It’ll make you stop and think

I’ve (we’ve) talked a lot about the auto industry in recent weeks. We have speculated as to the potentially massive economic benefit that would accrue to this region if we were able to attract one.

I have also noted that almost every new auto manufacturing investment in the U.S. in the last 15 years has gone to the southern US and locations as far away from Michigan as possible while in Canada, vitually all the investments in this sector have been concentrated in southern Ontario.

Well now I have a little statistic to put this whole thing into perspective. The automobile industry in August accounted for 12% of Canada’s total manufacturing output. Imagine that. An industry concentrated within a couple hours drive of Toronto accounts for more manufacturing output than Newfoundland and Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick,
Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon and the Northwest Territories including Nunavut combined.

The entire manufacturing shipments from all of Atlantic Canada account for 5% of the Canadian total.

I think we should skip a step. Instead of cramming all that investment into Ontario, raiding Atlantic Canada’s best and brightest workers, and then shipping 10% of their paycheques back to us in the form of Equalization. How about putting a few of those jobs down here instead?

As I have said many times, I am not talking about taking investment out of Ontario. If we have $20 billion per year in foreign investment into Canada and 60% goes to Ontario and 1% goes to New Brunswick. How about raising the investment to $30 billion – Ontario can keep its share and the new money can be pumped into Atlantic Canada.

Wishful and naive thinking, eh?