On gimmicks and economic development

According to media reports, Business New Brunswick Minister Peter Mesheau will be travelling to San Francisco to hold a repatriation session at a San Francisco pub with a group of Canadian ex-patriates belonging to a group called the Digital Moose Lounge.

I am all for the Minister travelling abroad – it should be a main requirement of his job – but I think he would b better served meeting companies out there and trying to convince them to set up a studio in New Brunswick. Trying to convince IT workers making six figure salaries in Silicon Valley to come back to New Brunswick is fine – but to what? I personally know several people that have moved back to the Maritimes from California – but in all cases it was to take a similar job with similar wages (adjusted somewhat for cost of living).

Anybody that follows these things closely will know that the high tech industry in New Brunswick has been all but hammered in the past five years. Many of the brightest companies such as e-Com, BKM, CyberDesign, JOT, etc. have gone by the wayside. There are a few bright lights, however. But I still think the emphasis must be on attracting investment into the IT sector – either through greenfield operations (new businesses moving here) or investment into our local IT firms.

So, good luck to Minister Mesheau.