Tourism: Another casualty of the Tory indifference

The Tourism Industry Association of New Brunswick makes an empassioned plea to become an election issue in today’s Daily Gleaner. In the past seven years (yes, including before 9/11), the tourism industry has been in decline – and this year they are expecting another 10% – 15% decline in industry revenues.

Now, those of you who read this blog regularly know I am not the biggest fan of tourism, but this is another example to me of how the economy somehow doesn’t warrant any real attention anymore in New Brunswick during election season.

It’s as if we are stuck in the early 1990s where high deficits and high unemployment were the indicators of a poor economy. Well, folks, in 2006, the indicators of a poor economy are all around us: substantial decline in exports (non-oil), 7% drop in the # of active small businesses, labour shortages due to out-migration, key, bedrock industries such as forestry and tourism taking significant hits, increasing dependence on Equalization.

But I read the Premier will be announcing another 120 doctors today in Moncton. I feel like Alice in Wonderland. 500 new teachers promised even though the number of students continues to decline due to out-migration and depopulation. 120 new doctors even though the number of patients continues to decline.

Lord’s biggest contribution to the economy over the past 7 years has been government spending. He has hired thousands of new government workers (broadly defined) and spent billions in new government money – a large part of which comes from Equalization and other federal transfers.

How can it be that a Tory government can have such indifference to private sector job creation and be so aggressive about public sector job creation?

Please explain this to me.

I’m starting to feel completely stupid. Like I have completely missed something.

Would someone please tell me where the jobs have been created over the past seven years (not including government and call centre jobs)?

Would someone please tell me what jobs will be created under the Tory plan over the next four years? What sectors? What targets? What investments will be made to make this happen?

Because I see and hear nothing except more government spending and government jobs.

Which is a complete shame.

What I want to hear is where the government is investing in the future economic health of the province.