On Economic Development

There has been an ongoing debate in northern New Brunswick over the establishment of an incineration facility. Environmentalists and some community members are against the facility, while others see it as necessary economic development, in an area with chronic unemployment. I see a greater issue here – our perceived dependence on corporations.

We always seem to need "someone else" to come in and save our local economy. These external, disembodied corporations, which are only loyal to increasing shareholder value, have no stake in our communities. We continue to pressure our governments to create jobs, and they in turn go out looking for the largest corporation that will create the most jobs. Corporations, by their inherent structure, don’t give a darn about our communities. We need to grow our own industries, that are firmly rooted in our communities. We should focus on attracting people who will have a stake in their community, not inviting corporations temporarily to our region.

Instead of offering subsidized training for corporations to hire local employees, our money (since I doubt that the government will get out of economic development) should be used to encourage individuals to come here and set up shop. Let’s go for the slow food approach, not the quick fix. Even if there is the need for an incinerator, it should be our incineration company, developed in our community and responsible to our people and our envrironment. Everyone is welcome, but you will have to make the commitment of your complete physical presence to get any economic development funding.

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