Fox Harbour or Larry’s Gulch or to fish salmon on the Miramichi will rub off on the region. That some magic pixie dust will fall off George Bush’s cape and lead to massive investment and prosperity here.
In the words of my Gram: Maybe.
The truth is that these global elites look for remote places to visit where they can get away from it all. Places like Wyoming or New Brunswick. Far from the centres of commerce.
If McKenna wants to really help New Brunswick, he should set up a Davos-type meeting in New Brunswick. A global think tank that attracts the world’s intellectual elite and power brokers to debate the issues of the day. Me thinks that would be better for New Brunswick than a round of golf at Fox Harbour.