Vive le Québec

I came across an interesting article this week in the Economist magazine. According to the magazine’s Intelligence Unit, Quebec has been the most aggressive province in providing ten-year tax holidays to attract investments in manufacturing, processing and financial services. The Economist also states that the most ambitious development agency is Quebec’s Societe Generale de Financement du Quebec, which takes equity positions to attract foreign companies. Good promotion for Quebec from one of the most internationally recognized business and economic publications.

Wouldn’t it be neat if we substitued ‘New Brunswick’ for Quebec in the second sentence and Business New Brunswick for the Societe Generale de Financement du Quebec.

And in case you feel that the right wing agenda (you know tax cuts, less red tape, less social spending, etc.) is taking over in New Brunswick, you will be comforted by the latest Economic Freedom of North America report by the Fraser Institute. Here is their definition ofthe economic freedom scale:

Economic Freedom of North America rates economic freedom on a 10-point scale. The all-government index captures the impact of restrictions on freedom by all levels of government. Economic Freedom of North America employs 10 variables in three areas: 1. Size of Government; 2. Takings and Discriminatory Taxation; and 3. Labor Market Freedom.

New Brunswick ranks 57th out of 60 states and provinces on this scale. Now, I usually don’t put a whole lot of stock into Fraser’s work but they have estimated that even small increases in a province/state ranking significantly increases per capita GDP.

Opps. I’m sorry. That was supposed to be good news but I think I just cheesed off everyone. The economic developers will hate the fact Quebec is internationally recognized for its incentive programs and aggressive economic development. The socialists will be upset that I have quoted a right wing think tank and the Conservatives (capital C) will be annoyed that we still have the 57th most socialist province/state in North America – despite six years of PCs.

Where’s Iron Mike when you need him or maybe off the sauce Ralph – Alberta scores 4th in North America for economic freedom. Only Delaware, Colorado and North Carolina have more economic freedom than good ‘ol Alberta – a bastion of liberty in a socialist country.