Enough with the baked goods metaphors

I am one of those people trying to watch my weight. Usually this means alternating from binge eating to starvation (alternate days).

But I digress.

The point here is that I am also one of those people that sits in oodles of meetings every month on economic development issues and also reads dozens of articles on said subject matter.

And I am getting tired of the ‘pies’.

You see, just about every meeting these days – despite the politically incorrect posture of flaunting high carb, high fat food in the face of all in view – will include a reference to ‘the pie’. More specifically, somebody or some group wanting their share of ‘the pie’.

So, while one of the eight levels of consciousness in my brain is thinking about strawberry pie or rhubarb pie or mincemeat pie (with ice cream of course!), somebody is pounding a fist on the proverbial table and demanding more pie*.

Big communities or provinces want their ‘share of the pie’ (example Quebec’s aerospace industry). Small communities or provinces what a larger ‘share of the pie’ because the other guy has gotten a larger share for the past 30 years and now has grown fat and thinks he needs a larger share of the pie because he is so large.

Some complain they get almost no pie at all and they are starving (erstwhile bloggers pining for more foreign investment as one example).

Some are having whole pies thrown at them and are now telling the pie throwers to only throw banana cream pies (Brampton, Ontario for example).

Somebody actually used used the ‘pie’ metaphor and ‘sweet’ versus ‘tart’ the other day in a meeting. While I was kind of dozing off at that point, I think he was refering to the side benefits or costs of a various economic development initiative (maybe the proposed refinery – I forget).

The problem with all these pie metaphors is that a) they are not in synch with our new wellness focus (hence distracting) and b) they tend to imply a finite amount of pie (except in the case of Brampton) that we all wrestle over.

If New Brunswick attracted an auto plant, for example, some would say that’s at the expense of southern Ontario (we stole their pie). I, on the other hand, tend to look at it differently. The 37 new auto plants that have set up in the US over the past decade, maybe one could have located here? Would that be at the expense of Ontario?

I think NB needs oodles more pie – er foreign business investment – but not at the expense of anywhere else in Canada – per se. If Canada attracts x billion in foreign investment each year without NB on the train, I think we need to attract x2 with NB on the train and then everyone wins.

Bigger pies is the goal here (presumably low fat and sweetened with Splenda).

I think I’ll go to the Homestead in Riverview for lunch. I might just have a piece of pie.

*It’s a bit like the Robert Munsch story “More Pies“. One of the side benefits of having three young children. You get to read hundreds of Munsch stories.

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0 Responses to Enough with the baked goods metaphors

  1. Wendy Waters says:

    Maybe different Canadian regions need to focus on creating their own baked goods, rather than worrying about national pie. These alternate goods could fuel growth rather than government handouts or corporate pie sharing.

    Take Nanaimo BC that has its Nanaimo Bars so perhaps doesn’t need pie.

    Maybe New Brunswick could make call centre compote?

  2. David Campbell says:

    Call centre compote. I’m hunched over in pain laughing so loud but your point is well taken. Your blog is interesting. Just wish New Brunswick could be as aggressive with incentives to attract animation/new media companies as is British Columbia (see link below). Some might say the BC approach is a little more rational than Quebec.


  3. Anonymous says:

    It’s not just competition, take a look at Statscan releases for December. Canadian investments internationally were 4 billion in the last quarter of last year. That’s a lot of pie! While I prefer Mrs.Dunsters to any pie, there is the possibility of a lot of investment coming into New Brunswick, but the infrastructure has to be there. I know people with money, but if I say “invest in New Brunswick” and they say “where?” then I simply don’t have an answer for them.

  4. Wendy Waters says:

    I thought the government had decided against that tax incentive, but apparently not. When the Canadian dollar jumped to near $0.90 from $0.63 it really hurt the film and tv sector for a short while, although it seems to have recovered. They screamed for subsidies and got some (although nothing compared to what some US jurisdictions offer to lure a film) but I don’t think the subsidies make a huge difference in decision making for Hollywood. It’s about quality of work, efficiency, etc. which if it isn’t there can easily eat up any tax subsidies.


    The US town example offers an illustration of why simple tax subsidies are not enough — you need the cluster of experienced workers, and the innovation and energy. The visual effects and digital animation sector has synergies with the video game industry, the software industry, etc. so there are thousands and thousands of workers that move back and forth between these companies, bringing new ideas with them.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Pie? Did somebody say Pie? Now i’m hungry. I’ll take a slice of blueberry please!