Getting beyond the cliches

The T&T came out today with a strong editorial in support of the NB Biz Council. It would seem I am in the vast minority on this issue.

The T&T rolled out the usual cliches including this juicy tidbit: “Supporting home-grown businesses ….makes vastly more sense than the task force’s emphasis on attracting outside businesses“. Or this little stereotypical cliche: “Outsiders help, but they can also pull out as fast as they move in; they have no stake in our home“. Or how about this little bundle of subterfugial joy: “New Brunswick has the talent, expertise and ambition to make itself self-sufficient, but we must not rely on others to do it. That’s our job.”


Outsiders pull out as fast as they move in. I guess Al is saying that native NBers and NB biz is more loyal to New Brunswick. Like, say, the 570,000 New Brunswickers that have moved out of this province since 1976.

And of course, New Brunswickers are hard at work using their financial resources to support that ‘stake’ in our ‘home’. 99% of government pension fund money invested outside New Brunswick. A similar amount of our RRSP investments outside New Brunswick. Al should be proud of New Brunswickers’ investing in their province. Oh, and as an aside, when they asked NB pension fund managers why they are not putting more money in New Brunswick, they said there were not enough ‘investment grade’ projects in this province. Hmmmm.

And don’t forget NB-based businesses. Over the last eight years, if you back out call centre and government jobs, the net employment in New Brunswick has declined. Translation: if we hadn’t ‘attracted’ those ‘evil’ outside companies, this province would be in a world of economic hurt (more than it currently is).

And Al Hogan’s pièce de résistance? “We must not rely on others to do it.” Wow. That tugs at the heart strings. They plays to all our patriotic impulses.

Apparently ‘relying on others’ through welfare (Equalization) is okay, though. Apparently Irving ‘relying on others’ for funding for LNG plans is okay, though. Apparently, relying on ‘others’ is fine when it suits Al Hogan’s little narrow world but not when it comes to truly transforming this economy.

Just as a footnote. Which are the economies in Canada are most ‘reliant’ on foreign investment? Based on the intensity of foreign investment and jobs they are: Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec.

‘Nuff said. But one suspects that I would have a better chance playing pick up sticks with my butt cheeks compared to getting Al Hogan and his TJ compatriots to look beyond the cliches on this.