The Armpit of the Maritimes – Musing on Optimism

I have just finished working with an organization that attracts a lot of its employees from other parts of Canada. They casually told me during our discussions that for most of the people they are trying to recruit, moving to Moncton is considered to be a main advantage in their overall pitch.

Moncton, an attractive place to move into from Toronto or Vancouver.

For those of you that remember Barbara Frum’s famous mid 1980s description of Moncton as the ‘Armpit of the Maritimes’ – we’ve come a long way, baby.

What has changed? We still have the ‘chocolate’ river (hard to get used to even after living here), not an overly attractive downtown and are biggest attractions are the Tidal Bore-ing and the Magnetic Hill (?).

What has changed is that Greater Moncton is now considered one of the most dynamic, energetic and optimistic city in all of Canada. This city oozes optimism.

It may not be a coincidence that Greater Moncton’s economic revival and image revival evolved on parallel tracks.

In fact, you and I know it’s true.

Lesson: if you want people to be hopeful and optimistic and feel good about their communities – help fix these intergenerational economic problems – and they may live longer too. From the recent health statistics – British Columbia – which has had the most dynamic economy for the past three decades (with a little hiccup) – has by far the longest life expectency.

Hope is epidemic

Optimism spreads

Bitterness breeds irritation

Ignorance breeds imitation

Rush, Chain Lightning (1989)