Someone told me yesterday that this whole deal was cooked up by a bunch of large industrial users looking to get cheap Quebec power.
Yeah. So what?
It always amazes me when people broadly cast the average Joe Q Public as sweet and nice and altruistic and the corporation as manipulative bullies looking to exploit the average Joe Q Public.
Corporations (including the loved small business) want to make decent return on their invested capital. For large industrial companies, high energy costs eat into their ability to make a decent return on invested capital. Therefore, it makes sense to pursue public policy that fosters competitive power rates – balanced as alawys against the broader public needs.
We have talked about this many times. Individuals want to make a ‘decent’ return on their retirement savings and that is why 96% or more of our RRSP and pension monies are invested outside New Brunswick (the provincial government pension monies are 99% invested outside New Brunswick).
Why should we expect anything different from our industrial companies?
I’m not saying that all corporations are great corporate citizens any more than I am saying that all residents are fine upstanding contributing members of society. But this whole manufactured big business = bad is getting boring.
In Northern New Brunswick, we have received a little taste of what happens when large industrial companies leave and it ain’t pretty. I think that fact should be in the back of every politician, journalist and resident mind when considering the NB Power thing or any other public policy that impacts economic development.
We need to be an environment where industry can generate reasonable rates of return on invested capital. Maybe then we, as residents, will feel more inclined to invest our money here as well.