I don’t know what I like worse, outright naivete or pragmatism. The folks pushing for ‘self-sufficiency’ have almost no real grounding in reality. SS has become a generic term. However, the New Brunswick Union of Public and Private Employees’ resignation that New Brunswick will always be a have not problem and taking the Bernard Lord position of wanting ever more Equalization is even more frustrating.
Once again, this is an organization with highly vested interest, taking a common sense (from their perspective) position. They argue for hiring more and more public sector workers on a population that is in slight decline. In order to do this, they argue for more Equalization.
No one ever asks the question why do we need thousands of more public sector workers now than 10 years ago – with no increase in population. And the union wants more.
What is really needed, of course, is more sanity. We need to provide good governments services but the growth in spending can’t keep outpacing the growth in the economy. We need to work towards more economic self-sufficiency because, regardless of the union’s position, Equalization will eventually be a dead end.
Eventually, the New Brunswick government budget will be twice the Ontario budget – per capita. It’s just a matter of pure economics. That cannot continue in perpetuity. Either we will fix our structural economic challenges or some external force will impose a change.