The family and I are here for our now bi-annual pilgrmage to see my in-laws in Brazil. I was here two years ago but in that short time the country had a significant growth spurt and significant foreign investment flowed in leading to a highly valued currency and eroding the value of my poor CDN dollars. Bottom line? Everything seems considerably more expensive.
I´ll still be posting to the blog and Twitter during my time here except for a short period when we venture into a remote part of the country for some interesting tourism.
I´ll start my remote posting with this. I hope that wanna-be leader of the Liberal party Mike Murphy doesn`t play politics with the natural gas exploration industry in New Brunswick. I have said here many times that there should be a good debate on this industry and people need to be informed on the current techniques, how the industry is working to overcome the problems, etc. It is important to understand the economic development issues, etc.
I have said here before that the Quebec rules now stipulate that for each successful well an amount (I think it´s $100k) goes back to the local community for local projects. It is important that this industry benefits New Brusnwickers by a) creating good paying jobs for NBers, b) generates significant royalty revenue for the government, c) some of that money flows back directly to the local communities where the development happens and d) we try to look for ways to expand the economic potential further by using the gas for local economic development.
Anyway, I like Mike Murphy. He seems like a smart guy and would likely make a good leader but there is a bad trap these guys get into where they think they have to oppose the current government just to prove there is daylight between the parties. Issues such as shale gas can be injected with hyperbole and whip a lot of folks into a frenzy. If he takes a hostile stand just to show his Tim Horton credentials, I will be disappointed.
We need this industry. We need to get it right and as I have said here if we start to see problems, we will need to pull back but to shut down an entire industry – with serious economic potential – on speculation or on the fearmonger associated with the early stages of the industry´s growth (most of which have been addressed), would be wrong headed – particularly if it was just for cold hearted politics.
Look, I disagreed with the PCs on their stance on Hydro-Quebec and NB Power and if Murphy goes against shale gas because he smells political blood, I will disagree with him as well.