Like ’em or hate ’em, Moncton’s Petitcodiac Riverkeeper must be considered a successful lobby group. The issue of removing the causeway from Moncton to Riverview was a backburner issue before the Riverkeeper rolled up its sleeves and got to work.
Now 11 of 12 regional candidates for the Federal government have backed federal funding to remove the causeway and the Premier has made it one of his issues in his Accelerating Prosperity plan (not sure how that will accelerate prosperity but that’s another issue).
My point is that a well-organized, properly funded lobby group can still get results in New Brunswick. The toll busters was another similar lobby group.
So, the next logical step is to ask where are the lobbyists for the economy?
The local Chambers of Commerce should be the typical candidate for such lobbying but I have not seen a strongly worded rebuke of government policy in this area in a long time.
Industry associations have had mixed success. The forestry lobby received a package recently but what about the IT industry lobby? According to my research, while some 100,000 jobs have been created in Canada in the IT and related sectors since 1999, there have been almost none in New Brunswick. As a reward for this success, it seems that the IT industry groups seem to be very thankful. Anything I read tends to be very positive.
The Canadian Federation for Independent Business (CFIB) seems to be very effective getting its small business message across. The government has cut taxes for this group.
But who is lobbying for the attraction of business investment? If not the chambers and industry groups, then who?
Maybe when Daniel LeBlanc is done over at the Riverkeepers, we can recruit him to lobby for the province.
Heck, the survival of the provincial economy should be at least as important as the Petitcodiac river, no?