As kids we used to pick on our old Grammy.  She was getting old and deaf and we would whisper outrageous things in her ear.  Her response?  Always a skeptical “maybe”.

That came to mind when I read another article about Frank McKenna bringing many of the movers and shakers of the world to Fox Harbour for a round of golf and networking.  This type of event normally leads people here to puff out our chests and revel in the fact that these people would deign to come and visit little old Atl. Canada.

Listen to Frank McKenna:

“It just makes Atlantic Canada glow,” he said. “Everybody who has come here, from all over North America, tells us we’re the luckiest people in the world to live here.”

Tell that to the tens of thousands of people that have been forced to move out of New Brunswick over the past 20 years because of a lack of economic opportunity.

The implication is that somehow having influential people come to Fox Harbour or Larry’s Gulch or to fish salmon on the Miramichi will rub off on the region.  That some magic pixie dust will fall off George Bush’s cape and lead to massive investment and prosperity here.

In the words of my Gram: Maybe.

The truth is that these global elites look for remote places to visit where they can get away from it all.  Places like Wyoming or New Brunswick.  Far from the centres of commerce.

If McKenna wants to really help New Brunswick, he should set up a Davos-type meeting in New Brunswick.  A global think tank that attracts the world’s intellectual elite and power brokers to debate the issues of the day.  Me thinks that would be better for New Brunswick than a round of golf at Fox Harbour.

5 thoughts on “Maybe

  1. I might as well just cut and paste:

    I’d be more impressed if there were ANY signs that the past nine years have brought some of those ‘movers and shakers’ to New Brunswick (to do anything but buy leases for salmon fishing). Ontario doesn’t bother sending anybody, but new investment arrives daily. It sounds more like a chance for Shawn Graham to do the ‘networking’ that Frank McKenna did-which helped him so much once he got out of office.

    The most hilarious thing is that George W. Bush is ‘offering interesting insights’ on the economy. Probably the only guy in history to have oil companies go bankrupt while under him, and arguably the dimmest US President since Ronald Reagan learned to read from a teleprompter.

    Just as an aside, just how OFTEN does Frank McKenna actually LIVE in New Brunswick?

  2. It sounds more like a chance for Shawn Graham to do the ‘networking’ that Frank McKenna did-which helped him so much once he got out of office.

    “Out of office”, lol

  3. Yeah, I don’t know if these things result in anything concrete. Although, they can’t be anymore under productive than a premiers conference. That is for sure.

    Although, I do hope Dick Chaney comes to New Brunswick again. Maybe the next time he can take McKenna and Graham duck hunting. 😉

  4. Now THAT was funny (although a little cruel, like good humour often is). But I think it was quail hunting:)

    On a more serious note, networking shouldn’t be underrated, most of the funding here at Waterloo comes from the US. Just for some interesting numbers, the University of Waterloo just finished an ‘alumni donor program’ and raised over $100 million dollars. I imagine STU is lucky to raise ONE million. Several companies I know of got investment funding from big american investors, however, there’s a big difference between that and this meeting-first, you invite people you KNOW are looking to invest, not just anybody in your address book, and second, you actually have something to SELL. So if this isn’t involving University people or those getting the funding talked about earlier, then its really nothing more than “isn’t this a pretty province, wouldn’t you like to put a plant here?”

    The ‘trade fair’ I know that brought a lot of investment here didn’t have ‘talks’, it had literally a ‘science fair’ of profs with their products looking for partners. The fact that precious time will be wasted listening to Garge pontificate on things he has no understanding of just makes it look all the more silly.

    However, it should be said that if a big investor settles in the province then we’ll all be talking about what a great initiative and how brilliant Graham is (if it did I’d very happily eat crow).

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