Substituting fantasy for reality

You have to wonder what goes on in the mind of some people.  Here’s an excerpt from a TJ story this morning:

During public accounts hearings Tuesday, the Department of Natural Resources assistant deputy minister, Cecil Freeman, said promising oil and gas exploration could transform New Brunswick’s economy like it has in Newfoundland.

In an interview after the hearings, Freeman said he had seen a steady increase in companies interested in the province’s resources. “We actually have something to sell,” he said, adding that his work at Business New Brunswick – trying to lure companies to the province – was a tougher sell.

I have already shown in this blog that it would take an expotential increase in oil and gas activity to even come close to Newfoundland.  The total value of oil and gas extraction exports in 2007 from NL was over $6 billion and with the refined oil it goes to over $9 billion and that is before Hebron which will almost double those numbers again. 

In New Brunswick, total value of oil and gas extraction exports in 2007 was $37 million – down from $53 million in 2006.  Or about 0.4% for of the current NL level – for those of you who like percentages.

What really frustrates me about this Cecil Freeman is that line “trying to lure companies to the province  is a tougher sell.”  I am tired of having non-believers in New Brunswicks ability to attract industry directly involved with attracting industry.  That’s bright.  Let’s go out and find a bunch of people that don’t believe New Brunswick can attract industry and put them in charge of attracting industry.

Secondly, why wasn’t Freeman trying to do anything to ensure that New Brunswick has ‘something to sell’.  I am also tired of people who don’t believe in New Brunswick and don’t lift a finger to change anything.  Business New Brunswick and the Government of New Brunswick can change things.  They can put investments and policies in place that make New Brunswick attractive for certain industries.  There just hasn’t been much interest.

Then we port Cecil Freeman over to Natural Resources to push fantasies on the people of New Brunswick.

I weep for the future.

45 thoughts on “Substituting fantasy for reality

  1. I guess the underlying issue is the people “in charge” don’t know what New Brunswick is good at. NB has tried to do alot of things with varying success (and failure). But it seems as though No one has yet to figure out what we’re good at, and market that to the world.

  2. This blog has taken a decidely negative turn of late (ie just after Christmas). The points are all valid mind you, but if all you see is negative news, you tend to shut it out. To help keep people engaged perhaps you could add a little bit explaining the implications of some of the good news out there.

    For example: There was a piece in the DG about an inexpensive motion capture technology (helpful for the small game developers we have in the region); ADI go a contract with MillerCoors (export of services); and Shawn Graham’s comments in the TJ about Alberta being more receptive to Atl Can than in the past.

  3. “Then we port Cecil Freeman over to Natural Resources..”

    Perhaps he was seen as a failure at BNB and people figured he couldn’t do any harm at DNR.

    “but if all you see is negative news..”

    I think David’s blog is a good antidote to the Pollyanna stuff we get fed from GNB and the hard copy media in this province. This blog actually provides balance, not negativity; the blog says that NB can do better. What’s negative about that? Spem reduxit.

  4. I would say the blog ebbs and flows. Certainly a few of the posters have a more negative view than mine. I did report on the Miramichi solar plant which sounds like a great idea. I have also reported other other good news initiatives since Christmas. There have been a few things that concern me and I muse about them. Trust me that is harder on me than it is on you.

  5. On the day the 300-some new jobs were announced, none of the 3 english dailies covered the news on the front page. The TJ had it on B1, while the TT had it on A11. I believe the TJ had a picture of our premier wearing a cowboy hat above the fold on Tuesday.

    I’d rather have the truth, bitter or sweet, than constant feel-good stories.

  6. Negative and positive are very flexible-and relative. I’ve been reading here longer than most (if not all) and it certainly hasn’t changed in ‘outlook’.

    For this story, I’d say its ‘negative’ in its approach. David, and many others here, assume that it is BNB’s, and civil servants JOB to ‘change things’. I worked retail before, it wasn’t the Toyota salesman’s job to tell Toyota how to make cars. A salesman is quite busy enough making a living.

    We KNOW the policies aren’t there, that is also a theme of this blog, but sometimes the pendulum swings too far for David and we get the ‘rah rah’ treatment about how any company out there would be damn lucky to be ALLOWED to invest in New Brunswick. That’s not reality. For better or worse (ok, worse), this guy is simply telling the truth. Ironically, the civil servant is doing exactly what all the posters and the blogger here are always complaining that the government DOESN”T do-which is tell the truth and just trot out ‘feel good stories’. That kind of schizophrenia is exactly why government doens’t, and shouldn’t pay much attention to online comments. When it tells good news it is being crazy, when they tell the truth, they are being losers.

