As part of the Greater Moncton Chorale, I sang with Kim Stockwood at the ECMAs on Sunday night. We sang Ode to Newfoundland. Another singer sang about having to leave her native Nova Scotia and the pangs of regret and lonliness.
I have been thinking quite a bit in the last few years about culture, connectedness and how it impacts our economic development. Some people look at their community or province and see something of unique value that we should work to protect and nurture. Others shrug and say they were born here but could take it or leave it.
Or as someone once said “There are two types of New Brunswickers. Those who like it here and those who can’t wait to get out of it”.
Does having a strong affinity to a place make you want to fight to protect its economy? Not necessarily. There are those who have had to leave NL or Cape Breton and never really leave – they remain Cape Bretoners in their heart for ever – but that feeling hasn’t translated into a stronger Cape Breton.
Like most people, I know a few folks living in Fort McMurray and one old friend is involved in politics out there. His Twitter feed is filled with comments and links about building a stronger sense of community and local culture. They have the strong economy but many folks still feel like they are just passin’ through – even after living there for years. The objective of local politicians is to build infrastructure and make investments to create something of value beyond the economy – community.
We may have the reverse problem here.