Un-Truth in Reporting

In his quest to get Bernard Lord re-elected, Al Hogan has achieved a new high (or low depending on your perspective). The headline in the T&T today in big bold letters:

Minacs to create 1,200 new jobs by year’s end

Now, that’s not an ambigous statement, is it. It doesn’t say ‘may create’ or ‘has created’ or some other term.

However, upon reading the article, we find this comment:

When Riverview MLA Bruce Fitch was reached for comment yesterday, he confirmed the news, but suggested some of the workers in question were already being brought on the job. He placed the number of current workers at almost 1,000 and said part of that complement was workers connected to this new initiative.

So, there’s 1,000 workers now (I heard about 800 but my figures could be out of date) and they are expanding to 1,200.

But to folks who just read headlines:

Minacs to create 1,200 new jobs by year’s end

Al, you will have to continue to actually fabricate jobs if you want to show this government has a good track record for job creation in Greater Moncton. In the mid 1990s, there were 6-7 new companies setting up in Moncton per year as the result of business attraction efforts. Now, if you go to the government’s own web site, you are lucky if there is one or two new project per year in Greater Moncton (not expansions of current companies but new businesses attracted here).

The dirty little secret you will expose unwittingly is that Greater Moncton is nearing the end of the 1990s boom that saw something like 7,000 new call centre jobs, 2,000 new manufacturing jobs and all the secondary employment in retail, construction and services.

Without that tranche of new industries attracted to Moncton, there will be no need for growth in secondary industries such as retail and construction.

Already, Greater Moncton’s unemployment rate is the highest among the three cities in the south at over 7%.

Now, I am not completely pessimistic on Moncton’s future. Many times successful local economies start to generate their own momentum without deliberate industry attraction activities.

But one thing’s for sure. This government has not been kind to Moncton in the area of attracting new industries.

And that is something every Greater Monctonian should ponder seriously when they go to the polls.