Thanks again to my little friend for sending me all those links. If you would stop cursing and slandering, I could post your comments.
This article in the Globe & Mail is right on point. Here’s a relevant piece:
How’s it going? Just listen: “I’ve cut wood all my life. Pulp wood. Box wood. Logs I get sawed. Everything. “But I don’t cut no pulp any more. You can’t sell it. And if you can sell it somewhere, you have to ship it, so it’s not worth anything to you. It’s the same thing everywhere. The mills shut down and you can’t sell your wood. “I’m too old for it to matter much to me. But it still makes you mad. And I’m God damned mad.”
This article was supposed to be about the Oympic torch passing through the Miramichi but they caught up with the wrong guy.
That’s the most frustrating thing about this thing with NB Power. The whole point is to try and beef up the business model for industrial activities like forest products.
The populist movement should be about saving industry – not obstructing efforts to save industry. Thatt’s what we get when the populist movement is fomented by folks in cushy urban centres with good jobs or from the comfort of academia. This gets projected out and the average New Brunswicker – many of them like this guy above – lash out against this move to level the industrial power cost playing field with other industrial jurisdictions. That’s the paradox that I can’t get my head around. People in the Miramichi should be demanding cheap power to bolster the changes of industry coming back to the region but instead we get the opposite reaction.
Let’s be clear about one thing. A lot of people on this blog and on the CBC and Facebook and everywhere else it seems are talking about those damn industrial companies getting a massive subsidy. It’s being framed as if some greedy fat Wall Street bankers are taking the money and stuffing in a Swiss bank or something. That’s laughable. These companies make investment decisions – just like CBC’s decision to cut back on their New Brunswick programming – the boards of Fraser and AV and every other industrial company in this province make decision where to invest their money. UPM did not exit the forestry business. They left the jursidictions where they felt the business model was the weakest. Same with Abitibi and many others.
Cheap industrial power is about saving and supporting good paying jobs mostly in rural New Brunswick. That’s the bottom line. It’s about guys like the person quoted in the G&M and thousands like him. It’s about a failure of public policy combined with companies that decided it was easier to leave New Brunswick than to a) make capital improvements to their facilities to make them more competitive and b) decided against trying to work with government to try and address the shifting business case for their industry in this province.
The next time you rage against the man and feel good about it -read this story in the G&M. I did and it bugs the heck out of me.