    It’s the government’s job to MAKE those policies that will ‘sell’ the province. The government, of coruse, is representatives of YOU. In other words, its YOUR job to lobby and get your representatives to make decent policy. Again, its been two years since Nova Scotia introduced a kick ass cultural tax package for film and cultural industries-New Brunswick STILL hasn’t done one (that I’ve seen anywhere). And of course if nobody LOBBIES for such legislation, it won’t get done. Simple as that.

    At some point people have to admit that their representatives are a reflection of themselves and their society. A case in point is the recent news about animal cruelty. The judge gave a lenient sentence, and what does the Minister of Justice say? He says he’s going to call Ottawa to try and get them to make better federal laws. He’s not going to make better New Brunswick laws, like virtually every other province has done, something perfectly within his power, he’s going to waste time in Ottawa, with guys who are in the midst of the worst recession of the century, and try and get them to make better federal laws, which of course most provinces will reject, because they already have the appropriate laws. And at the CBC site people are actually THANKING the minister for NOT doing his job and lobbying Ottawa.

    So I don’t think the ‘negative’ arises from being a naysayer. Even if David didn’t mention the good news stories its still appropriate for what it is-a blog about poor economic development policies. It’s not like David is lax when it comes to recommending GOOD policies, although sometimes those are lax on details.

    There’s an old great saying “pessimism of the intellect, optimism of the will”. It’s ‘will’ that keeps this blog going. What was ‘negative’ was stopping the podcasts before they even got posted on itunes. A podcast is absolutely essential for New Brunswick, but just posting it at this site didn’t do any good. IF this stuff got out to wider audiences with some more actual policies, then that would be REALLY ‘positive’.

  7. “At some point people have to admit that their representatives are a reflection of themselves and their society.”

    Ah, yes, the ‘culture of defeat’ argument. Take a random sample of MLAs from ON, NB, MB, AB, and SK for example. I will bet you they are very similar, province to province, in terms of outlook and attitude. The difference between NB and, say AB, is for the most part a difference in opportunity. In AB’s case, that opportunity comes from energy. The money that comes from that opportunity fuels a lot aof additional activity in many sectors of the AB economy.

    In NB, we don’t have the luxury of large amounts of exportable fuel. We also do not have a large enough population to pressure Ottawa to do us many favours, like investing lots of R&D dollars, erecting trade barriers to help our industries, etc. Instead we get dribs and drabs aimed at propping up low wage industries.

    So, I’d say we need some exceptional leadership to change that. We need political leadership that will produce a transparent long-term plan for growth. The right leadership could get the feds to buy-in in a meaningful way. Of course, everyone has their own ideas of what the focii should be. That’s what I believe the focus of this blog should be – discussing various alternative sectors that are capable of providing that growth.

    “David, and many others here, assume that it is BNB’s, and civil servants JOB to ‘change things’”

    I’d say that many here assume that the politicians who direct the civil service would want to live up to their word, and ‘change things’. After all, that is what they have promised to do.

  8. @David Campbell
    I guess “decidedly negative turn” may have been too strong a use of language for what I meant. I really like the blog and think it has a good message. I want more people (non-economists and non-economic development types) to read it and take away its core messages. When I recommend the blog to someone, it helps if there are a range of issues being discussed.

    There is a well known mountain bike editor/advocate name Richard Cunningham, who in an interview with another magazine, said he tries to limit the number of “access issues” articles to four a year to make sure people don’t skip over the article thinking “oh look another rant….”

    PS Keep up the good work! It’s appreciated.

  9. I think David is not expecting much from Graham. As an example Graham makes one trip out west, wanting NBer’s to come home! Now the NBer’s are coming home , he wants Alberta to find jobs for them! Make anyone a bit sick, eh? And not one sign of hope for any change. Thats beside the pouring of every spare dollar into Irving! Through any door that will open, front, back. Like he senses early retirement.

  10. For Mike E, this is a guy’s blog, not a magazine. But I’ll again repeat that the ‘local in the know’ group should be more than just a ‘link’. Getting all those who ‘want change’ together and producing, say, a newsletter, podcast or online ‘newspaper’ like Shunpiking or The Tyee would be a great step forward, and one that these posters need not do themselves. But the blog does vary according to what is in the news. There are a couple of things to take for granted: if its ‘media criticism’ then don’t look for ‘positive’ statements unless it is media from elsewhere.

