Back in the saddle

Just back from Toronto. Sorry for the tardiness of comment updates but I did not have access to a computer and my telephone browser won’t allow me to publish comments.

Alright, a couple of things this morning.

First, someone who knows about a couple of the recent Virtual Agent Services (VAS) projects in New Brunswick sent me a note that the company’s hourly wage starts at sround $8.50 / hr. However, this person told me not to complain about these jobs for the reason I mentioned in a previous blog. The government is not offering any alternatives and for some small, rural communities 50 jobs at $9/hour is better than no jobs at nothing/hour.

I remain convinced that we can build a better rural dev. strategy because I have seen it in other areas. For example, most of the new manufacturing in North Carolina is in rural areas (or outside the major urban areas) and the incentive programs stipulate that wages must be 25% or something like that above the average. That will, by definition, raise the average wages paid and generate more tax revenue for the government.

There is an interesting article this morning in the TJ about Clarissa Desjardins – a Moncton native who started a successful biotech firm. Congratulations. The only problem is that she started it in Montreal. Ooops. Now she is judging an entrepreneur contest in New Brunswick.

I see Ottawa-based Cognos just sold to IBM for $5 billion. This is another in a long line of highly successful IT firms in Ontario that have been sold to global firms. This gives the firms global reach and plows millions back into the local communities through taxes paid and new spending by the millionaire owners.