Primer on NSBI

There’s a good primer on what Nova Scotia Business Inc. is up to these days in our neighbouring province. I can’t give you the link because it’s behind a firewall but here’s a few excerpts (it’s Stephen Lund, the CEO talking):

First, I hired the best team in the country and set an aggressive agenda to grow our economy and attract high-paying, sustainable jobs to our province. We evaluated our strengths as a region, and pioneered a “nearshore IT strategy” – one that is being modeled across the country. This strategy resulted in the creation of more than 2,500 new IT jobs in Nova Scotia. After beating out 30 jurisdictions around the world, Nova Scotia announced the arrival of Research in Motion, one of the hottest IT companies on the planet. Companies like CGI and Keane – they all had choices – chose Nova Scotia.

Nova Scotia’s defence and aerospace industry is flourishing with the arrival of L-3 Communications, and the expansion of local mainstays like IMP Aerospace and Xwave, creating close to 1,000 jobs.

What about our success over the past eight months in the international financial services industry? Halifax is now being referred to as “the next Dublin.” The companies NSBI has brought to Nova Scotia are providing a range of career options for more than 1,100 new graduates – jobs that pay roughly double the average wage in this province. Like Citco Fund Services, Butterfield Bank, and Olympia Capital – all among the world’s largest hedge fund administration companies. Or Marsh Captive Solutions, the largest insurance company in the world. What opportunities for a young person fresh out of university!

We get calls from around the world – people want to know what’s going on in Nova Scotia.

How is this possible if, as the writer states, “Atlantic Canada is the shriveled end of the appendix of the North American economy” and our “real economic potential and capabilities are virtually unknown beyond the 200-mile limit”?

Funny, our clients refer to this area as a “jewel” – and they’re coming from around the world.

We’ve helped our clients create close to 14,000 new jobs here in Nova Scotia over the past five years – a record that we believe is unmatched across the country and around the world. When fully ramped, we will be generating more than $600 million in new payroll each and every year (not to mention the huge spin-offs for real estate firms, lawyers, accountants, taxi drivers, construction workers, etc.).

This letter, I assume, is in response to Alec Bruce’s column posted here.

Say it ain’t so, Joe? The always loveable, cute and cuddly Alec Bruce? That purveyor of pulpy stories about how we are all ‘winners‘ in the George Costanza sense? Well, I don’t think he has written an offensive statement since, well, since……



Yesterday. And the day before. And so on. In fact, he won a jounalistic award of some sort after tearing a serious strip of former Premier Bernie Lord here for attempting to serve us a huge whopper with cheese.

But look at the bright side. It provided a forum for New Brunswickers to get to see how a real economic development agency (in this case NSBI) should operate. I have had the opportunity to bump into NSBI in the market and they are, as I have reported before, a good crew.

A number of ex-New Brunswickers too at the top of that organization, interestingly enough.

Maybe Alec Bruce can get under the skin of the folks at Business New Brunswick and do a little electric shock therapy – or at least a post mortem.

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0 Responses to Primer on NSBI

  1. Anonymous says:

    Doesn’t it just say it all that the only ‘team’ announced in New Brunswick has been hiring an Ontario team to ‘sell self sufficiency to New Brunswickers’.

  2. Eugene says:

    You guys just don’t get it do you? Graham is so far ahead of the curve here we can’t see him from our viewpoint. He’s obviously cornering the market on government consulting. The more consultants, task forces, secretariats, commissions he sets up, those consulting firms already in NB will have no choice but to set up bigger shops while those who are not, soon will be. Plenty of high paying jobs, and a customer base that has an insatiable appetite for the service. It’s brilliant really…..

  3. Alec Bruce says:

    Hmmm. . .seems as though you and Steve Lund actually missed the point of my column. It wasn’t an indictment of NSBI or their people. It was about India and the fact that (from personal experience) this vast marketplace considers Canada, let alone the Atlantic region, a global asterix.

    Interprovincial trade barriers here prevent this small corner of the world from seeing the fruits of entrepreneurial innovation.

    My point is simply that the sooner we dismantle these, the better.

    Those who brag that trade accomplishments in one province of the region evince models for other provinces in the region are deluding themselves if only because the legistlative and regulatory tools do not yet exist.

    Create these, and then we’ll see real economic change in New Brunswick and everywhere else along the East Coast.

    The chip on my shoulder is for those in Halifax, Moncton, Saint John, etc. who cling to the outmoded belief that internicine warfare within a region of barely 3 million people actually produces long-term economic benefits for its constituent parts.

    It’s time to come together, as a region. Ironically, it’s the only way we’re going to thrive separately.

    Anyway, I’ll be writing on this subject more frequently. . .You’ll have many more opportunities to knock the premise.