Lots of opportunity

Look folks there are all kinds of opportunities for New Brunswick to go after to achieve its economic development goals.  It just has to get serious about getting it done.  Here is a quick hit list:

Energy – I am not as interested in electricity generation per se but in finding a model that ends up with New Brunswick as a source of low cost energy and using that as an industry attraction tool.  A few more energy production facilities will have some economic benefit but after the construction phase the leave behind economic activity is limited.   This also includes wind, solar and other energy systems manufacturing.

ICT – This industry has created millions of jobs around the world since the IT revolution in the early 1990s.  It will continue to be a major job creator.

Health care – This is the fastest growing industry in North America.  We should be far more interested in this sector as an economic development tool and not just a huge cost centre eating up the provincial budget each year.  Certainly medical tourism, pharmaceutical benefits management, health IT, nutraceuticals, traditional pharmaceuticals, health promotion, etc. are all sectors that have significant revenue potential for a place like New Brunswick should we be interested.

Food – Food manufacturing – selected niche areas – will continue to be a growing opportunity in North America.

Creative industries – film, animation, TV development – again the long term potential for content creation is very positive.  There will be serious upheaval and winners and losers galore but overall the development of content for multi-channel delivery will continue to grow.

10 thoughts on “Lots of opportunity

  1. David,
    This may sound really crazy in this forum but a universal child care system for NB would make a huge difference in many ways. If the government wants to really stand out (apparently this is what Boudreau said he was trying to do in his recent budget) this is a way to go.
    It would be an invaluable investment in our future that would start paying off immediatly. Just thinking think of impact; early education, literacy, repartiation, population growth and keeping our young people here contributing to the economy. The increased number of people in the workforce and all of the future benefits that would also come. These are the issues were facing and opportunities that we can capitalize on. We wouldn’t need to worry as much about being pioneers in industries. All of the items you mention above are great. However, we need human capital to create these.

  2. There are even TONS more opportunities than those mentioned above, but again, we already know what the interests are. The liberals AND the conservatives have both said that energy exports are their main interest. There has been no ‘deregulation’ initiatives that look anything like a system where communities can leverage low cost energy to economic initiatives. At one town meeting in Grand Manan several of those present thought that the new wind farm meant they’d get cheaper energy. At least in that case the company was honest enough to tell them that all the energy was going to the states and if they wanted cheaper power, they’d have to talk to NBPower.

    The same goes for the other proposals. For Gary’s, there are even more proposals since when the private market bails on investment, we see its up to government to pick up the slack. So there is much more support for government initiatives-even by governments people have little faith in, than previously. For universal child care, hate to burst Gary’s bubble, but this is a government that even killed Lord’s program of ‘pre kindergarten’. In a perfect example of government offloading, Lamrock states that the government does a lousy job of educating the kids it has, so is leaving that, apparantly, into the far more capable hands of parents.

    In an interesting catch 22 he even admits that the research shows the younger the child enters the public education system, the better the scores, that’s not reason enough and kids are going to be ‘screened’ to see whether they are ready for public education. Ironically, almost all states in the US have long had pre-kindergarten, but if the liberal government won’t even bring in a program of pre-kindergarten, then universal child care is certainly WAY out there.

    But there are LOTS of populist programs out there that people will support, unfortunately there are few groups actually pushing them. Without people pushing them, nada happens.

  3. Wonder why you not commenting on the great news of the first NB , US agreement. To me it looks like The liberals self sufficiency is now possible. Huge opportunities. I like to say, that New Brunswick started Canada and now New Brunswick is starting, the absolute necessary, North American Union!

  4. There are literally HUNDREDS of NB/US agreements. I assume this is the electricity corridor mentioned. News Flash: Quebec hydro has been New Englands main supplier for decades, and more dams are currently being built. Ontario is already on the same shared grid, which is why three years ago the power went out in half the continent. So this is sort of like NB finally getting access to natural gas and calling it a countrywide first, when the rest of the country has had access for decades.

    It’s also suspicious because of course NB Power has been supplying New England with power for a long time. They don’t NEED a ‘new agreement’, which makes one wonder what exactly the agreement is about-no doubt further privatizing NBPower or making it completely dependant on ‘market forces’ (remember those ones that have plunged the world into a recession?)

    How exactly that will lead to ‘self sufficiency’ is a big question. It MAY lead to more jobs, but we don’t know. And those jobs may only cover what has been progressively lost in other industries.
    This is essentially the government doing what Irving is telling it to-they need access to the US on a public service, so the govenrment jumps to provide it. It’s no coincidence that news of gas power plant, and the agreement coincided, so certainly the government doesn’t deserve praise for it.

  5. What can I say? Oh I know, lolol
    The new Atlantica kickoff, and who better to join up with but our friends from 1630’s in order to get out of our self imposed rut, no matter who is the main benefactor. And no one can say that the Irving Company is not 120% competent to handle this. And it is going to happen. Irving doesn’t just play around. They have been working on this for 25 years. Central Canada’s hate for Americans helps give us this opportunity.

  6. Absolutely, Irving is VERY competent, you don’t get to be one of the 20 wealthiest families in the world with a business base of about 750,000 people in a province 1/50the the size of Quebec or Ontario without being competent. If central canada ‘hates’ americans it has an odd way of showing it. Ontario’s trade is as much tied to the americans as the maritimes. Quebec is Vermont’s major importer, in fact they treat Vermont better than they do New Brunswick. But again, the question is not about who is competent, it is about good economic development. Having one company run, well, everything, has NEVER been shown to be good economic policy, hell, even capitalists are dead set against it because its well known how monopolies act.

  7. What is going to be the biggest thing to hit the Maritimes and barely a whisper. Even Obama in his town hall speech this morning mentioned their desperate need for energy. And the fact is, when Irving starts dealing with the U.S , he marches to a different drummer, and knows how to do that. United States pollution controls and reductions are far better than Canada’s. Without the car industry wangled out of the U.S Ontario’s trade will be a lot less,although thats not wished for. Just WHO else they going to trade with? They are basically landlocked with the disappearing water of the Lakes. And spelling and commas’s are acceptable, but Math mistakes aren’t. Ontario does not have 38 million people.

  8. The new agreement seems to be as much about pipelines as hydro lines. Either way, the objective seems to be to increase energy export capacity. Exporting energy just means that we will be exporting most of the high-quality jobs. If we are going to be living with the energy plants, then we should at the least be getting more of the benefits. The price for agrreeing to live with the plants should be a chunk of the power at low prices to attract new industries. Industries that produce value-added products and create high-paying white-collar jobs.

  9. Yes Richard, what ARE you thinking? The province should actually maximize its benefit from industrial development? What a crazy notion! Everybody knows that the crumbs from Irvings pockets are good enough for anybody. It worked great in the 19th century, why wouldn’t it now? After all, even though the Maine LNG terminal will generate millions in property taxes, Irving could have asked for a complete property tax holiday, but instead they are good enough to pay half a million. Silly man, never question the massa’s-they know whats best for you.

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