Author Archives: David Campbell

The myth of ‘focus’: Economic development’s Big Turk opportunity

One of the most oft repeated mantras in economic development is the need to focus.  “We can’t be all things to all people”.  “We have limited resources so we need to focus our efforts”.  I had a conversation with a … Continue reading

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The best places to live in Canada, hmm

I know this is going to sound like sour grapes, but so be it. MacLean’s magazine is out with its list of the 2019 best communities to live in Canada.   Almost all the best places to live are in southern … Continue reading

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Are efforts to attract international students facing the “why would anyone want to….  …. in New Brunswick?” challenge?

A few months ago I had the opportunity to interview the general managers of multiple national and multinational firms with operations in New Brunswick.  Many of them told me they would be very happy to hire immigrants to grow their … Continue reading

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The most important, overlooked role for an economic development agency

I have been studying economic development agencies and their effectiveness for well over a decade and I can tell you there is one very important role that is mostly ignored or at least glossed over. Unless the economy is booming, … Continue reading

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When it comes to economic and demographic data, speak clearly

Economic and demographic data is hard enough for most of us to understand.  When we add in hard to understand or misleading comparisons it can completely lead people to misunderstand the point that is being made. One of my biggest … Continue reading

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You love getting your government cheques, come on, admit it

Some one asked me one time to give them some Canadiana.  What is interesting about this place?  I rattled off Tim Horton’s, moose, lobster, canola, the Rockies, etc.  but I also said getting cheques from government.  I had just read … Continue reading

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It’s all about the product: Putting the ‘development’ back in economic development

I was in a meeting this week where we were having a good conversation about how to revive a local economy.   We need more people.  Check.  We need to better promote ourselves.  Check.  We need to support startup companies.  Check. … Continue reading

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Start with good data: You are not as average (or median) as you think you are

One of the most misunderstood statistics out there is the average or median income stats.  People will look at that data and scratch their heads.  How can the median income only be $31,000 and the average income only $39,141 in … Continue reading

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Super Mario’s world: From entrepreneurial risk to reward

In his soul, Mario Thériault is an artist. He started out as a poet but that doesn’t pay the bills.  In another time he might have been a revolutionary but instead he turned his creativity to the marketing and communications … Continue reading

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Do you have the most livable city? You will thrive.

I know, king of statistics and all that jazz.  But this one matters.  A lot. We need to attract more people to New Brunswick but the best data source on who is coming and staying, the Census, doesn’t paint a … Continue reading

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