    For Richard, like it or not New Brunswick is different, in many ways VERY different. But if you don’t spend time reading legislation you won’t see that. And its not just in ‘energy opportunities’. The media system, the political system, and the society itself are all quite unique. It’s even quite different from PEI and NOva Scotia.

    I”m not going to mince words, because it IS ‘sort of’ the ‘culture of defeat’-at least here. When those parents didn’t like the EFI changes Lamrock made, they got organized and active. The protestors at the Atlantica conference did the same. In fact, if you look at Charles Leblanc’s website then you’ll notice pretty quickly that the province could easily be called “the province of protest”. There are more protests in Fredericton in the summertime (relatively) than there were at Queens Park in the nineties (though not more people obviously).

    Like I’ve said before, YOU guys are all the kind of people that government actually listens to. You don’t wear bandanas and aren’t 20. YOu vote, may even be members of organizations. Again, go to ANY political party meeting, those people are generally quite happy with how things are going. Go to the industrialists, the guys who REALLY play at politics, they are pretty happy, like the guy above says-Irving has a puppet in place, so they are quite happy and their paper shows it.

    Those outside the political arena simply don’t exist. And again, from the government’s point of view, why SHOULD they care about people who are too lazy to join a party, go to a meeting, write to their MLA, or even more, write policy? They would be CRAZY to. That’s not how politics works. Count the number of posters here, should the government make policy based on what four guys think ‘is right’? That would be ludicrous.

  11. Another obvious sign of why would you waste your time in this province.

    In 2009, thousands of Acadians, Francophones, and Francophiles, from across Canada and abroad, will have an opportunity to celebrate Acadian culture at the Congrès mondial acadien, thanks to an investment by the Government of Canada. The event will take place in northeastern New Brunswick from August 7 to 23, 2009.

    On behalf of the Honourable Josée Verner, Minister of Canadian Heritage, Status of Women and Official Languages and the Honourable Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Minister of the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA), Pierre Lemieux, Parliamentary Secretary for Official Languages and Member of Parliament (Glengarry-Prescott-Russell) today announced funding for the 4th Congrès mondial acadien.

    The Government of Canada will provide $3,275,000 to the organizing committee of the 2009 Congrès mondial acadien: $1,750,000 from the Department of Canadian Heritage and $1,525,000 from ACOA.

    This funding, along with that of a number of other partners, will support the development, planning, promotion, marketing, and hosting of the event. It will include opening and closing ceremonies, a celebration of National Acadian Day, the building of Espace 2009, conferences, and family gatherings.

    David Rioux, President, owner and CEO of both Precision Metal Works Ltd. and Precision Nuclear Inc.
    More of the same.

    Mactaquac, NB – Precision Nuclear Inc., manufacturer of specialized equipment for the nuclear industry, today announced that they have secured a contract worth approximately $10 million with Atomic Energy Canada Limited (AECL).
    The Honourable Peter MacKay blab,blab,blab

  13. You want to celebrate your “culture”, go celebrate it, WITH YOUR OWN MONEY.
    Or your culture , becomes a culture, sustained by English taxpayers.

    Instead we will buy you each the book, “From Migrants to Acadian” by N.E.S Griffiths, so you would at least know something ABOUT your culture!

    Read the above of what EVERY government does!
    Notice the Names of who every government does it to!
    Canadians have wasted BILLIONS on French. And as a result will never recover to its past status.
    While your own country of France laughs at you.
    Have fun, it may be awhile befor you get filled up again.

  14. I can imagine what anon’s response was, but for reasonable debate that’s the same point as has been made before. For David, that $1.1 MILLION from ACOA would fund TEN of those international offices so often mentioned here. It’s fine to see money from heritage Canada, good for those acadians for being organized and getting some cash for their ‘party’ (the government doesn’t often go looking for people to give money to).

    But this is ACOA, the people so often criticized for not building ED infrastructure. And this, as mentioned, is a big party. The acadians had a similar party about ten years ago, and I don’t think government funded it at all (I could be wrong about that).

    Stuff like this is a good way to get investment of course-if there were any investment to have and if the government actually asks. You never know WHO might show up. However, this is 1/60th of the credit union scandal, which at least bailed out a financial institution, all for a great big party. Can you say ‘junket’?

    So the racist overtones aside, this is fabulous for the province, but is more evidence of what is wrong at ACOA. We know they will no doubt try to flog tourism, but is there anything else? It is unfortunate that they didn’t have an acadian day in the winter time, and don’t have investment to sell up north,because from my relatives I’ve heard that tourists are coming from all over the northeastern seaboard with their skidoo’s, they have so much snow. But there needs to be something to invest IN.

