I like the BC Jobs Plan because it recognizes the importance of ‘jobs’ first and foremost and also it gets specific about where those jobs are likely to be created. I have said for a while that we need to figure out where there is potential for growth in New Brunswick and then get industry folks in a room with government, education and other stakeholders to see if/how we can make it happen.
And this is not about generalities – it’s about specifics. BC has specifically outlined its focus on international education, natural gas (shale gas by the way is driving the growth), mining, transportation, forestry, agrifood, technology and tourism.
It’s also kind of neat because of the “share your ideas” section where BCers actually can provide input and ideas to foster more growth.
We need to be that specific in New Brunswick. I just listened in on a Webcast about the economic potential of energy efficiency. That idea should be given a serious look – not just for the long term benefits but because it could provide 5-6 years worth of new construction activity just at a time when that sector is taking a beating. I say get a few folks in a room and have them develop a plan.
An ‘all of the above’ strategy – ICT, forestry, mining, shale gas, energy efficiency, life sciences?, transportation/warehousing (a particular opp for Moncton), should be developed with the help of industry and other vested stakeholders in each of the areas.
I know it is in vogue now to take the focus off ‘job creation’ and to put it on productivity. Fine. But jobs are still a key part of the mix and BC is right to have a ‘jobs plan’.