I just watched the video that was prepared for the Opportunity 2000 conference that was held in Moncton – I think it was in 1989 – 25 years ago. The music, clothes, cars, etc. in that video look ancient but the Moncton region was at the start of a pretty impressive period of growth.
There are a lot of faces in there – business leaders of the day – that are still around – only with a little more wear and tear.
The video shows a series of key growth sectors – including agriculture, data processing, etc. The strangest one of all was retail – they flashed a long list of stores: The Met, Woolco, Save Easy – on and on – only a couple still around today. That industry has been completely redefined in 25 years – mostly for the better.
It is interesting to set things in an historical perspective. We live our lives in real time but need to see ourselves in the larger frame – at least from time to time.
New Brunswick seems to be at one of forks in the road that comes along. There are a number of big trends that are bearing down and we have to respond or we could sputter and muddle along as a province. Even the urban areas are not immune from these trends – public sector austerity, aging population, decline of certain important industries, out-migration of young talent, etc.
It’s time to bear down.
In 25 years, if we are still around, we can pull out an old flash drive and watch the cheesy video from 2014. We can watch it and be satisfied that the community achieved great things over the period or we can look back with regret and wonder where it went off the rails.
That story is not written yet.