Learning from the forestry bailout

It was announced just before Christmas that the Lord government would be investing $250 million into the forestry industry over the next five years. That’s on top of the $67 million to reopen the pulp mill in Nackawic.

$317 million to support the forestry sector.

Now I don’t have a problem with this incentive program. I feel, however, that somebody needs to point out that this won’t create any new jobs it’s only to sustain the industry we have (keep it from falling deeper. Wouldn’t it be neat if the government put $300 million into creating new jobs? Economic development is so politicized in this province. The government hires a world-reknowned forestry expert from Scandanavia to recommend a sustainable forestry model. The Scandanavians are experts at managing their forests. The consultant tables his report and environmentalists kick and scream so the government backs away from the ‘sustainable’ model. The industry continues to suffer and gets a massive bailout. Politics keeps the government from implementing a sustainable (and industry supported) model and politics dictates a $250M bailout.

But, interestingly, there is no political impetus to create new jobs in new industries in New Brunswick communities.

So we don’t do it.