Why I don’t trust entrepreneurs

Beyond the inflammatory title, I actually love entrepreneurs – I work for one – and I think they are a key part of the future for New Brunswick.

But they are only a part.

We need to have a solid base of global capital and global corporations.

Rick Buckingham, president and CEO of Canadian 2 for 1 Pizza Inc., has been writing columns in the TJ about economic development. This week, he writes a rousing column entitled:

Preemptive transitional change – a case for a sustainable New Brunswick economy

Now, before you click on that link and savour the prose as much as the pizza, consider this. He makes no mention at all about attracting major corporations to the province. None.

Why would he? He’s an entrepreneur. He wants policies and efforts to support entrepreneurs.

He cites the case of Waterloo as a model for New Brunswick to follow. He lists off a dozen thinks we can copy from Waterloo: Be entrepreneurial, Innovate, Keep our smart people in New Brunswick, Build a ‘can do’ mentality, Create an environment that allows venture capital to flow into entrepreneurial ventures, and on and on. Nary a mention of attracting global corporations.


Tee. Hee. Hee.

While there are some very impressive entrepreneurial start ups in Waterloo (unprecidented in Canada really), here’s a list of a few of the companies there that moved into Waterloo:

Babcock and Wilcox

Again, don’t get me wrong. Waterloo is one of the best examples of homegrown high tech industry but even there, foreign investment is all over the place – in the form of large corporations and in the form of investment into many of these firms.

I might choke on this but we might be better off listening to a few enlightened journalists rather than the business boys/gals.

Who can we trust to look at the world through a non-vested lense? Universities? Local entrepreneurs? Unions? How about our friend Crowley-Hayek? They all see the world through their own vector and that’s what you get.

But the universities want more money but can’t prove they are helping to gird up new industries and stop population decline.

Local entrepreneurs have their own perspective in mind.

Unions? Don’t talk to me about unions. They are the most democratic organization in the world. The majority of CUPE members are in Ottawa so CUPE fought tooth and nail against any efforts to move federal government jobs to Atlantic Canada.

The majority of CAW members are in southern Ontario. So don’t expect any union support -whatsoever – for using the auto sector for regional development. They forget that the unions were very supportive of similar strategies in Ireland.

And Crowley? Remember Alec Bruce’s pinata. ‘Nuff said.

Who can we trust to be unbiased?