Lately I have been watching promotional videos for a few small urban centres in Canada. They are mostly well produced and make the communities look pristine, friendly and mostly charming. In others, at first glance a good place to live…Continue Reading
What do we really want from free (r) trade? Back to first principles
As we start the renegotiation of NAFTA, there is lots of chatter in the media about the importance of trade, how critical it is to the Canadian economy, how it boosts GDP by x and makes us more productive, yadda,…Continue Reading
Economic development: All about the money, honey?
This is a recurring theme on this blog but I feel it is timely to raise it again. Specifically I am talking about the role of government in support of economic development. I’ve seen multiple people on LinkedIn peddling new…Continue Reading
Looking for Bootstraps: The Musical
In my view, Donald Savoie’s Looking for Bootstraps should be required reading in the Maritimes. As a follow up to Visiting Grandchildren, he has added new content and important new thoughts on the issue of economic development in the three…Continue Reading
When does something rise to the level of ‘controversial’?
I was surprised to read this CBC article describing the Sisson Mine as ‘controversial’. I’m not sure it is particularly controversial. It has gone through a thorough environmental process and received both federal and provincial approvals. A while ago…Continue Reading
The rise of Glamping. What can we learn from Mongolia about tourism investment?
There is an interesting article in the Economist this week about the rise of ‘glamping’ in China. This glamorous camping is done by rich Chinese. The yurts have “beds, windows, Wi-Fi and en suite bathrooms.” And this “A single…Continue Reading
Foxconn, incentives and ROI: Redux
I recently wrote about the big Foxconn expansion in Wisconsin and the $3 billion incentive package. I wondered about the ROI on that level of incentives. It wasn’t clear to me if the project would achieve any real ROI over…Continue Reading
The monthly labour force survey: Putting little Jonny to work
The journalist Jacques Poitras likes to do his little “Where is this place” on Twitter. Because originality is challenging these days, I’ll borrow his game with a twist. I’ll ask – when is this? To be specific what was happening…Continue Reading
To diversify or not to diversify – the economy – that is the question
Jock Finlayson, from the Business Council of British Columbia, recently wrote a commentary where he suggested Canada’s export mix was not sufficiently diverse and too tied to the American market in the Trump era. He states that “Most other advanced…Continue Reading
The Tantramar Marsh export strategy
Donald Savoie made another pitch for Maritime Union or at least better Maritime cooperation in a recent Halifax Chronicle Herald commentary. He focused his message at business leaders suggesting they should do a better job of promoting regional…Continue Reading