Investing in economic development

An interesting press release from Friday:

The government of Alberta said today it plans to spend $241 million in the next five years to develop land for new housing and industrial uses near Fort McMurray, the site of Canada’s oil sands. The government will spend C$166 million to develop 450 acres (182 hectares) of state-owned land that will include more than 2,000 new homes and accommodate 6,500 people, Premier Ed Stelmach, leader of the ruling Conservatives, said in a statement today. The balance of the money will be used for road and utility construction for a second parcel of land adjacent to Fort McMurray, about 750 kilometers (466 miles) north of Calgary.

When was the last time New Brunswick spent $241 million on one economic development project?  Of course this is an exaggerated example but I still think it is instructive.  In order to facilitate the further growth of the oil sands, the government is investing almost a quarter billion on housing and other costs.

New Brunswick doesn’t have oil sands but we should still be very deliberate and intentional about investing in the sectors we want to see grow here – just like Alberta, just like Ontario, just like B.C. and so on.

4 thoughts on “Investing in economic development

  1. There has been no significat investment for ED in NB; only bail outs to sustain jobs.

    Very disappointing to see the next hot election issues emerging to be the ambulance fee reversal and DMV issuing renewal notices for car registrations. Add this to toll highways and auto insurance rates which elected previous governments and it underscores the lack of leadership we have had. My high school class president elections were decided on more significant topics.

    Surely as population dwindles (although we have a repreive since the Alberta economy is hurting) and debt grows, a leader that recognizes the importance of ED will emerge.

  2. If one reads the tea leaves in that province, Premier Stelmach may be the Alberta leader who was known for setting the wheels in motion for the end of the PCs, as we know it, in that province.

    Two words:

  3. The smart people put their UI application in a Province with a longer drawing weeks. Hence the population variations. Been that why for 40 years.

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