Somebody send Volpe to Economic Development 101

I couldn’t believe. I read it in one of the local papers and I had to reread it.

Jeannot Volpe was accusing the Liberals of being too pro-big business. He went on to say that New Brunswick is about small business and that should be the focus.

I had to read it again.

Imagine a Tory leader in Ontario saying we don’t want the Toyotas, the bank headquarters, the aerospace firms. Imagine a Tory leader in Alberta saying we don’t want your multinational oil & gas investments. We are supporting our small businesses.

Only in New Brunswick could a Tory leader get away with it.

And we have the results to prove Volpe is dead right.

He cut small business taxes to the bone. He purposely diverted efforts to attract large scale industry here.

And what happened?

The number of small businesses actually declined in New Brunswick during the Tory rule. Job creation was second worse in Canada. Population decline became a fact of life.

And he’s still sticking to that same old line.

What a load of crap.

Consider the following question. Does the creation of 100 small businesses in the Miramichi lead to the attraction of a pulp mill or do you attract a pulp mill and that leads to the creation of 100 small businesses – suppliers, barbers, corner stores, consultants, sub-contractors, etc.?

The answer should be obvious.

Close to 99% of all New Brunswick firms derive the vast majority of their revenue inside New Brunswick. Serving local markets.

What New Brunswick’s small business community needs is a strong economy. That will lead to more small business start ups and job creation. And you get a strong economy by attracting investment capital in the form of multinational firms and in the form of capital investments into our fast growing SMEs. The NBSC is working on the second of those and BNB better darn sure be working on the first.

I know a bunch of Tories come by this blog once in a while. I’ve got a lot of respect for Scott, Spinks, and others. But if this young breed of Tories agrees with the current leadership and is critical of the almighty ‘big business’, I would be amazed.

The lack of investment capital flowing into New Brunswick and the inability and unwillingness of any of New Brunswick generated capital to stay in the province is at the heart of the economic malaise that has dominated New Brunswick for years.

Tories critical of big business. It’s even hard to type it.

Somebody please, please send Jeannot Volpe to Economic Development 101 up at the University of Waterloo or the IEDC in the states.