Odds & ends

I have a serious question for the IT folks out there. I would really like their assessment of the IT industry in New Brunswick. It seems to me there are two distinct realities here and it’s just my impression. All of the data on the industry that I have seen – employment, bankruptcies, etc. shows that NB has a very limited IT industry. There may be 20-25 bonafide firms with 10 or more employees – across the entire province and may be less than 10 that have 50 or more employees. I think there may be a couple of thousand IT professionals in government and industry positions but the core IT industry – animation, software development, eLearning Internet apps, etc. – it seems to me is very limited. On the other hand, we have KIRA and the language coming out of that organization is a dynamic and vibrant industry that is on the leading edge in Canada. This despite the fact that 50% of their SME winners since the award show was launched are now bankrupt.

I am not being cynical or sarcastic here. This is a genuine question. Please let me know if you think that New Brunswick has a growing and dynamic IT industry and give some examples (not the usual FatKat, Whitehill, Radian6, etc. – I think we all know the 7-8 names that are constantly used).


On another note, I see that Lisa Keenan just raked biofuels over the coals (so to speak) in her column on Friday. She says: “It’s a Faustian bargain and its time we stopped. Happy farmers are one thing, starving children another. It’s time to get off the biofuel carousel, before more damage is done.”

It looks like NB Tories (at least Keenan) are at odds with their federal colleagues who are committed to continuing the biofuels from corn play. The minister in charge gave a vigorous defense of biofuels on CBC’s The House last week.