The disconnect between NB and the Feds

Shawn Graham outlines a new partnership he wants with the Feds and talks about investing in children and workforce development and moving federal jobs to the province.

Stephen Harper announces $200-million more into the Automotive Innovation Fund for the Ontario-centred auto industry and $200-million into the Quebec-centered Strategic Aerospace and Defence Initiative.

This is the nub of it folks. We (New Brunswick) need the funds Harper is designating to win votes in Ontario and Quebec. If the feds give NB general money – it will go to health care or putting new pavement on Route 126. We need a formal partners like the Automotive Innovation Fund that ties both the province and the feds into a five to ten year economic development partnership that will strategically invest in economic development for New Brunswick.

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0 Responses to The disconnect between NB and the Feds

  1. Anonymous says:

    Could you tie that in with this.
    There are 505 jobs listed in job bank for Moncton,400 for St John,even 109 for Bathurst.

  2. David Campbell says:

    I’m not sure your point. New Brunswick had a net out-migration of 1,390 people in 2007 and thousands more are working remotely in Alberta because they can’t find work here. The increase in employment in New Brunswick so far in 2008 has been zero. There are certainly jobs available in various communities around the province but that is not the same as talking about the overall need to see more business investment and high value job creation in the province. Upwards of 40% of our university graduates each year leave the province. Don’t confuse the current job openings with the need to have an economy that is creating high value employment and retaining/attracting skilled labour.

  3. Anonymous says:

    And do not forget the number of people working in NB who are underemployed because they chose not to leave and could not find relevant employment; MBAs and Phds at contact centers.

    We must target high quality employment. Your post is absolutely correct David. It is no accident that the funding you reference is targeted on a specific sector. If we want to excel we need to focus.

    Even if NB set aside a quarter of Federal funding for vote buying activities like more asphalt, if the remainder was focused on strategic ED it could make a significant difference.

  4. nbt says:

    Ask yourself this question David: when and where did it take place?

    When: At the 11th hour during a general election. For more evidence of that, take a look at the pre-election promises by ACOA, the “B team” of corporate welfare agencies.

    Where: in areas where they need to grow in order to reach their electoral goal.

    Brutal. I despise this corporate welfare stuff on the grounds that it is not only unfair to those that aren’t on the receiving end, but it is costly b/c our citizens and businesses pay for this shortsighted cash handover.

  5. David Campbell says:

    nbt, while you and I disagree, I appreciate your intellectual honesty. I have Tory friends who decried corporate welfare doled out by the Liberals now defending it by the Tories by citing some marginal difference in how the program works. The truth is that Harper bought himself at least a couple of hundred thousand votes in auto manufacturing country in southern Ontario and gained back some lost momentum in Quebec by putting that dough on the table.

  6. nbt says:

    Unfortunately, I have to disagree. Right now down south, citizens have lost trust in both Wall street and politicians. At this point, the guy that regains an honest connection with the people will have a significant advantage come November (although I have to admit, it appears that responsibility for the economy will fall on Bush’s shoulders, and probably McCain’s). However, honesty in present times could still trump records from the past. That’s how anxious people are about their short term prospects.

    Anyway, with that being said, I think the same thing applies up here in Canada. People don’t want to hear Harper speak like an economist and tell them everything is “OK” when it is clear int isn’t. I mean, the polls are a clear indication that message isn’t working.

    What Canadian citizens want is for their leaders to answer the tough questions and understand the anxiety they are currently feeling.

    I just don’t see this corporate welfare buyout for the auto industry, on the heels of an ideological reversal on art funding policy, as the solution. I think voters feel the same way.

    Timing David…it’s all timing.

  7. richard says:


    Well, that depends on what one ‘honestly’ believes. Quite a few in ON will be happy that their business is being looked after. A politician could legitimately and honestly believe that this is absolutely the right thing to do for the economy of ON. One might honestly beleive that ‘corporate welfare’ is a key to prosperity.

    Seems to me that it would be much more productive to focus on how NB can get this type of investment. No reason why it can’t be done; yet I heard Mike Allen (Tobique area MP) offer that construction jobs from the refinery, Lepreau 2, and highway building are his main hopes for NB. No vision there.

    Yammering about corporate welfare is pointless. In fact, surveys have shown that 99.99% of such yammerers are just yammering because they aren’t getting a slice of the pie. Honest.

    Yes, timing is everything. South of the border this might mean that Crazy McCain won’t get into the white house and that Chimpy Bush might face jail time. Here, it might mean that a minority govt stays in place, and that Stevieboy might soon be back behind the firewall. Those are happy consequences of ‘timing’, IMHO.

  8. nbt says:

    One might honestly believe that ‘corporate welfare’ is a key to prosperity.

    Worked well for the forestry sector in the Miramichi, didn’t it?

    Yammering about corporate welfare is pointless. In fact, surveys have shown that 99.99% of such yammerers are just yammering because they aren’t getting a slice of the pie. Honest.

    It’s not yammering to me. I believe wholeheartedly that corporate welfare does not work to create an equal, competitive and healthy economy in NB. It does more to create barriers to capital, then it does in opening doors for more investment. Plus, once such an ethos is built into the framework of business, it’s tough to get rid of because people like their government goodies. Or as you put it so eloquently, “slice of the pie.”

    Furthermore, if all you care about is big business getting richer via corporate welfare loans and grants while small and medium business get the shaft by paying for all these unnecessary giveaways via higher taxes, then you should feel right at home here in this statist mecca. So much for honest, incremental growth and looking out for the small guy.

    Anyway, carry on as you were Richie Rich.

  9. richard says:

    ” and grants while small and medium business get the shaft…”

    Thanks for admitting this is the problem: you ain’t getting your share of the pork.

    However, most small businesses are in fact feeding off the same pork, they just get it indirectly. For example, if fed dollars prop up an auto plant or a pulp mill, local services end up getting most of the resulting business.

    Fact is, you can call it ‘corporate welfare’ when you are not on the receiving end, but is all in the perspective. Investments in these plants can pay off; just because some fail is hardly a reason to reject the idea. NB needs its share of these investments.

    Yammering about ‘corporate welfare’ might make you feel holy, but it is just another example that you are not part of the reality-based community. You have nothing of substance to say, so you fall back on slogans and nostrums.