  15. Why would facts still be considered racist? Or is racist becoming a sign of knowledge.
    Because I have likely read more books on the discovery and settlement of the world than all of you put together.
    So after 1000 books you are really left with a large generally fair but not perfect image of history and its players. Tis why I don’t mind being called Racist, because it separates me from those who are too lazy or too afraid to acquire and expose those facts.
    So it is why I can say that Canada will never recover, because the emphasis has not been directed to the most successful.
    So they either left or dropped out. Inclusion only works when there is lots of wealth. Now we are heading for, “survival of the fittest”!

    A valentine for Mr. Darwin

    Yesterday was Charles Darwin’s 200th birthday (or would have been had we evolved for greater longevity). And tomorrow is Valentine’s Day. …

  16. “because it separates me from those who are too lazy or too afraid to acquire and expose those facts.”

    Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with some economic facts. Canada has outperformed most members of the OECD for several years now. What is it we are supposed to be ‘recovering’ from?

    “But this is ACOA, ..”

    That’s correct. It really should not be ACOA’s job to fund this sort of thing. As I was saying before, these are dribs and drabs; ACOA was not set up to bring real ED to NB; it was set up to win votes with short-term projects.

    “because it IS ’sort of’ the ‘culture of defeat’-at least here. ”

    Then you provide examples of the opposite. Sorry but the ‘uniqueness’ you speak of comes from a lack of opportunity, not a cultural issue. Again, show me some evidence that NB MLAs are any different than MLAs in other provinces; they are just as ‘provincial’ and small-minded as their NB counterparts. Whats different is economic opportunity and, in a few cases, political leadership. In other words, most of the time, local economies succeed in spite of the people who live there, not because of them.

  17. Sure I should if you would.
    The economic downturn that started in 2007, as exports slowed in response to the deflating US housing bubble, continues to worsen. Sharply deteriorating conditions in global financial markets, generalised softness in the US economy and receding commodity prices are amplifying export weakness and dragging down domestic spending. Output has been contracting since August 2008, and slack is projected to grow until the global financial crisis has run its course and external demand bounces back in 2010. The domestic banking and housing sectors are in relatively good shape, however, and no government bail-outs have taken place

  18. Deep recessions are underway as well in Canada, the Euro-zone and the United Kingdom. On a peak-to-trough basis, real GDP in these economies will probably contract 2 to 4%, which are deep recessions by any measure

    Source: Growing Unequal? , OECD 2008. Income is disposable household income adjusted for household size.
     In the last 10 years, the rich have been getting richer leaving both middle and poorer income classes behind. The rich in Canada are particularly rich compared to their counterparts in other countries – the average income of the richest 10% is US$ 71,000 in purchasing power parities, which is one third above the OECD average of US$54,000. The poor and the middle classes are also richer than the OECD average, but by less — their average incomes are only 18% above that of their counterparts in a typical OECD country.
     One fifth of the increase in income inequality is linked to changes in the age and household structure of the Canadian population, such as growing shares of single-parent households or people living alone.
     Inequality of household earnings has increased significantly. Only Germany saw a similar rate of increase during the past 10 years.
     Canada spends less on cash benefits such as unemployment benefits and family benefits than most OECD countries. Partly as a result, taxes and transfers do not reduce inequality by as much as in many other countries. Furthermore, their effect on inequality has been declining over time.
     Over the past 10 years poverty (meaning people who live on less than half median incomes) has increased for all age groups, by around 2 to 3 percentage points to an overall rate of 12%.

  19. I like how this goes from a discussion about the economy in the maritimes to a “I know more than you know” argument. I’m all for discussion here, but try to stay on topic fellas.

  20. Just giving someone like you a chance to show us your in depth knowledge.
    Is that it? And why is it that I never see myself as a judge of topic diversion?
    Does one topic not run in to another topic or is it cut and dried or are many people only capable of one thing? Greatest thing that ever happened to me was no degree after my name, no locked in theories, no dogma, adjustable to every topic.
    And somebody always knows more, hence the discussions. I worry not about the topic, but what can I learn! Obviously, you didn’t help, nor do I recall such.

  21. ““because it separates me from those who are too lazy or too afraid to acquire and expose those facts.”

    Perhaps you should acquaint yourself with some economic facts. Canada has outperformed most members of the OECD for several years now. What is it we are supposed to be ‘recovering’ from?”

