I was making a presentation the other night over in Charlottetown to a group of business and government folk and was told there was a senior manager from a big multinational firm in the crowd and they were pitching him on the merits of doing business on PEI.
I sat by him at dinner and got right into the thick of the ‘pitch’. I have to say it was a lot of fun. I used to be in the sales business years ago – selling New Brunswick as a location for firms to expand their operations. It was a pretty good feeling when you pursued a firm and got them to invest in the province.
I’ve told this story before but it is worth a second look. I was the lead guy in Moncton trying to convince an IT firm to set up here. The folks in Fredericton called me to say there was no chance they would put an operation in Moncton and that I shouldn’t worry about it. But we made the case. They set up here (back in the 1990s). A year or so later I was in a church meeting and a guy gets up and says he is so thankful that he was able to get a job with this same firm and that he wouldn’t have to move to Calgary. His young daughter had leukemia and was being treated at the IWK and he wanted to stay close to family and friends here in Moncton.
That made it real to me.
Nowadays I spend my days pontificating and trying to sound intelligent. At the end of the day, what really matters is that our economic development efforts should be providing people the opportunity to stay and build their careers here if they so choose.