Dispatches from the road: Quebec City

I’m trying to write using the Blackberry this morning. Am on my way to the nation’s capital but the kids wanted to stop off here.

Read the recent thread between Vincerolly and Mikel below. That’s the kind of dialogue I like to see here although I realize that people are busy.
I am listening to Gladwell’s Outliers on the trip up here. I’ll have more to say on this but I think there is an interesting application of his theory to help understand why places like NB chronically underperform.

I also listened to a podcast from IBM’s Institute for Economic Development based in Ireland. Maybe we should try and get IBM to put a similar facility in NB.

I see that NB is goiing to be ‘protected’ in any Senate reform. Phew. The current model has worked so well for us I am glad we will be protected. Maybe we should go Serengeti Plain with our politics. Maybe we would be forced to rethink things.

Front page ROB story yesterday on the potential impact of the Fort Macmurray slowdown on places like NB. I wrote this story in my column three weeks ago. Glad to se it gaining nationa attention because it is serious.

Finally, I have to chuckle when I hear NB politician’s talking about the need for a stimulus package. It’s fun. If ontario had the economic performance of NB over the past decade it would have been a national diaster. We bragged about it. Now that the national economy is going into a funk NB now needs a ‘stimulus’. We needed a stimulus five years ago – ten – when we realized that the economy wasn’t even creating enough jobs to sustain the current population.

2 thoughts on “Dispatches from the road: Quebec City

  1. You raise a good point about the stimulus package. We are lacking a sense of urgency about economic development.

    We can debate the effectiveness of the McKenna years’ ED strategies, but there would be broad agreement that there was at least a sense of urgency about ED. There were the 1800 call-the-Premier lines, tiger teams rapidly deployed at the hint of a prospect, quick decisions, redirected priorities in favour of ED etc. We all know the stories of McKenna being tailed when he visited cities and there were numerous national news stories about NB’s assertive efforts in ED.
    Perhaps a lot of this was well designed hype but it accomplished 2 things:1) NBers were talking about ED and appreciated its significance and 2) NB made it onto the radar screens of prospects who were expanding or relocating (ie some companies actually contacted us). This resulted in lots of companies setting up in NB.

    Lately just about anything gets labeled ED. As discussed on an recent blog, a community hall is built and called ED. Potholes are filled and called ED. A new doctor is hired and called ED. We need Ontario-style ED like opening a new Toyota plant.

    NB is not in a maintaining phase; we have large gaps to close with ED. To close these gaps, we need a sense of urgency about ED.

  2. Well, according to Shawn Graham there IS a ‘sense of urgency’. This is why the government has announced that it wants to lower income taxes, as well as getting the Corporate Income Tax below 10%. Serious times call for serious measures (he says).

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