    Guess I have to repeat the question, as you have strayed somewhat. Surely you are not suggesting that Canada’s superior growth rates in recent years are due to bilingualism? Or perhaps you are suggesting that income inequality in Canada (still less than the US) is due to bilingualism. Perhaps you should try reading with an open mind rather than reading to find points to back up your preconceived notions.

  22. Sigh!lol Your funny David,and tolerant.

    As you watch people put the noose around their own neck.

    I’ll be back because now I am busy setting up the young boys Zune mp3 player.

    Meanwhile, I have read, now you read, and get us a list of successful , official French and English countries.

    I think it is quite obvious that bilingualism has destroyed , at least, Eastern Canada, and hardly preconceived, with 40 years to Analise! Just one fact need prove my assertion. 95% of Canadians, outside Quebec, do not speak French. Unchanged in 40 years.
    95% of Canadians are excluded from the job as Prime Minister and we may as well say MP’s also. And your superior growth rates is just comical, not factual.
    3 Provinces that weren’t on welfare! And dropping!

  23. Smart reply though Tristan cause now I’ll lay awake all night with the feeling I just got snookered!

    Anyhow the thing is, that I knew the French well enough to know, they never wanted or expected the English to go falling all over them. Now they have lost all respect for them and its a lost cause for good relations.
    Read the history of the constant fighting among the French when they controlled Acadia nova Scotia.
    Well here it is, what the Mi’Kmaq said, “you are always fighting and quarreling among yourselves; we live peaceably.You are always envious and are all the time slandering each other; you are thieves and deceivers; you are covetous; and are neither generous or kind; as for us we have a morsel of bread we share it with our neighbor”

  24. “with 40 years to Analise!…. And your superior growth rates is just comical, not factual.”

    We may now conclude that, of your 1000 books read, 999 were Archie comic digests. The remaining one was Reading For Dummies.

  25. Wow. “Sigh” is right, though it’s a good example of why NB has the problems it has.

    Why are people who misdirect conversations always “Anonymous”?

  26. Yes, the topic has strayed, but at least its entertaining. There is no doubt that Canada’s ‘growth’ has hardly been equal. Give me Norways slower growth rate anyday. Canada has outperformed France, yet we still can’t fund most of the medical procedures they do, don’t have nearly the universal child care and have far longer work hours. However, to suggest that unequal income distribution is a result of bilingualism is just silly, no matter how many books have been read. Most european countries have multiple languages and have no problem, and again, they have FAR more egalitarian policies than Canada.

    As for Richard, I gave the example above, but like I said, you have to actually go and read legislation. I mentioned the animal cruelty case, the latest is the New Brunswick 100 year old Coroner’s Act which the Minister claims is just fine and doesn’t need to be changed even though it was drafted in the early 1900’s. And again I’ll mention the Residential Tenants Act. New Brunswick is STILL the only province in the country where boarders have no housing rights. That legislation was actually passed almost THREE years ago but is STILL yet to be proclaimed. Those are BIG differences. The list does go on and on, while Nova Scotia was passing laws on cell phone uses in cars, Burke, at his website, was giving his personal opinion on why such laws are a waste of time and why HE had no intention of even looking at the issue-even though the science behind it was pretty solid. I’m trying to remember the other issue, but I remember reading an article about how the Justice Department wasn’t interested because they were looking at legislation on X. In other words, the ability to study and pass legislation on TWO separate issues seemed completely alien to them. And of course we can add three years of blog posts at this site to add yet more evidence. Again, this isn’t to say that MLA’s in NB are some weird different kind of creature, its to say that they simply have a different focus, which in part is due to the population, but probably even more specifically to the nature of the media.

    And again, NBT has left the province but here was a ‘far right’ character who was often bemoaning the lack of NDP presence in New Brunswick because the two parties are so identical. There is almost literally NO difference between the two parties, go check out their websites.

    ALL politicians ‘try to win votes’, that’s their JOB. That’s a GOOD thing. Some people may not agree, usually those are people who want ‘big changes that will affect other people and not me’. Again, thats why its necessary to get engaged in the political process, because they ARE trying to win votes, so obviously are receptive to public pressure. Otherwise, there is no point in even having a democracy.

  27. I did just want to mention the most glaring example of the above, and that’s the fact that among the other unique facets of the New Brunswick legislature is the complete absence of any accountability. By that I mean that New Brunswick is the only province where you can’t even find out what legislation your local MLA voted for-without visiting the legislature in person I mean. They finally offer some audio and video feeds, although if you follow the CBC they make sure it isn’t functioning for votes like the one that increased MLA pensions, and it isn’t archived.

