Bathurst-area mines to reopen, creating hundreds of jobs

This is good news.

A Montreal-based company is investing nearly $50 million and re-opening two mines in the Bathurst area. Blue Note Metals announced Wednesday that the mines in Restigouche and Caribou, which shut down 10 years ago, could be in full operation by 2007. They will be used to extract aluminum, zinc and copper.

You know I’m a big fan of New Brunswick actively and aggressively supporting the growth of new economy industries. But since there is no desire to do that, this old economy industry will be a big help in Northern New Brunswick.

Premier Lord said of the announcement: “With the job potential, this announcement is certainly in keeping with our government’s Five in Five Initiative goal of becoming Canada’s investment province, with the biggest decrease in the unemployment rate in Canada.”

Oooh, the Five in Five. I get goose bumps just thinking about it. The 10 year Prosperity Plan only lasted five years. Does this mean the Five in Five will only last 2.5 years? Then we’ll get the Two in Two plan which will be scrapped after one year. Then the One in One. You get the picture.

I just find these outrageous targets with no real funding behind them so – just plain silly. Lord wants NB to be the “Investment Province” but the budget for attracting investment has been cut dramatically. Lord wants us to be the ‘smart province’ with the greatest increase in people with post-secondary education. Just how is he going to do that?

Even Shawn Graham has worked into his language these GREAT BIG GOALS. Apparently, our alternate energy manufacturers will be the best in the world after the Liberals get in office. And we’ll go from ‘worst to first’ in education performance.

Quick, somebody find me a politician that wants us to be average. Now, we are at the bottom in North America (only NL and maybe PEI below us) for income levels, persons below the poverty line, dependance on EI, lack of R&D, lowest education levels within the workforce, etc. etc. etc. and our politicians love to tell us if they are elected New Brunswick will be elevated to the top of the world.

Promises, like the Prosperity Plan, that vanish into the wind…. like magic.

Average would be a nice goal, don’t ya think?

Maybe for New Brunswickers, the rhetoric is enough. Maybe we’ve collectively long since given up on big dreams for our province. Maybe just hearing our politicians talk gives us comfort. Maybe living in Al Hogan’s trace-like state is just good enough.