Get the messaging right

Here’s the first few lines of an op-ed in the T&T today:

By Gilles Lepage and Francis McGuire
N.B. Self Sufficiency Task Force
Published Monday February 19th, 2007
Appeared on page D7

Change isn’t coming to New Brunswick; it is already here.

For the first time in anyone’s memory, this province, which for so long struggled to find work for its citizens, is now in the midst of a labour shortage.

Just look around you. There are help wanted signs all over the place – in shop windows and newspaper notices – and it is a big part of any conversation when business people in Metro Moncton get together.

New Brunswick has the jobs; now it needs citizens to fill them.

Anyone who reads this blog with any frequency will know that this kind of positioning is wrong and exactly what the Tories said before the Liberals.

New Brunswick is in a labour shortage because of a weak economy not a strong economy. The weak economy with high dependency on seasonal work has led to 14 straight years of net out-migration (more moving out than in). That has finally led to a shortage of workers.

Lord/Volpe and now McGuire/LePage seem to indicate that this shortage has emerged as a result of a strong economy (McGuire/LePage less so but still read this carefully).

And now, we are told, we have to work to attract people into this booming economy (my sarcasm added).

If the Liberals go on a people hunt without a industry develpment strategy, they will be just like Lord/Volpe before them. That whole cart before the horse thing.

Look at the majority of jobs that have help wanted signs. Retail, low end manufacturing, call centres. You will not attract expatriates to fill these positions.