As you know, New Brunswick was virtually left out of the growth of the manufacturing sector in Canada for decades. Other than manufacturing that is tied directly to our natural resources, we have attracted and fostered very little. By contrast, Ontario and Quebec fostered the growth of a wide variety of non-resource-based manufacturing in aerospace, automobile, electronics, pharmaceuticals, energy equipment, etc.
Now those sectors are being hit by the recession so New Brunswick isn’t feeling as much pain.
But I have heard some people actually positioning this as a good thing. You will hear, for example, that New Brunswick is somewhat buffered from this recession because of our ‘diversified’ economy. In fact, this was actually said by provincial officials.
Underperforming in economic development for two decades and then spinning that out as positive is weird and even cynical.
I wish we had grown non-resource-based manufacturing in New Brunswick over the years. It would have kept our people here and attracted immigrants and migrants. I would be willing to take a little pain when there is a recession.
But to pretend that our underperformance is a good thing? Nah.
But the bad news is that the recession now becomes an excuse for everything. Deficits, lack of industry attraction, lack of employment growth, wage stagnation, whatever- you have a gift-wrapped excuse in the form of a recession.