By André Faust
There are no short-term solutions for economics of the Province of New Brunswick. Whatever strategies are put in place the outcome of those strategies will not be realized for another 15-25 years down the road. However, New Brunswick seems to be caught in an indefinite loop. Young people migrating out of the province because of either lack of work or work that pays a living wage, leaving behind a senior population who are not producing and placing more demands on the health system. A shrinking tax base yet verses an increase of expenditures.
To try to keep people in the province and bring in “new blood” it is putting fossil fuel dependent industries as a priority for economic growth, which will only have a short-term employment boom while the infrastructure is being built. Once again the problem of population migration re appears. Once the infrastructure is built for the either the pipeline or fracking wells, it takes very little human resources to maintain them.
To bring immigrants in the province has to create employment, but the jobs are not there, so what comes first the jobs, or the immigrants.
Existing business are always trying to grow their profit margins, and as new technologies are developed, these technologies eventually displace workers with the available technology.
In the not too distant past, there used to be thousands of bank tellers that worked in the banks, after the advent of computer technology, the majority of those jobs disappeared. In the forestry sector, many loggers lost their jobs to high tech harvesters.
Government in its attempts to find a short-term solution to its economics shifts the tax burden upon the middle class with increases in income and property taxes, which then makes New Brunswick too expensive to live, so the middle class eventually leaves the province as well. Eventually you get to a point that the province as lost so many workers that a shortage of labour occurs. What choices do these businesses have, either move out or shut down. Without a tax base, the province cannot continue to operate. Royalties alone will not be able to sustain the province economics.
New Brunswick is in a real pickle it needs an immediate solution to keep an existing tax base, but it’s going to take 15-25 years to reap the benefits of any economic strategies that it puts in place today, meanwhile people are still leaving the province. What a dilemma!