I attended university in Virginia and after I would tell people I came from “north of Maine” they would respond with “isn’t it ocean north of Maine”? It may sound like a Rick Mercer sketch but it is true. More Yanks know about New Brunswick, New Jersey (home of Johnson & Johnson) than New Brunswick, Canada.
But even in Canada, it amazes me how little the rest of the country gets us. Particularly the pundits who are supposed to know better.
I have read multiple commentaries and blogs about the native protests over shale gas written by these folks and they just don’t get it. One on Huffington Post talked about it being domestic ‘terrorism’. Jeffrey Simpson and others heralded the brave police. All were concerned about poor New Brunswick.
Apparently none of them saw the rally of support in Moncton. The native protestors are considered heroes by a large segment of the population. There are far more calls on social media for an inquiry into the brutality of the police than the Molotov cocktails and IEDs.
As I said before this makes me heart sick. That it could get to this. That BC native bands are doing deals to ensure their people reap the benefits of shale gas while ours are blowing up police cars.
No matter your views, this has been a big black eye for New Brunswick – at least in the view of folks outside the province (I know many New Brunswickers see it has a great triumph of good over evil).
Someone told me earlier this week he was trying to convince someone to make a large investment in a New Brunswick firm and the guy specifically questioned why he would want to invest in a place where this stuff happens.
We can overblow this, of course. It’s not like all of New Brunswick lives in anarchy. We are still mostly the same old polite, sincere people we always were.
But these days when you poke New Brunswickers in the eye you will get a response. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. The motto of New Brunswick is now an old Twisted Sister song from the 1980s: “We’re not gonna take it”.
Politicians and Texas gas firms are starting to get the message.