Letters to the Editor

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

To Mike M - The press release on the Premier's unveiling of Invest NB yesterday

Above, second from left, Premier David Alward unveils Invest NB yesterday, a new government initiative to attract business, investment, and ultimately jobs, to the province. (Photo: Office of the Premier website)

Press Release:

SAINT JOHN, MONCTON, CAMBELLTON (CNB) - Invest NB's business plan framework and board of directors were announced today by Premier David Alward at the Crown Corporations official launch.

Alward, Economic Development Minister Paul Robichaud and Invest NB chief executive officer Robert MacLeod together visited the cities of Saint John, Moncton and Campbellton for three distinct launch ceremonies. 

"New Brunswick needs a re-energized approach to economic development and investment attraction," Alward said. "To that end, Invest NB has a fresh focus on identifying and aggressively pursuing businesses that will succeed in our province and create jobs. The business plan framework sets out the path Invest NB is taking. 

The plan's goal is to increase the province's gross domestic product by $293 million over the next three years. The business plan framework will include performance measurements that will relate to real economic growth and greater wealth for New Brunswickers.

"To promote our pro-business environment, Invest NB will make informed, strategic decisions to capitalize upon our strengths," said Alward. "The measurements included are representative of Invest NB's focus to invest public money to create high-salary jobs and to develop the economy."

The corporation's efforts will be supported by the expertise of its private sector-led board of directors. Denis Losier will serve as chair and Helena Cain as vice-chair of the Invest NB board. 

The board members are:

  • Denis Losier, president and chief executive officer, Assomption Life
  • Helena Cain, vice-president, Customer Care, Sales and Strategy, Bell Aliant
  • James M. Baumgartner, president and chief executive officer, Moneris Solutions Group, pending confirmation from his corporation
  • H.E.A. (Eddy) Campbell, president and vice-chancellor, University of New Brunswick
  • Michael Campbell, vice-president and general counsel, McCain Foods Ltd. 
  • Rene Collette, director of Business Development, TD Bank Financial Group
  • Lily Durepos, business owner and executive, Alliance Assurance
  • Martin LeBlanc, president and chief executive officer, Caprion Proteomics
  • Bill Levesque, deputy minister, Business New Brunswick, ex-officio
  • Denis Mallet, general manager, FPM Peat Moss Co. Ltd. 
  • Jeffrey S. Mitchell, senior vice-president and director of research, Strategic Advisors Inc, pending confirmation from his corporation
"We have the right combination of dedication, drive and experience in place at Invest NB," Robichaud said. "This team will be effective in attracting world-class companies that will create more jobs and prosperity in all regions of our province."

Robichaud noted that New Brunswick is particularly attractive to business because it has the lowest corporate tax rate in North America; tailored, low-risk incentives including loan guarantees and employee training; and a skilled labour force. 

Invest NB also unveiled its logo and launched its website. The public may follow the corporation on Twitter at @investNB and @investirNB or on Facebook by searching Invest NB and Investir NB.

Post Script:  With the above press release, we have now published the province's side of the launching of Invest NB around the province yesterday, in all fairness, as Mike M wanted pointed out. However, we have noticed there is no mention of shale gas in the press release, so it would seem that version of the launch was exclusively limited to the WSJ interview and no one else. If Mike M, or any government representatives would like to contact us, using their real and full name, for further clarification, we would be more than happy to discuss it. - ED.


  1. Looks like invest nb will be guided in a direction so as to benefit the already wealthy businesses. As Charles Leblanc would say, "the filthy rich" getting richer. Just another example of the stranglehold on society! I suppose these very busy & valuable individuals will be generously compensated for their bother.

  2. Well they have to try and do something to get this province out of the financial toilet. At least they're trying and Denis Losier has a good track record with Assomption Life. Let's let them try at least.

  3. Gosh, I made a headline. How flattering. :-)

    (Also, does anyone else have to click three times to get a comment to "take"?)

  4. I think SOMEBODY ought to cover the semantics of this-at least I feel it has to be mentioned. I'm not so sure of Betty's comment of 'at least they're trying..let's give them a break'.

    NB has ALWAYS 'tried'. If you followed most Premiers, a good proportion of their time was spent travelling around trying to drum up business. The province has had the lowest business costs for over a decade. Fraser said the province was the most 'mining friendly' jurisdiction in the hemisphere, and when you can beat out Columbia, which SHOOTS dissenters, then you know you're pretty mining friendly.

