Aw, Look at PEI, All Growed Up

I must have missed this press release in all the hullabaloo around my quitting a job and starting out on my own.

A regional manufacturing facility will be established in Pooles Corner, thanks to a combined investment by the Government of Canada and the Government of Prince Edward Island.
Gerald Keddy, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA) and the Honourable Robert Ghiz, Premier of PEI, today announced an the investment of $3.3 million to support the purchase and renovation of an 80,000 square-foot facility in Pooles Corner. Manufacturing has been identified as a priority area for both levels of government. “This project is a great example of government and community partnering to create sustainable employment and attract investment to rural Prince Edward Island,” said Mr. Keddy. “This new centre will help PEI seize the significant opportunities that exist within the advanced manufacturing sector.” Through its Innovative Communities Fund, ACOA will provide $2.3 million to Active Communities Development Inc. to establish the regional manufacturing facility. This infrastructure, coupled with a skilled local labour force and the world-class welding training institute at Holland College Georgetown Centre, will help attract advanced manufacturing companies to PEI. This centre will be owned and managed by Active Communities Development Inc.

Now, this is interesting. I know that some will detest it saying the government shouldn’t be in the building buildings business. It’s been tried and failed in a number of places before.

But look at the context in 2008. I continue to hammer the point that communities need to hone their value proposition for business investment attraction. This new facility, linked into an training institute at Holland College, coupled with a solid track record already of attracting aerospace firms, should position PEI to attract more.

And for those of you Holier-than-thouers that decry government money spent like this – think about the hundreds of millions on seasonal EI every year in rural PEI. Spent directly as an income supplement from government to people. Would you rather have government funds directed smartly at attracting good paying, year round jobs or would you rather than just give up and continue to subsidize thousands of people through seasonal EI payments?

Giddy Up. I like what I am seeing from PEI these days. The animation sector is growing. The biosciences sector is growing. The aerospace sector is growing. Cripes. Animation. On PEI? Who’d a thunk it 20 years ago?