    By contrast, at the British Columbia website you can go all the way back to 1992 and read the hansards-most people in NB don’t even know what that means its so foreign. In Nova Scotia they immediately publish it, in New Brunswick, if you want to know what was said in the legislature, you have to subscribe to get it as an email attachment. Yet for some reason putting that on a website is just too difficult to manage.

    In any other province the media would be having a field day with that virtually every day of the week, but of course in NB the Irving media really couldn’t care less, in fact I don’t think they’ve EVER even mentioned it. That’s the very backbone of representative democracy, yet is completely absent in the province. Yet virtually nobody seems to mind. But again, that comes from a political disconnect-it doesnt’ exist everywhere, like I said, many are protesting (which may be another reason why security is constantly being beefed up at the legislature), and many are turning to lawsuits.

  28. Early this morning I was shamed into upping the level of my posts,so all I knew to do was copy and post something worth getting up early for—In 1929 lol.

    Notice Mikel had something to say!

    Posted in Blather | No Comments »

    Maybe you shouldn’t worry about the environment
    February 8th, 2009 by Bill

    I was thinking about the one million acts of green initiative and some of the things people are doing to contribute to it and I thought, “Great idea.” Then I thought of some of the things I do and it occurred to me, in almost every case, the thought of contributing to a better environment never occurred to me. The things I do, I do for other reasons. The environmental aspect is just a serendipitous consequence.

    I don’t drive. I don’t have a car. I don’t even know how to drive a car. This is not because I was determined to help heal an ailing environment, minimize my carbon imprint and so on. I just don’t like cars. They’re loud and they smell and, from what I’ve seen, they’re very expensive and a heck of a lot of work. The balancing act between convenience and all a car’s negative aspects never worked in favour of a car. And speed was never a plus for me either. I prefer to actually see and note the world I’m moving through. (Same with boats. Sailboats, thumbs up; motorboats, thumbs down.)

  29. I notice what anonymous richard is good at, following behind someone and picking out their driving errors, lol and probably would have found more if he had of paid attention to the smoke coming out his tailpipe. Now his motor is seized. Should of followed bill and stayed with the horse.
    So two error, one, nowhere did I say I have only read 1000 books. I have over 4000 certifiable books read , 90% nonfiction.
    I also assure you I can misspell a lot more words, a trait shared with 95% of history’s population. So your spelling of “focii” puts you in my category , somewhat. lol
    Did you find out what the OECD is yet?

  30. There is no need for personal insults from anybody. Off topic is one thing, being rude is another way of admitting that rationality is beyond a person, and will quickly result in the blog owner moderating comments again.

    It’s ideas that matter on blogs and the evidence behind them. Post good ideas and nobody (even Richard) will care whether spelling is bad. I’m as guilty as the next guy for sometimes writing fast, not editing, and so having ideas that don’t come across so well.

    Nobody cares how many books a person has read, these are ALL anonymous posts except for David, but even professional researchers have ideas that are here put through the wringer. But the anonymous post above about bilingualism sounded strident-but actually brought up an example that at least Richard and I agree with-that an acadian celebration is not the kind of ACOA project that results in much ED. However, its not the ONLY example of that, and personally I”m glad that the feds are paying so much of this-and the province doesn’t have to.

    Language IS a huge issue in Canada and NB, not for the reasons usually given, but it can’t be overlooked. The acadian connection though would be a good ‘in’ for a lot of economic development and its too bad it isn’t fostered much much more. David often mentions ‘focus’, and that would be a good one to have. I haven’t checked the Acadie Urbaine website lately, but at one time it was going to be developed into a television station, but again, acadians have their own culture and that doesn’t often include provincial concerns-except by accident.

  31. “I have over 4000 certifiable books read , 90% nonfiction.”

    Certifiable, huh? Spelling is not the issue; your claims of vast knowledge are however inconsistent with your typing. You appear to be claiming that language policies are holding Canada back and that we won’t ‘recover’. But a review of OECD docs shows that Canada has had higher growth rates tham most OECD nations for several years. There just isn’t any evidence that Canada or NB has suffered economically because of language policy. Do you have any data to show that? No, you’d rather change the subject.

    Mikel might prefer Norway’s economic path to Canada’s. I agree that Norway has done a much better job of using its energy revenue than Canada and will be better off in the long run because of their approach. That however is not the issue raised by anon; he claims Canada’s economic performance is harmed by language policy. There’s just no evidence for that.

