Linking social and economic development

I heard on the radio this am a ‘social’ advocacy group in Saint John decrying any attempts by NB Power to ‘subsidize’ large power users on the backs of residential and small business users. While the fleeting glance at this makes some superficial sense, I don’t see how these guys can’t look below the surface on this stuff.

Where’s the mythical ‘grand bargain’ where social groups support successful economic development in return for the economic dividend of that growth being reinvested in poverty reduction and bettering social programs? I guess that is always a myth. When both economic and social groups can’t see beyond their own narrow ideology, it’s hard to get ahead. Maybe, just maybe, someday I will hear an anti-poverty group saying “we need more economic development”. Unlikely. That’s too bad. I just heard the other day that there are a record number of jobs in the Moncton area for folks with disabilities. The guy was telling me that their quality of life is up and many are feeling part of society in a way they haven’t for years – if ever.

Think deeper about this stuff, folks. Think deeper.

Hey, I read the Premier is finally going to announce funding for the convention centre. It’s about time. Monctonians have been asking for funding for at least eight years. Ooops. Actually the funding is for the Freddy convention centre – which became a priority project just a couple of years ago. There is a lesson in here somewhere.

Can anyone say deja vu? The Gleaner is quoting the Premier as saying the closure of mills and the resulting loss of hundreds of jobs was the biggest challenge he faced in 2007.

It wasn’t that long ago that the former Minister of BNB, Peter Mesheau was saying that the partial salvation of the Nackawic mill was his ‘greatest success’ as Minister.

To the Premier, I humbly say, facing a challenge is not the hard part. Addressing that challenge is. And we haven’t seen anything yet.