An economic development plan for Newfoundland

Now before you criticize me remember that free advice is cheap.

A recent study found that 80% of data centres in the US are going to expand. Another study I saw estimated at least 100 new large scale data centres will be built in the U.S. over the next five years.

Data centres need cheap power, big fat telecom pipes and secure facilities. They do not have to be located in urban centres (except for a specific segment of the industry) and they are not call centres so it doesn’t matter if you have an accent when you speak. Finally, they typically pay as well or higher than pulp mills.

So, for free, here’s my advice for Danny Williams.

Take the dividend from the oil and gas revenue and invest it in attracting data centres.

Build your new power plant in Labrador and serve up cheap power for these data centres.

Attract 40 or 50 of these spread all over the province. This will create at least 20k or 25k jobs (direct and induced). Newfoundland will be known world wide as the Ireland of North America.

Well maybe a hybrid (Ireland’s tech economy and Scotland’s oil economy).

The Rock’s economy will produce jobs, population will return, you will go down in history. They’ll erect the Bust of Williams in front of city hall and your legacy will transform from the leader of the ABC movement to the builder of the 21st century economy for the Rock.

Hey, it’s free advice. What else do you want. Throw me a few nickels and I’ll try to get really creative.