  32. “Again, this isn’t to say that MLA’s in NB are some weird different kind of creature, its to say that they simply have a different focus, which in part is due to the population, but probably even more specifically to the nature of the media.”

    So we can agree that the problem is not really culture, it’s the Irving media and the lack of transparency that comes with it. The Irvings of course have no interest in transparency; goes against the grain. They fear it would harm their bottom line, although I expect in the long run they would benefit.

    The solution to that problem, IMHO, is a set of non-Irving industries run by people with opposing interests. If there is ‘organizing’ to be done, I’d say that it is organizing debates on how to achieve that outcome.

  33. Spelling is now not the issue ?
    You would have better success with that. The OECD shows nothing out of the ordinary with one of the resource rich countries situated next to the Super country!! Burundi would be as successful as Canada in the same location!
    And you want to keep on with a verifiable failed bilingualism you go right ahead, because you appear to be unaware of too many things to ever see the light.
    Just remember the liberal mp’s calling Americans “Bastards” and such, remember the American Ambassador to Canada and the “slippery slope” warning we were treading on. Find out how much our well being depends on them. Well its pay back time

  34. American-Canadian relations have nothing to do with language. I agree with Richard, there is virtually NO evidence that bilingualism is ‘holding us back’. The US rarely bases its foreign policy on things canadian ministers have said. American people are a different story, but that has nothing to do with trade. Most of canada’s trade is not in ‘final destination products’. Ontario’s trade is largely tied to manufacturing for businesses. They certainly don’t buy Alberta oil because Albertans kiss their ass.

    That is an important issue, but not one that has to do with economic development specifically. It has something to do with education- the fact that learning a second language, something easily mastered by most of the world’s population is beyond the capabilities of a public education that chains kids to desks for eight hours a day, five days a week, 35 weeks a year, while spending approximately $1 billion dollars specifically for that education, really says something about the educational system.

    For the other comment, I don’t agree with that. Irving has had a monopoly on the media for forty years-THAT affects culture. Anybody is free to start up a blog, virtually NONE have ever been political in nature.

    And like I said, PART of the reason why government can get away with what they are doing is because people LET them. That is also cultural. As for the ‘how things change’, that’s a hypothetical answer. Other industries MAY provide this ‘balance’, but thats far from a certainty. Irving owns companies in various industries, but that hasn’t ‘balanced’ anything. FatKat is now a pretty huge animation company, yet like I said, the province still hasn’t come out with any kind of cultural or creative legislation for such industries like Nova Scotia has. It throws some money at Fatkat, but thats about it. And there are other animation companies as well.

    Most importantly, it IS true that Richard’s hypothetical COULD come to pass. Say for example we ‘assume’ that fifty animation companies set up in New Brunswick, including some big anchor ones (to satisfy Dave:) That would no doubt give them the clout to form an industry which would DEMAND the government give them legislation to aid their industry. But that puts the cart before the horse. My point is that we know from experience those companies WON”T come to the province because the legislation is not there NOW. We can ‘hope’ that ‘lucky’ deals like the new solar panel firm in Mirimachi will mean the province would look at green industries balanced against other interests, but that’s unlikely. What we’ve seen is that they’ll simply cut a company like them or Fatkat a cheque.

    So like I said, PEOPLE can be proactive and get the legislation that will ENABLE those companies to come to the province and balance out other industries, or wait for the lotto. That’s highly doubtful, in media it will never happen, there simply isn’t a market for other media in a small province (heck, in a BIG province). Waterloo is a city of more people than Fredericton but it doesn’t even HAVE a daily newspaper. The only reason that NB hasn’t produced legislation like Nova Scotia’s is that the minister knows he doesn’t HAVE to. If nobody demands it, or makes a political issue of it, then obviously nothing gets done. Change is almost invariably a grassroots movement.

    Well some of you will enjoy this will feel at home!

    While promising truly bilin­gual Games is a huge under­taking for VANOC, organizers maintain that they view the Van­couver Olympics as an opportu­nity to showcase Canada’s rich cultural diversity and linguistic duality.

    Only problem is, We don’t have any!

    American-Canadian relations have nothing to do with language.(no one said different!) And
    “I agree with Richard, there is virtually NO evidence that bilingualism is ‘holding us back’.”
    And what study can you quote, or I take your two word for it!

