I like Premier Graham – I really do. He seems sincere and dedicated and somewhat keen. However, I let out a huge sigh this morning when I read this headline in the DG: The road to prosperity is paved with roads, premier tells builders.
The road from Bangor to Houlton – the most barren economic wasteland in the United States – is paved with beautiful fourlane highway.
It would have been far more courageous of the Premier to cut highway funding this year and invest in more direct economic development activities such as setting up foreign offices, tripling the provincial investment in R&D, looking at things like deep water cooling as an energy source, etc.
After 20 years in this business, it seems that governments are comfortable with roads, health and other traditional funding but when you look at efforts that are more directly correlated with economic development (and yes in some sense risk) – there are very uncomfortable.
So we get roads, rhetoric and continued out-migration. Fun.