Clarification

I wanted to clarify the comment I made responding to Danny D’Amours about Ganong. Certain people in economic development circles are crapping on New Brunswick’s manufacturers that are paying lower wages (say in the $8/hr to $12/hour range). They complain that these jobs are not good enough to retain workers in the province and they do not offer wages high enough to provide meaningful contribution to the province’s tax coffers for use on public services.

I don’t want to be one of these people. I respect Ganong and other companies and what they have accomplished over the years. But I do think that over time (not mentioning any specific company), lower wage manufacturing environments – even in rural New Brunswick – will be increasingly squeezed. Squeezed by the high dollar. Squeezed by China and other offshore locations. Squeezed by the fact that an increasing number of blue collar oriented young people are moving away for $20-$50/hour jobs elsewhere in Canada.

Eventually, we will need manufacturers that pay more (less than urban Toronto but more than today) and base their business model on high productivity, niche products, stuff that it is logistically hard to get produced offshore.

And as for government policy, I return to my earlier post. I think governments should be encouraging the growth of manufacturing here that shows an ROI to the public purse (i.e. a demostrated increase in the taxes paid – personal and corporate).

For me, there would be very few cases where I would be supporting government incentives or training grants, etc. for jobs that are on the low end of the wage scale. I understand the political rationale and I am not trying to be callous here – but we do have to get wages up in New Brunswick.