Patronage & Economic Development

I have said before and I’ll say it again – patronage and economic development don’t mix. If you (i.e. the Premier) feel compelled to give a former MLA a high paying job in government, put them in charge of parking tickets or garbage removal or some other post.

I just read about former Tory MLA Joel Bernard’s resignation from the Regional Development Corporation. In the article, Bernard admits the Premier gave him the job because he had ‘kids’ and ‘a mortgage’.

Now, Northern New Brunswick is in desperate need of economic development. It is losing population, its main industries are closing, upwards of 40% of the people are on seasonal EI and there is beginning to be a sense of real urgency.

So, what’s our Premier do? He takes a key, top economic development spot – one that should be critical to getting that economy moving again – and gives it to a buddy because he has ‘kids’ and ‘a mortgage’.

And you wonder why things aren’t getting better up there.

Mr. Premier, have the guts to hire the best economic developers from all over North America and put them up there. Pay them whatever it takes. Give them whatever budget they need.

Stop all this silliness.