Category Archives: Uncategorized

Building on Renous’ newfound fame as Hockeyville 2019

It’s interesting what kinds of things can motivate a population to mobilize.   The Miramichi is an interesting example.  Back in the 1990s when someone really wanted a Walmart they started a petition and got thousands of signatures which they promptly … Continue reading

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On labour shortages in NB: Our EI problem has not gone away

As I have said on these pages many times, Dr. Herb Emery was a huge pickup when he agreed to come to UNB and take on the Vaughan Chair in Regional Economics.  He has churned out impressive research and insight … Continue reading

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Getting to know New Brunswickers: Our household spending priorities

For your viewing pleasure, I have compiled a list of the household spending categories where New Brunswick ranks #1 among the 10 provinces (i.e. the highest share of household income going to the expenditure compared to other provinces) and the … Continue reading

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Economics for dummies: Debt to GDP ratio

I get asked once in a while why I don’t talk about ‘economics’ in a blog called It’s the economy, stupid!”.   It is true that mostly I talk about economic development – but truth be told “It’s the economic development, … Continue reading

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OECD principles on effective rural economic development

The OECD has published a list of principles to guide effective rural development.   There are at least three interesting things about these principles – two good and one curious.  The first is the focus on leveraging local competitive advantages.  Somehow … Continue reading

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You are entitled to your own opinion, not your own facts: Calgary redux

I got a few sharp comments on the Calgary post from a few days ago (comments on LinkedIn and direct messages). The gist is that Calgary is in deep economic trouble and I am cherry picking my facts. Let me … Continue reading

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Putting the ‘development’ in economic development

I got a few comments on the recent post about focusing economic development and strengthening the value proposition for economic opportunities where your community or province has some core attributes.   The comments fall into two camps: 1) business incentives are … Continue reading

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Shifting away from firm-focused economic development

Question:  At the most conceptual level what is the best model for government and community-supported economic development?  Do you a) offer programs and services to help individual firms invest and grow or b) do you work on broader actions that … Continue reading

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Calgary’s lament: Don’t cry for me, rest of Canada

The new Labour Force Survey data finds Calgary has the highest unemployment rate among large urban centres in Canada at 7.4%.  This fact has led to an outpouring of angst on social media and in the press.  How could the … Continue reading

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Don’t care about your legacy? That’s can be a self-fulfilling prophecy

One of the things that bugs me about New Brunswick politicians is just how many of them will tell me “they aren’t interested in their legacy”.  “I’m not worried about that.” is the common answer when I ask the question.  … Continue reading

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