Social capital – Does it apply here?

I keep reading articles about this thing people are calling ‘social capital’ and trying to figure out where it fits in my quest to see a strong and economically prosperous New Brunswick. A general Google search gives me 9 million hits on the subject. A Google News search brings back some 200 articles in the past 30 days mentioning it. Wikipedia has a fairly wide ranging analysis of it.

But an economist in Northern Ontario crystallized it a bit better for me in this article – particularly as it relates to community development.

My questions are simple. Should the government of New Brunswick develop a social capital strategy to support community economic development? Can social capital be nurtured by government involvement? What types of social capital are supportive of economic development (note that there is positive and negative social capital development)?

Is this one way that New Brunswick could step up and take a leadership position?

Usually I claim to have some answers to the questions I pose in this corner of cyberspace but on this topic I am in truly exploratory mode.