A fundamental difference of opinion

For those of you that wonder why I have such a negative opinion of the Moncton Times & Transcript, I offer up today’s ‘We Say’ editorial segment. This editorial summarizes perfectly why this newspaper is, in my opinion, a significant contributor to the the problem of economic development in New Brunswick.

We Say says:

The Conference Board of Canada has released a report predicting New Brunswick’s population is about to take a steep decline and that this will severely hamper economic growth, limiting it tow about two per cent per year over the next 10 years, but there is no reason to either panic or to have a great amount of faith in the report.

This is unbelievable and a bit like Premier Lord during the last election when he said he didn’t believe the Statistics Canada labour force survey data. The Conference Board of Canada is internationally recognized. Who is Al Hogan to question them? (never mind the typo – it’s Al’s). Further, even if there was a grain of truth to the Conference Board report, shouldn’t the local media be raising the alarm rather than trying to downplay it?

We Say continues:

The problem with warnings and economic predictions based on such estimates is that they rely on assumptions that may well never materialize. Moreover, the very warnings tend to spur people on to taking action to ensure the dire consequences are never seen. Add the fact that at all three levels of government, officials are working very hard indeed to not only reverse the population trend, but to prove the predictions wrong, and residents would be well advised to take the report with a very large grain of salt.

The population of New Brunswick has declined every year since 1999 and the majority of the last 15. Who is Al Hogan to say that government officials are “working very hard’ to reverse the population trend? Immigration numbers are down. New job growth is down? How does he define working hard?

Residents would be well advised to take the Times and Transcript with a ‘very large grain of salt’ and judging from the unanimous dislike of the Trashscript from people posting to this blog, I think that recommendation has been heeded.

And for your smile of the day, We Say concludes with:

New Brunswickers need do only one thing – continue on as always, working hard on all fronts. There is no reason to believe we won’t in fact reap the fruits of our efforts.

In this Al is right on. New Brunswick, according to a recent study (of course Al would disagree with any report) has the lowest standard of living of any U.S. state and Canadian province along with PEI and Newfoundland. These are the ‘fruits’ of our efforts.

If all of our ‘hard work’ has led to the outcomes you see today, then I think it is going to take another look at the ‘work’ itself. But these media-supported malaise among the populace will most likely continue us on the path of mediocrity. Pump hundreds of millions into health care, cut efforts to stimulate economic development and then go begging to the Feds for more Equalization.

Sounds like Al’s version of Nirvana.