Friday, March 30, 2007

New Brunswick gets down to bidness, and starts romancing Alberta

In January, New Brunswick premier Shawn Graham paid a long overdue visit to the economic heartland of the maritimes, Alberta. Well I've heard that since that visit, the NB government has been very persistent in pushing Alberta firms to create positions for NBers.

What? Alberta?, you say. Well, if you did not know, there are already a large number of Nova Scotian and NFLD expats working in Alberta, but they do not live there. Sure they pay to share an apartment, but the bulk of the money they make gets sent back to their loved ones at home, and is spent in the local economy.

This speaks to the passion and commitment Atlantic Canadians have to their home provinces.

There is also a tertiary benefit to the east coast from having so many of their citizens working in Alberta. With so many people working in Alberta, inevitably a large number will move into management roles.

Now who do you think these managers are going to want to do business with? Well, they tend to deal with firms from back home.

So the other Atlantic provinces DO have pre-existing business with Alberta, and to their benefit. And until recently, it appeared that NB had no interest at all in the vibrant Alberta economy.

For some reason Bernard Lord did not latch onto the send-home revenue, or the possibility of future business. So Lord never encouraged long distance commuting, or even any business development with Alberta.

As a result, New Brunswick is way behind NS and NFLD in these revenue producing areas.

Rome wasn't built in a day, and New Brunswick can't be expected to eclipse NS and NFLD in the near future. But the steps Shawn Graham is taking are the necessary first steps in building a productive and prosperous relationship with Alberta.

Good on him.



Flognuts said...

Wow man! THis is what Jamaica does as well...sends all it's wage earners to the USA, and they send money home and the government of Jamaica gets to tax it , one way or the other. So, ummm ... New Brunswick then is just like Jamaica ! I see.

Erik Sorenson said...

Great. Remittances found as a "source of revenues" for another Banana Republic. NB can join such places as Cuba, Jamaica and Sri Lanka in establishing a "vibrant economy" with remittances. And that's Shawn Graham's great idea for building NB's economy into a sustainable and value-added source of pride?

Shawn's rallying slogan should be, "If it works for Vanatu, we will adopt it".

le politico said...

It shows that Shawn Graham is a realist. Lord tried to build the NB economy independent of any outside sources, and it didn't work.

At least Graham is trying something different.