Keep the focus

Branding Saint John
The Deputy Mayor of Saint John has a commentary this morning in the TJ about the port city being “more than an energy hub”.

That may be true but I’d recommend they keep the focus clear. It takes a lot of effort to build a ‘brand’ for a community. If you ask people inside and outside of “Canada’s Technology Triangle” what the area is known for, I suspect a vast majority would tell you ‘technology’.

I am not suggesting that Saint John not pursue non-energy projects. I am suggesting they try and weave the energy theme throughout their efforts. And they have been, I think with some success.

I also think that Saint John should be expanding the notion of energy hub by becoming a centre for research into alternative energy, a centre for energy-related conventions/trade shows and community that can leverage its strengths in energy to sectors far beyond energy (think Calgary). Calgary has been known as the head office for the oil sector. But it quietly has built up a number of other strong sectors including IT, finance, etc. That’s a pretty good model for Saint John to follow.

The thorn that won’t go away
I read this morning that “Businesses in unincorporated areas using neighbouring municipality’s services should be paying for them through higher taxes, the Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick resolved yesterday”.

Gosh. How long is this LSD thing going to continue. I remember Frank talked about ‘dealing’ with it. Then Lord was going to amalgamate LSDs. Now Graham.

I have posted on this a dozen times. New Brunswick has more people living outside formal municipalities than any other province in Canada. 40% worth.

And no politician in 25 years has done anything to rectify it.

The Union of Municipalities of New Brunswick may “resolve” whatever it wants to “resolve” but until the government actually decides to deal with the issue, it’s all farting in the wind, baby.

I think everyone in New Brunswick should have a Mayor, a City Manager and a municipal layer of government because leaving that in the hands of the province for 40% of the population makes no sense.