EGM adds value

I wasn’t able to keep up with the news as I should have while I was away the last two weeks but I see now that our old friend Al Hogan had a little bomb shell to lob over the fence.  In this editorial he is calling for the elimination of Enterprise Greater Moncton.

I am not going to reproduce the drivel here.  As someone who has done work for EGM as a consultant, I am obviously in a conflict of interest here but I am also able to see the organization up close and personal.  It does good work and has a professional staff.  And, contrary to Hogan’s vitriol, eliminating EGM would be a serious problem to the region’s economic development effort.

It is true that economic development capacity at city hall in Moncton and Dieppe has increased in recent years and clarifying EGM’s role is important but the individual cities cannot act on behalf of the region and when they do invariably one or two of the three municipalities get a free ride.  By paying into EGM’s budget, the municipalities each pay a reasonably fair share.

This is classic Al Hogan.  Something gets in his bonnet (he probably talked with one disgruntled person) and he makes these sweeping and, in my judgement, silly pronouncements.  Think ‘Cath Lab’, think toll highway, and a list a mile long. 

And then he uses the power of the pen to beat the issue to death – many times to the detrement of the region.

I hope his call for EGM’s elimination is ignored and I also hope he drops it as one of his little pet issues.

7 thoughts on “EGM adds value

  1. Are you attacking the idea or the person? Because sounds to me that you are attacking the person. i.e. this shmuck is wrong about this and that, don’t listen to him about this.

    Economic development is pointless. You get the same results with or without it. Prove me wrong (about this).

  2. He may not have the right solution but he does highlight a problem. There is a tremendous amount of duplication and overlap with economic development efforts at all levels of government. Every time we form a new agency or initiative, we continue the old ones and have done this for years resulting in duplication, redundancy and overlap.

    If we are going to have community ED agencies, then why have 150 people at BNB? If we have a population growth secretariat with 40+ staff, why have 100+ employees at the enterprises running around promoting immigration? If we have community ED agencies, why have municipal ones? Bring in ACOA, IRAP, RDC,municipal ED offices, Industry Canada, CBDC, NBIF, CEDC, federal/provincial/municipal trade teams, industrial/business park associations, etc and we have a whole lot of confusion.

    With Federal, provincial and municipal tax money flowing into the efforts, we are spending a significant amount on staff, offices, travel etc. It is a fair question to ask what we are getting for our money and who is delivering the best value. I agree it is not fair to make drive-by critiques with no facts or analysis but with deficits at all levels of government, it is time to start some analysis and focus resources where we are getting the best results.

  3. As usual, more detail is needed. Hogan even admits this. IF the councils are so displeased, then why NOT cut off funding completely? Perhaps they are not so displeased?

    As often happens, people attack a bureaucracy because they are outside it. Transparancy usually helps…what exactly is their track record? What is the ‘good work’ that David refers to? What are their accomplishments? Find that out, then argue about whether organizations should be trashed or not. Would you close a hospital without determining how many people were being helped and where they would go otherwise?

    But I would agree, that with the few industrial announcements that seem to be all arranged directly from the Premier’s office, it seems that ED offices haven’t exactly shown stellar responses. That’s not their ‘fault’, but it is their problem.

  4. What is interesting about the relatively few announcements that Mickel mentions, if you read the annual reports or review the news releases or updates that organizations issue, you’ll find comments like “helped to create XX jobs”.

    Trouble is, with all the duplication, each job created is claimed by a half dozen or more organizations so if you collected up all the job creation claims for all the organizations involved in economic development in New Brunswick, there would probably be claims for 5-10 times the actual number of jobs created in the last 10 years.

    The way things are, it is really difficult to cut through the fluff and understand who is getting what accomplished. That contributes to lack of accountability and perhaps more concerning, the possibility of making poor decisions when financial restraints force cut backs.

    The best way to assess who is delivering results may be to ask the company what was key to them expanding or locating in New Brunswick.

  5. Wow, if we actually had some true libertarians or real fiscal conservatives left in Ottawa, ACOA would have been scrapped by now. Unfortunately, they would rather throw our hard earned money back at us and pose in front of the checks signed with a Tory logo on it.

    How does this have anything to do with Enterprise Moncton? Well, if you starve it, it won’t grow will it? Carry on.

  6. For the above, ACOA actually has a pretty good success record. If you took ACOA out of the maritimes there would almost literally be NO new industry developments. There ARE a few companies out there, and some doing good work, and many get some money from ACOA. There are LOTS of ‘libertarians’ and ‘fiscal conservatives’ out there, they run most third world countries. Ask anybody whether they want their society to look like Nigeria or Sweden and I put money on what the answer would be.

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