Some guys get all the luck

Come and listen to a story about a man named Jed
A poor Albert County man, barely kept his family fed,
Then one day he was shootin at some food,
And up through his iPod earphones he heard about Nova Scotia’s bubblin crude.

Natural gas that is, liquid gold, Sable tea.

Well the first thing you know ol Jed’s still not a millionaire,
Kinfolk said “Jed move away from there”
Said “Nova Scotia is the place you ought to be”
So they loaded up the truck and moved to Shubenacadie.

Halifax, that is. Bermuda banks (from successful attraction efforts), movie stars (from the lucrative tax credits).

Well now its time to say good by to Jed and all his kin (500,000+ since 1976).
And they would like to thank you folks fer kindly droppin in.
You’re all invited back a gain to this locality
To have a heapin helpin of their hospitality (and contribute to the $8/hr, seasonal tourist industry)

Hillybilly that is. Set a spell, Take your shoes off.

Y’all come back now, y’hear?.

-Theme to The New Brunswick Hillbillies

EnCana has decided to proceed with the Deep Panuke natural gas project off Nova Scotia has given fresh hope to an offshore industry that has stalled in the province in recent years. This is well over $1 billion worth of work over the next decade for Nova Scotia companies.” Just maintaining the production platform will put about $150 million into the local economy every year. Deep Panuke will also generate an estimated $400 million in royalties over the next 10 years.

Now, let’s put that into perspective, shall we? $400 million in royalties over ten years and the $150 million in local economy activity would be the equivalent of the economic activity generated from about 10,000 new high paying jobs ($70,000 and up per year).

There are two learnings from this (er, three):

1. I am not very good at playing the role of Weird Al Yancovic”

2. If New Brunswick is going to be successful it will be based on our brain power and not our “‘bubblin’ crude”. And that, my friends, is much harder.

3. Why all the whining? There are always winners and losers in the area of economic development. Why shouldn’t New Brunswick be the loser? Think about it. All this new money sloshing around (Ed Stelmach is taking $1.4 billion more from the oil & gas guys in Alberta as well) means more money the Feds can use to buy off Quebec and pay New Brunswick’s Equalization payments. The richer Nova Scotia gets, the more Equalization we get! Chink Chink. We just hit paydirt!

Politically, all the government has to do is sit back and put their feet up and wait for the Equalization cheques to come in. Just like Lord did (his Equalization went up by $400 million per year).

Why expect the political capital to make any tough decisions? Why make any bold efforts in the area of economic development that will raise the ire of UNB Calgary ripoff economists?