Responding to a LinkedIn post by Herb Emery.
I was one of those ‘pushed away’ by New Brunswick. I gave the province a good run, spending fifteen years in Moncton, but staying ultimately became untenable. I could write a book about it, but I’ll highlight a few factors:
– business and government practices that appeared to be corrupt, led by self-serving insiders
– the overbearing presence of a few large employers that constantly lobby for low business taxes and reduced services resulted in very high personal taxes and chronically inadequate services, and which meanwhile used their market position and leverage over government to stifle competition within the province
– a strong practice of favouring ‘native’ New Brunswickers — everything from preference in hiring practices, preferences in in-migration campaigns, funding, political association, etc. – had I ever lost my government position I had no real prospect of obtaining employment elsewhere in the province
To succeed, New Brunswick will have to welcome immigration, and to achieve a level of immigration such that new immigrants are not chased away from the lack of any real opportunity for growth or development in a New Brunswick context. It’s not about stimulating “sufficient opportunities through investment to keep young New Brunswickers here” – young people are *always* going to leave and explore the world – it’s about creating a fair, equitable and inclusive society based on quality of life and opportunities for growth. But this is exactly what the Powers that Be in New Brunswick opposed for the entire fifteen years I was in the province.
If I were in charge of New Brunswick I would take provincial control of immigration (following the example of Quebec) and make an effort to double the population in ten years by welcoming refugees and migrants from around the world, welcoming many thousands of Syrian refugees, the Rohinga in Burma, the people crossing the Mediterranean, the Central Amer4icans at the U.S. border. I would make it the business of New Brunswick to help people around the world who have to home to find a home in New Brunswick, and I’d pay for it by the increased revenue from the federal government, from international agency support, and from the efforts of the resettled people.
Probably the only people opposed would be the self-same ‘native New Brunswicker’. This, though, should be the one and only political issue in New Brunswick today.
Image: Heritage New Brunswick