Self sufficiency – that slippery thing

Rorschach test. I am sorry to bring that up again but it seems that self-sufficiency can be defined as just about anything you want. Check out Marcel Mersereau definition:

…..whether it be forward thinking and necessary environmental policy, better child care (which has been all but abandoned by the Tories in lieu of a monthly handout), or badly needed funding for post-secondary education, both in terms of student aid and research and development. These are the types of things New Brunswick needs from a strong federal government in order to forward the province’s self-sufficiency agenda.

You may remember my list of things we need from the Feds in order to be ‘self-sufficient’. The only agreement I have with Ms. Mersereau is the R&D reference. Mersereau is no lightweight. She is a former Liberal MLA and past president of the new Brunswick Liberal Association. She also served as Frank McKenna’s deputy premier. Child care, environmental policy and even student aid should not be the first three things mentioned by a McKennaite as needed from the Feds for s self-sufficiency agenda.

Wouldn’t it be interesting if our provincial political leaders actually asked the Feds to partner on an economic development agenda? It seems to me it’s all roads, health care, some vague support for ‘energy’ and the usual stuff.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

0 Responses to Self sufficiency – that slippery thing

  1. Anonymous says:

    As to Self-Sufficiency, the Premier spoke at the EDAC conference and on this particular occasion he gave the economic development version of Self-Sufficiency which in summary was eliminating our dependency on Equalization.

    It seems to me that both major parties (Libs and Tories – “Self-Suff.” or “Prosperity Plan”) just simply tailor their message to their current slogan and the current audience. I am very cynical but since McKenna (the last one to make any real effort in this regard), all of this stuff is simply window dressing designed to convince Ottawa and the other (read HAVE) Provinces that we are actually trying when in fact we really aren’t. In fact I would go so far as to say that everyone in this charade know we aren’t but it is the most politically expedient approach just to all keep their heads in the sand. Until Ontario and the other ‘haves’ decide that the current system isn’t working and there is no end to the welfare system called equalization, no one is going to do anything different.

    I also have come up with a theory about the big three (roads, healthcare and education) that get all of the attention disguised as economic development. Money for all of these is cost shared with Ottawa – either directly or indirectly) and none of this spending has any possibility of reducing our equalization funding (doesn’t hit the formula) – if you think it thru you will see this. So, you spend money on social programs and call it economic development / self-sufficiency spending all the while really spending 50 to 80 cents on the dollar thanks to Ottawa and you don’t reduce your equalization payment a dime (in fact it grows because the real economy is spiraling downward).

  2. mikel says:

    I really haven’t seen much evidence that the message is tailored to an external audience. Besides, ‘provinces’ have nothing to do with it, if you listened to that podcast its main theme was the inability to get ontario politicians to agree on just about anything. And in Alberta they give it about as much thought as, well, not much thought.

    But again, it depends what is meant by ‘not working’. Equalization is just that, a program to keep social services equavalent. There is ZERO evidence that dismantling that will somehow ‘work’. There are numerous examples of education, health, and roads being privatized-they’re called ‘third world countries’.

    As the post on the EU shows, thats a ‘federation’ that is nominally interested in economic ‘fairness’-although closer inspection could show a political angle there as well. In Canada its far different, but again, if you want to look at economic development in Canada, you look at representation and where it got them-Quebec, ontario, the west. Economic development came from unity and political representation.