I have thought for a long time that New Brunswick should publish its exports formally – with and without energy. Every other year we get a forecast about booming exports and politicians are quick to take credit for this as a result of their successful economic development efforts. I will never forget former BNB Minister Kirk Macdonald bragging about the “billion dollar increase – that’s billion with a ‘b'” in exports as the result of his leadership while just about every major category of exports – except energy – as actually in decline and was a serious concern.
EDC says energy makes up 68% of our exports – I think it’s even a bit higher – but it is clear that you could see whole industries collapsing (from an export perspective) and the EDC would still be issuing press releases talking about our robust export growth (driven by refined oil).
Let’s make sure we understand the real trending here.