Time to get serious

Another sign that prosperity rules in New Brunswick. According to a recent Times & Transcript article:

It’s the make or break year for the UPM Miramichi Mill.

Sharon Pond, UPM Miramichi spokeswoman, said company officials have said that the Miramichi location has to turn things around to show a profit for several months by the end of 2006.”This is certainly the crunch year for us,” Pond said.

“The challenge that we’ve gotten from our head office is that Miramichi has to show a trend this year, a positive trend and that doesn’t mean one month of being in the black.

Pond didn’t reveal how much money the company has to save but did say that it’s “significant.””Internally, we’re just not cost-efficient.”

Now, in my opinion, the union and community needs to get serious about the future of that mill. A few years ago, a union spokesperson said they would shut the mill down before taking a buck an hour pay cut.

I hope that attitude does not prevail this time.

I also hope that the government and the community finally realize that they must do everything in their power to stimulate economic development in some growing sector of the North American economy. I have stated many times that the computer animation sector is adding tens of thousands of new jobs every year globally and the Miramichi community college has a great animation program. Somebody should be calling every large animation studio in North America and figure out what it would take to get 50 or 100 animation jobs in the Miramichi.

This ain’t rocket science folks. One the CBC program, The House, this morning they had a Liberal MP from Newfoundland saying that it is inevitable that many communities in that province will die.

Maybe so

But we owe it to our people, our communities, are shared culture and our shared sense of history to make every attempt to save thos communities. Not through massive government subsidies such as an expanded EI program but through targeted attempts to leverage something, anything, into attracting private business investment. If we can spend a few bucks on infrastructure, training and a few more on marketing and promotion of these communities, I have got to believe there is some hope.

According to Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, ‘On Death and Dying’, there are five stages that people go through to come to grips with the idea of dying. I would suggest that model holds for our communities and indeed our provinces:

1. Denial – The “No, not me” stage.
2.Anger/Resentment – The “Why me?” stage.
3. Bargaining
4. Depression- The “It’s really happened” stage.
5. Acceptance

Now I think we know where Premier Lord is on this continuum. Maybe its good that he is still on the first stage. Out of Newfoundland, we are seeing a lot more 2,3,4 and even 5 (the MP from this morning).

I guess I am in denial as well.