Digital media production favoured in Nova Scotia

I just read that Nova Scotia’s new budget contained a 35% tax credit for ‘digital media’ production. That should help spur a fledging animation/new media sector in Nova Scotia.

There was a time when New Brunswick was at least attempting to be out front in some of these sector development strategies. NB and Manitoba were the first provinces to get serious about attracting call centres. NB had the first ‘information highway secretariat’ in Canada. NB was early into the game of e-Learning.

In the last 7-8 years, someone please tell me what industry sector has NB led the way in? What innovative incentive program has been developed? What infrastructure has been developed that has given the province a leg up on the competition?

In Nova Scotia, we have seen:
-An innovative approach to ED with the creation of NSBI.
-An innovative ‘payroll rebate’ incentive program that eliminates taxpayer risk.
-Really neat sector development work – financial services back offices, IT, now digital media. I now read they are starting to build a ‘legal services’ back office strategy in the province.
-Immigration/repatriation strategies completely tied to real jobs (i.e. move here for job x).
-The attraction of a mega IT company/project RIM
-Transparency and accountability in economic development results reporting.

In PEI, we have seen:
-The maturing of the Slemon Park model
-The development of a financial services cluster anchored by AMVESCAP
-The attraction of several high profile life sciences firms like Novartis
-The building – on spec – of the Atl. Technology Centre which is now filled with technology firms and they are building, I am told, a second one.

In New Brunswick, we have seen:
Well, frankly, I don’t know. Please fill this in if you do know. What innovative approaches have been taken?
There was a repatriation effort that all but flopped because there were no jobs aligned with the expectations of the potential repatriated.
I don’t know of any new incentive program. I think they are still flogging ‘tailored’ incentives and ‘forgiveable loans’ – language and programs that were developed over 15 years ago.
I frankly don’t know any specific industry that New Brunswick is outfront on. You could argue rural call centers – but that is really only one firm that was attracted here under the previous Liberal government.

Forgive my frustration but I have been begging all that will listen that New Brunswick could have staked out a lead position in the animation/digital media biz. But since I have been talking about it, BC, Quebec and now Nova Scotia have developed ‘tailored’ strategies to attract this industry – and New Brunswick zippo.

Hopefully soon – I hope really soon – New Brunswick will get back out front on these issues. Become a leader in sector development. Develop an innovative model or approach. For example, why would the provincial investment attraction team be pysically located in New Brunswick? The bulk of Ireland’s people charged with attracting companies to Ireland are located in New York, London, Los Angeles, etc. If your market is elsewhere, why are you here?

I’d like to see an “Invest in New Brunswick” sales team based in a US city with satellites in Toronto, Vancouver, Boston, London, Bangalore, Dublin, Beijing, Sao Paulo and Sydney (Australia).

But maybe I am saying that because I haven’t had my coffee yet.