You want to know why Northern New Brunswick is lagging behind?

Read this.

It’s an editorial in the Miramichi Leader. 

Route 11 is a feeder into the greater Moncton area. It is a way not only for goods to get from other parts of the country to that area, but a way for people in the north to quickly and conveniently make their way to Greater Moncton.

And that’s what this is really about. This is a plan to create more prosperity for Greater Moncton. A better highway will make it easier and more tempting for people from our area, and throughout the north and along the Acadian Peninsula, to travel to Moncton for shopping, entertainment and vacations.

Already businesses take a hit as more and more Miramichiers choose to spend their disposable income in Greater Moncton and the competition from shops and attractions in those areas make it more difficult to convince businesses to open their doors here knowing each weekend Greater Moncton is filled with customers spending their money on Trinity Drive or at Champlain Place.

At the end of the day the provincial government is spending nearly $1-billion to further boost the economy of what is already the most prosperous area of our province.


It is unbelievable.  The Miramichi Leader is worried about protecting some retail activity.  That’s its preoccupation.  Quite frankly, this kind of attitude doesn’t even warrant a response but I will anyway.

Remember my blog the other day about the auto industry in the southern U.S.?  You could also say the same thing about southern Ontario as well.  All of these massive manufacturing plants are located at least an hour from the urban core – or about the distance between Moncton and the Miramichi on a good four lane highway.  All of the literature on this issue that I have read in the past few years points to the importance of building stronger links between the large urban centres and the smaller ones in their orbit (like Miramichi and Moncton).

But we always come back to this scarcity mindset that is insidious and corrosive in New Brunswick.  The Miramichi Leader wants to hold on to a little retail sales activity and completely ignores the massive potential of being connected.  The Moncton airport becomes a relatively easy shuttle drive from Miramichi.  Manufacturers in the Miramichi can be more effective shipping their goods to market.  People looking to move to the region will know they are a short, one hour drive on a good highway to specialized services in a larger urban market that are not available in the Miramichi.

This should have been heralded in the Miramichi but instead it is criticized because some small minded editor at the Leader has no faith in his/her community and no belief in the opportunity of the future.

And that paper is widely read by Miramichiers – who will likely adopt a similar stance.

Now, having said all that – the astute reader will remember I am not a big fan of building all these new four lane highways without a parallel strategy for economic development.  And I still believe that.  A billion to attract four auto manufacturing plants (hey, don’t laugh there are at least three current large auto plants being considered for somewhere in the USA right now) would do far more for the Miramichi than any new road.

12 thoughts on “You want to know why Northern New Brunswick is lagging behind?

  1. A little schizophrenic these days hmmm. The new Toyota plant is near Woodstock, on the 403, a highway that has hardly had any work done to it in 20 years. The honda plant is in Aliston, a hick town that has nothing but crappy roads, no major highways at all. So did nice HIGHWAYS lead to more economic development? Of course not.

    So the only justification above is that exporters will have a nicer highway to get to Moncton. WIll it mean lower prices? Doubtful. It’s actually not that closer than the already pretty nice highway that goes through Kouchibouguac. Virtually every New Brunswicker I meet talks about what shitty highways ontario has-that’s one thing NB has-nice highways-a benefit of having so many trucking companies.

    I suspect here again you are feeding on what seems to be that ‘inter provincial rivalry’. But again, this is the Irving media saying all this. Who are the big retailers in Miramichi? Is Wal Mart Miramichi really worried about Wal Mart Moncton taking all their business?

    It’s a silly thing to talk about, but daily newspapers have to fill up the pages. I’d say this is more of a good example of that inter provincial rivalry-here’s a group that has the same complaints you do about spending money on a highway, but you argue against them because they are arguing the same thing as you but for a different reason!

  2. Difficult to get the drift above!
    But certainly good to finally see things done in this province, for benefit, instead of the millions spend on the language fantasy that drove us out of the competition. Also remember what happens to a province that rails and insults our Neighbor the U.S, as Ontario takes a trip down that “slippery slope” the American Ambassador promised them. Lets not let hate lead NB down the same path. Which is unlikely because NB has always been intermingled with the States since 1600’s when we prospered.

  3. “The new Toyota plant is near Woodstock, on the 403, a highway that has hardly had any work done to it in 20 years. ”

    That isn’t true. The Toyota plant is near the intersection of 401 and 403; both highways have been upgraded significantly over the past 2 decades. Nor does Aliston lack good connections to 400. The nearness of these major transportation routes was certainly a factor in selecting those towns for auto plants.

    “that’s one thing NB has-nice highways”

    You’re joking, right? While the TCan is nicely designed (due in large measure to the relative cost of land in NB vs ON – a consequence of anemic growth in NB), its already in need of re-surfacing in many locations. Apart from that road, NB highways are not well-designed or maintained.

    Doubling highway 11 might ease access to Moncton for Miramichi business and might help attract new business. That’s one step in the right direction, but only if it is followed up with the harder work required to attract industry to th Chi.

