Deja vu all over again

Good exposure this morning in a CP article (and others) for New Brunswick.

New Brunswick Premier Shawn Graham descended on the country’s financial hub Wednesday to promote the Maritime province’s burgeoning energy sector, calling New Brunswick the “next Alberta in the Canadian economy” in a bid to lure back both businesses and bodies.

You can’t say that Graham doesn’t like to overstate things, can you? We will be ‘self sufficient’. Our post-secondary system will be a ‘model’ for the rest of North America. Our education system will go ‘from worst to first’ and now we are ‘the next Alberta’. Hmmm. As I have said before, I’d settle for ‘worst to a little less worse’ and ‘the next Manitoba’ or something like that but that’s just me.

But I do think these guys should learn from the old gang. Under McKenna, these little junkets were just about political points. The real dealmaking, the hard selling, etc. was done behind the scenes and, in fact, deals that had been in the works for months and even years were announced to be the ‘result’ of such a junket.

During the Lord tenure, the junkets themselves become the ‘result’ and I hope that hasn’t carried over into this new administration. Graham and Byrne making speeches to polite applause – will get New Brunswick nowhere. It’s just PR effort. I am not discounting PR – I’m just saying that if that is it, they will achieve little to nothing.

There is no substitute for hard work. For product development, for building a sales funnel and winnowing it down over time. For driving passion throughout the BNB team and across government.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that a Graham/Byrne junket to talk with their own team and fire them up might do more good than a Bay Street junket. But that’s just me.