    If children spend one day wasted on an nonaccomplishment, we are going back wards, as our education stats and all else shows, and will increasing show. No one but misdirected Canada is planning any future on the knowledge of French! A 60 year old Idea. Would not Spanish or Chinese or Arabic be a language of the future, after English? And never immersion.The most destructive foible for an English speaking family.

  36. Even Moosejaw knows!
    Bilingualism too expensive

    These are difficult financial times for citizens of many countries in the world. Deficit financing by governments and financial bailouts by some governments appears to be the popular solution to get the economy up and moving again. We, the citizens, during this recession would also expect that our Members of Parliament and government leaders are also seeking ways to reduce government spending.

    There are a majority of Canadians who believe it is critical that governments weight the cost of all policies against the benefits being achieved from these policies. The Official Languages Act of 1969 creating Official Bilingualism is an excellent example of a failed government policy that in 40 years has cost Canadian taxpayers and consumers hundreds of billions of dollars annually with no benefits for the majority of English-speaking Canadians.

    The immediate end to this failed policy will reduce both government and consumer costs, with no negative affects to the unity of the country because Quebec has one official language of French. The percentage of bilingual Canadians outside of Quebec has remained virtually unchanged at less than five per cent in the past 40 years.

    Ken Kellington, Moose Jaw, Sask.

  37. List of countries where French is an official language!
    Which one do you want your Child to find his richs in!!

    Canada and its partners, lol

    1. Democratic Republic of the Congo Africa 66,514,506
    2. France Europe 64,057,790
    3. Canada North America 33,212,696
    4. Madagascar Africa 20,042,551
    5. Cameroon Africa 18,467,692
    6. Côte d’Ivoire Africa 18,373,060
    7. Burkina Faso Africa 15,264,735
    8. Niger Africa 13,272,679
    9. Senegal Africa 12,853,259
    10. Mali Africa 12,324,029
    11. Belgium Europe 10,403,951
    12. Guinea Africa 10,211,437
    13. Rwanda Africa 10,186,063
    14. Chad Africa 10,111,337
    15. Haiti Caribbean 8,924,553
    16. Burundi Africa 8,691,005
    17. {{ Africa 8,294,941
    18. Switzerland Europe 7,581,520
    19. Togo Africa 5,858,673
    20. Central African Republic Africa 4,434,873
    21. Republic of the Congo Africa 3,903,318
    22. Gabon Africa 1,485,832
    23. Comoros Africa 731,775
    24. Equatorial Guinea Africa 616,459
    25. Djibouti Africa 506,221
    26. Luxembourg Europe 486,006
    27. Vanuatu Oceania 215,446
    28. Seychelles Africa 82,247
    29. Monaco Europe 32,796

    In addition to this, the State of the City of the Vatican lets itself register as a French-speaking country in the international organisations with which it has relationships.[citation needed] Similarly, the

  38. Look, folks. I have to close out this discussion. I don’t want to offend the regulars that post to this blog because I value their input but this line of conversation is trivial and going nowhere. A long time ago our ancestors – English and French decided to try and forge a relationship whereby both groups could live peacefully in this province. They could have fought over territory – killed each other for Harvey or Neguac but they decided to try and find a way. Both groups have the right to exist here and the right to services in their mother tongue. That’s the way it is. Bilingualism has its costs but New Brunswick’s problems have very little to do with this issue.

    What is slowly killing New Brunswick – French and English – is the lack of economic development. Every Census period there are less and less Francophones in New Brunswick (mother tongue French). There are more people that speak French but less with the mother tongue French. Why? Because of out-migration. Because of lack of economic development. So we can sit around and fight it out. The Francophones can’t sue the government for percieved language concerns over a change to the health system and Anglophones can complain that all the best government jobs require French. Let’s fight it out and forget about the real problem. The Francophones might get everything they could possibly want on language rights just about the time there are none left here except retirees and the Anglophones might breakthrough and reassert English as the dominant language just about the time there are none left here except retirees. Then the Anglos and Francos can fight it out over Tuesday night bingo.

    I think it tired and frankly quite boring. We have this language duality – let’s have a sane public policy that promotes and encourages bilingualism without cutting out English speaking talent from moving here. Let’s find a way to use our bilingualism to our economic advantage. Most of all, let’s realize that without a serious transformation of our economic development, in 25-30 years all these trivial little battles won’t matter anyway.

  39. let’s have a sane public policy that promotes and encourages bilingualism without cutting out English speaking talent from moving here.
    My point. It hasn’t happened in 25 to 30 years, It won’t happen.

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