Quality of life

What ever happened to Joey from that TV show Blossom? Come to think of it, what ever happened to Blossom?

Digression.

Joey was the dumb brother who would say ‘whoa’ a lot – particularly when he didn’t understand something.

I have to say ‘whoa’ and serve up some caution on this issue of selling ‘quality of life’. There was an article in the TJ recently entitled “Make quality of life N.B.’s selling point”. It would have been nice if the title was “Make quality of life one of N.B.’s selling points”. Because the truth of the matter is that when companies are looking to put an operation in New Brunswick, quality of life is a rather minor matter. As one CEO told me back in the 1990s, “I’m not moving here”.

I have said that QOL is becoming increasingly important in an era of labour shortages. In an era when you have to show to companies the community’s ability to attract people from beyond its borders. The quality of life in a community is critical to attract people. Therefore, critical to attract and grow industry.

But it is certainly not the only issue and to put a happy face on the flag and run it up the flagpole and then wait for businesses to come running makes no sense. New Brunswick has a relatively good quality of life (the piles of snow out my window notwithstanding). Promote it. But I would spend a lot more time figuring out what is the rest of our value proposition. We are running out of workers, our energy costs are above average, we have very little critical mass in any of the fast growing sectors of the North American economy, etc.