Liberals and coherency in economic development policy

I have a lot of respect for guys like Roger Melanson and Chris Collins but I worry that a good Liberal economic development policy is being co-opted by raw realpolitik.

While Melanson was out a few days ago with a call to arms on economic development, his Liberal colleagues were railing against shale gas development and the insurance industry.

If the Liberals were smart they would have a nuanced view on this stuff.  The insurance industry has been expanding in New Brunswick.  TD Insurance has piled on the jobs in Saint John and Moncton has seen more growth in insurance jobs than any other city east of Ontario in the past few years (Allstate, Cooperative, Wawanesa, etc.).   Of course, we need to have a proper regulatory environment that protects the consumer but also allows companies to make a decent return on investment but that should be achievable without publicly piling on the industry like Chris Collins did this week.

They used to say the Liberals ‘run from the left’ and ‘govern from the centre’ whatever that means.  I would recommend they take a more nuanced approach to their economic development thinking particularly if there are serious as was intimated in the Melanson op/ed.

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One Response to Liberals and coherency in economic development policy

  1. mikel says:

    Yeah, lord knows ‘nuance’ is what brings over the voters!:) I wouldn’t get too worried, this is how politics is done and corporations know it. The last time the liberals were the opposition they actually passed a motion to make public insurance a party principle-unfortunately these aren’t binding on the Premier, so you saw how far that went once they were in power.

    But what we know is that government CERTAINLY has not been ‘piling’ anything on insurance companies. They’ve been ripping off NBers for years, so I don’t think anybody can say ‘oh those poor picked on insurance corporations’.

    Meanwhile, as far as gas goes, I get the NGI daily and they said that because of the fracking OVERSUPPLY in North America, prices will stay at rock bottom, which also limits the rhetoric coming out of Fredericton of how fracking is like winning the lottery.

    And just for a final thought for the day, I’m also on APEC’s mailing list, and today got an email about a conference that was called “Let’s get out of Here”. I couldn’t believe it, but fortunately they were just talking about how maritime exporters ‘take on the world’, but I really had to laugh at that title.

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