A little perspective on the post secondary education debate

I heard Premier Graham this morning on the radio saying that his education reforms will be emulated by other provinces and states. The bold steps taken here will be the model for others to follow, he said.

Hubris aside, the Premier would do well to actually look at other provinces.

I just read in Macleans about the UofT attracting celebrated professor Richard Florida (Mr. Creative). I wondered when I heard this a few months ago – how they did it.

$50 million from the Province of Ontario to set up a “Prosperity Institute” and attract Richard Florida to run it.

Now, some of you will poo poo this as out of our league. I have heard for the last 17 years that we can’t compete. Francis McGuire’s favourite line was “we can’t compete with [fill in the blank] on incentives”.

Bull crap.

New Brunswick needs to have its niche. It’s focus. It needs to be superb at a few things rather than dabbling (or making noise) about everything.

We spent over $6 billion on EI payments in the past ten years in New Brunswick. We received over $15 billion in Equalization.

We should able to find some money for stuff that is growth oriented. For stuff to move us ahead.

Bravo to Ontario. New Brunswick would be wise to learn a lesson here.