For some of you southern NB folks, you may not be aware that there has never really been a defined area called ‘northern’ New Brunswick. Sometimes Miramichi is in. Edmundston has never really been in. There has never been a coordindated thinking about Northern NB from Edmundston in the West to the Acadian Peninsula in the East to Miramichi in the South. Even all the previous ‘funds’ from government that were talked about as ‘northern’ were really targeted to smaller areas within the area.
It’s good to see the Northern Mayors from west to east coming together to talk about their collective economic destiny. Whatever the history, the region does now share a common, but dubious bond. The entire area is under economic duress and that common thread should help bind them together.
My hope is they start to realize that another fund to dole out a few bucks over multiple years for pet municipal projects is not the solution. You don’t address the challenges from large scale disinvestment in the forest products sector with a new statue or upgrades to some local tourism infrastructure.
The Mayors should call for a comprehensive approach to economic development that includes attracting large anchor companies, fostering supply chains in the region and the growth of export-oriented local firms.