Northern economic development funding program

Several people have asked me to comment on the new $250M funds for northern New Brunswick development. I have commented on these types of programs before and my thoughts are well know. The reality is that between ACOA, BNB, INB, RDC, NRC-IRAP, CBDC, Enterprise agencies and other economic development groups there has been huge amounts of dollars spent on economic development in this province. In other words, I am not sure in the overall spending envelop this is even new money.

Anyway, I like to see changes in philosophy – not just funding. If the government gets serious about mining opportunities in the North. If Belledune can actually be positioned as an asset that can attract private sector investment. If the industrial modular fabrication can become more than just a couple of discrete projects. If a place like Bathurst can start to build some IT sector activity (I`ll blog more on this later). This is what I am looking for.

Just channeling more money into firms with no larger vision for the region – it`s a Krugman-style stimulus but it probably doesn`t do much for economic growth.

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