Musings on the TJ

I just read that Jamie Irving and another senior person at the TJ are out over this Harper/Wafer story.  It seems quite severe but I guess I don’t know the full story (back story). 

I just met Irving for the first time a few weeks ago.  I bumped into him at an event and we chatted about (what else?) economic development.  He seemed to have a good handle on the issues and I could see that the TJ was an ally in my quest to get the discussion about economic development more broadly into the public square in this province.

I still remember back to the release of the 2001 Census which showed that New Brunswick’s population had formally slipped into decline for the first Census period since records have been kept in this province.  It should have been the clarion call for a serious economic development effort but it was treated by the media as just another story.   I remember the Premier lamenting our ‘demographic’ problems and then moving on. 

14 straight front page stories about the lack of a ‘cath lab’ in Moncton.  Over two months of hammering people over the head about the unjust nature of toll highways.  On and on.  The greatest problem ever in the history of this province, a couple of stories, an obligatory quote or two from eminent professors and then on to the real news – property taxes are on the rise (weeks of stories).

Of course, I am referring to the Times and Transcript back then and not the TJ but the point is still valid.  Newspapers on their front page and their opinion pages take stands on the issues of the day.  The TJ has become a serious and important advocate for deliberate and sustained economic development in New Brunswick and has done a good job of keeping relevant stories in the news and on the opinion/editorial pages.

There have been times when the commentary has been sharp and I am sure that Maurice Robichaud has more than once spilled his coffee after reading an editorial but from where I sit most of the commentary has added to the conversation.  The government itself set out the most ambitious economic development agenda in the history of the province with its self-sufficiency agenda and should welcome the TJ’s efforts to keep the agenda front and centre.

I hope that tradition continues post-Jamie Irving.

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3 Responses to Musings on the TJ

  1. mikel says:

    Actually, that’s not quite true-they are NEVER critical of the provincial or even federal government, most of their criticisms are aimed at municipal politicians since the last election. Like other Irving press they are ‘pro ED’ as long as it is ‘IRVING ED’. Consider this, there is a very real reason why no new oil refinery has been built in the last 20 years in North America (although that’s changing now). Because NOBODY would allow such a thing. In SJ, there is virtually NEVER a criticism of it.
    For ED, the TJ is no different from other papers, they are very much ‘ra ra’ about local stories, but no in depth analysis, no questioning of government, no demands of accountability.
    Having an occasional ED blogger write an editorial is not taking ED seriously. For an example of this, just ask the average person in the street about those figures for ACOA funding-who even KNOWS the ED issues in NB? And thats a fault of media.

  2. Samonymous says:

    Don’t want to offer up conspiracy theories, but as I mentioned to a few of my buds the day the story came out, I mentioned: if it was that critical or controversial (the “host” story) as they made it out to be (big emboldened headline), then why did they sit on such a story for five days before running it, especially when it now appears they didn’t use credible sources or info anyway. methinks it had a lot to do with the news being run below the headline that day (can’t retrieve the frontpage headline for some reason, so I linked the CBC news story):

    http://www.cbc.ca/canada/new-brunswick/story/2009/07/07/nb-railway-irving-1214.html

  3. Samonymous says:

    “The government itself set out the most ambitious economic development agenda in the history of the province with its self-sufficiency agenda and should welcome the TJ’s efforts to keep the agenda front and centre.”

    I agree. I have said many times I don’t agree with the current government’s tactics of bait and switch, trial balloon governing, studying things to death; but you have to admit, while the Tories took their good ol’ time replacing Lord, the liberals essentially rammed through every bad piece of legislation while taking things off the table through commissions and studies. Not only that, they reclaimed the lower tax issue in their last budget.

    Now the Tories are left wondering what the heck to bash them with. Words of advice: the spiraling out-of-control debt (mortgaging our children’s future), transparency and accountability, reforming BNB and democratic reform).

    To be honest, other than the ever increasing debt, none of those really have meat as solid election planks. Maybe a good press day, but no legs. The Tories really put themselves in a bad spot by waiting to reorganize (if you want to even call it that).

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