    “since 1600’s when we prospered”

    We did, huh? Perhaps 1800s. That was followed by the end of the age of wooden ships, not to mention tariff barriers erected by both the Cdn and US feds. Rather than adapting to those changes, we instead shipped our young out west and to the Boston states.

  4. The 401 is a country road compared to even the trans canada from Fredericton to Moncton, which is now in less than pristine shape. The ‘cost’ for a business from a rural location, perhaps 30 km off the beaten path is negligible. EVERY place in southern ontario is ‘sort of’ close to a 400 highway, but Alliston is down practically a dirt road off the 400.

    But to skip the pointless arguments lets assume that businesses ONLY located due to highway concerns. Exactly WHAT investments are we talking about that are going to show up in Miramichi because a new highway is a little bit shorter than an older highway to Moncton? Now, a highway straight through the province from Miramichi to Grand Falls is a different story, but funny how THAT highway never gets mentioned as a main thoroughfare.

    And yeah, I can remember reading about those glorious days of the 1600’s, when most of New Brunswick didn’t even exist! Boy, the two communities in the province sure were prosperous! Even in the 1800’s its not like the PEOPLE had wealth, but to be sure business leaders certainly made out like bandits-but Irving and McCains certainly aren’t complaining.

    And in the news yesterday, the US is putting yet another tariff on softwood lumber. With friends like these…..

  5. Strange when someone doesn’t know what they are talking about, but talk anyway. Certainly an Ontario trait. Wealth to the modern illiterate person, is having assets of half a million and owing one million and arguing that that is Like NB didn’t become NB till the 1800’s, but the land was still here called Nova Scotia after the British claimed it in 1617 and was a great place as can be ascertained by the various excuses the French had to not leave it. They preferred swearing allegiance to the Queen. Lots of trading, furs, fish, lumber. But that would be beneath you who make a living by talking. But facts are a waste of time to the elite?

  6. Dude, when you can actually put a sentence together in english-apparantly even your only language, then you can preach at others about illiteracy. New Brunswick didn’t even exist as a province until the 1700’s. A few people making a meagre living trapping is hardly ‘wealth’. It’s ‘surviving’. The french didn’t bother with New Brunswick until they were run out of Annapolis Valley, then they basically hid, and would have died without the help of the natives. And that was only at the ass end of the 1600’s, before that was literally nothing.

    And again, the only reason Canada exists is because at the time of confederation the US was piling duties and trade barriers on just about everything. The ‘boom’ of the 1800’s was largely due to trade with the caribbean, and more to do with the fact that England couldn’t get masted ships from eastern europe because Napoleon had cut off the trade route. Once that trade route opened again, the market collapsed.

    But if your idea of economic development is to return to the glorious days of the 1600’s, your definitely at the wrong blog.

  7. Its pathetic the lack of knowledge you try to cover up with your phony bluff, but as long as no children are taught by you , who cares. People in the days of the Egyptians ,Romans, etc, lived with more knowledge and wealth than you ever will. And they didn’t do it by bandying big words around,like you, having no clue as to what your talking about. But thats your problem. Right little dude? lol Try a complete book sometime and leave the whatever development to those WHO studied it. If i had as many diotic scrambled posts as you,!!lol


    Something I have been preaching for years, and what really sets the people who could see and understand, off from the big word users who may soon wish they were back to those glorious days!

    Given the mess they’ve been dumped into, a lot of people would have been better off if they’d been allowed to take their pension contributions, and those of their employer, and stick it in something safe, with a small but reliable return, without Ottawa taking it all back in taxes. Or if the money had been added to the Canada Pension Plan, in return for a higher payback. Or something, anything, slightly brighter than exposing the security of the country’s retirees to the good graces of the stock market.

    Wholesale changes seem inevitable. It’s hard to imagine another generation of workers being subject to a similar Ponzi scheme. Bernie Madoff took billions of dollars, made lots of promises, and reneged on them all. That’s OK for a crook, but not for what passes as a pension industry. Now that it’s been exposed, it shouldn’t be allowed to continue bilking Canadians of their money and their aspirations.

    National Post

    The coming hiding of the experts!

  9. “People in the days of the Egyptians ,Romans, etc,”

    Fancy that! And they didn’t speak English either!

    “a lot of people would have been better off if they’d been allowed to take their pension contributions, and those of their employer, and stick it in something safe,”

    Now, that’s hilarious, coming from a rag that has pumped up ponzi schemes for years. Anyone who uses the natty post as a source of information is truly in bad shape and beyond all hope.

    “If i had as many diotic scrambled posts as you,!!lol”

    Oh, you’re way way ahead in that department.

  10. Say richard, just what am I going to do.

    “Anyone who uses the (anything but richard) as a source of information is truly in bad shape and beyond all hope”.lol
    What else do so well informed recommend, Readers Digest or The New Freeman?

    Apparently you didn’t know that English partly came from the highly successful Romans and is now the highly successful language of the world.
    Anyhow birds of a feather. obvious!

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