    And organizations can succeed in any number of ways. If there is no 'punishment' and no incentive, then things aren't going to change just because you have a board made up of people in the private sector.

    But the real issue is semantics. They should NOT be saying the goal is to 'increase the province's GDP by $283 million' (how they came up with a number like that is beyond me-why not just make it an even 300 mill?).

    GDP can increase in any number of ways. What you DON"T want to see is in three years them bragging that that benchmark has been reached all because Irving has sold more natural gas or more oil.

    You can ASSUME that they mean NEW money directly from the actions of this new organization, but since they don't SAY that, and since the province has a history of being, well, 'creative' with their communications, thats something to watch out for.

    It's quite obvious that the ONLY reason for a bunch of big names is to get their connections. Thats how ANY corporation picks Board members. So media SHOULD be looking at THEM, not the guys who for years have been trying to talk companies into coming to the province and been laughed at. Go to the InvestNB website, its no different than BNB ever was.

    So media should start looking at the NEW investments by:

    Assomption Life
    Moneris Solutions
    Strategic Advisors
    TD Financial
    Caprion Proteonics
    Bell Aliant

    If they aren't going to increase investment through their organizations, then the whole venture is a waste of time, and in three years -when there is a provincial election, the province WILL be trying to take credit for more GDP growth that had NOTHING to do with this 'team'.

    Does anybody know whether a crown corporation has FEWER publication requirements than departments? Invest NB makes all kinds of claims of bankrolling business, and whereas BNB had to show all its investments in its annual reports, will a crown corporation be able to say "Oh, thats a private investment, so we can't tell you".

  5. No Mike, it's a conspiracy against you only.

  6. Sorry to add more, but readers should keep in mind just how complex such business negotiations are . Let's say company X is thinking of setting up a new office. By touting this organization, Alward is saying that within three years, GDP will increase by 300 million (yes, I know, my number).

    Keep in mind a couple of things, lets say that the guy on the board who is from FPM Peat Moss gets a couple of guys from elsewhere to 'invest'. What happens in that case is that more of NB's peat moss gets sucked out, and since the capital equipment is marginal, the GDP has gone up simply because more peat moss is gone. That means more revenues for Company X, even though it may only mean a few jobs. However, those revenues are added to GDP. But is that a GOOD thing? (since it also applies to natural gas, lumber, potash, ANY natural resource).

    The other argument is that such negotiations EASILY take a year. So in essence this new organization has benchmarks that pretty much HAVE to be met within the first year or two. That sounds like pretty lousy benchmarking, and again leads to the conclusion that the government is simply going to tout numbers as the determining factor.

    For Mike, I've had no problem except that I had a comment that I'm pretty sure said it had gone through, but didn't show up. But sometimes *&*& happens.

  7. First of all, should it take someone to comment for you to provide a fair and balanced story...and secondly when they point it out should you taunt them??? What's up with that?

    PS : MikeM - same problem with the comments. But I have a problem with the whole site loading. I think it's a blogspot thing more than Purple Violet but could be something in the settings.

  8. @16:02 - Fair and balanced? What, you want Fox News now? Yeah typical. You're probably some right wing freak.

    Look ya don't like the site, don't read it. she's doing the blog on her own time with limited help and funds.

    She didn't taunt the commenter, she called him out on his point and left his ass hanging in the wind. He deserved it for not doing his own homework.

  9. If this is a personal blog, no problem Jerry. The issue is that the blogger is passing herself off as fair and balanced. When someone notices a gaping hole as that guy did, she taunts him? If this is journalistically sound, she needs to remove the editorializing in headlines and stories. If it's a personal blog rallying against shale gas then be that. You can't have it both ways.

  10. 2:55

    The thing is who are you to criticize her blog? What, you're some expert? Yeah, right. ya don't like it, don't read it. sounds like you're just here because your a loser putting someone down to make yourself feel better.

    Who are you to decide what she needs to do? why can't she have it both ways? IT'S HER BLOG, NOT YOURS! She's not going around saying she's some big time journalist, she's just trying to highlight an issue as best she can.

    She's my friend, a good friend and you need to leave her alone. hiding behind anonymous and hounding someone is bullying and cowardice. you better hope i don't meet you in person.