What’cha done for me lately

I think politicians are making a mistake when they measure the value they bring to a community based on the $$s they pour in.  Jack Keir’s commentary today is all about the goodies.  For me, it would have been interesting to hear Keir talk about provincial efforts to support economic development – rather than a laundry list of new buildings, road improvements, etc. 

That being said, the medical school in SJ could be a game changer.  It’s too early to say for sure but it could be a foundation which a life sciences sector strategy can be developed.

The value that government provides to a community should be – must be – more than just as a bank for infrastructure projects.   That’s a zero sum game.  There is a limited pot of money and a lot of hands out.

If Keir had showed his commitment to Saint John by talking about the companies and new industries that are growing in Saint John as a result of effective new public policies, that would have made sense to me.

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One Response to What’cha done for me lately

  1. Moncton has been very quietly running its medical school for the last few years in the same building where I work on the University campus. The French language program is affiliated with the University of Sherbrooke and the Georges Dumont hospital. http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/174/5/606-a

    The English language program in Saint John has been in the works for a while now; I’m not sure why there have been delays. It’s a great initiative, and I’m fully supportive. But it has a bit of catching up to do before being put into the category of ‘game changer’.

    As for the ‘goodies’ part of it – well, you don’t get new industries and businesses without building things like Law Courts and interchanges. Of course, you can’t draw a direct causal relationship between the one and the other, either. If Kerr’s column is too simplistic in focusing on the goodies, this criticism is too simplistic in its depiction of what creates economic and industrial benefit.

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