The issues our Member of Parliament raised in the Truro Daily News  (Small Business Week, October 15th) are important issues for Atlantic Canada. They are issues of economics, vision and leadership.

Surely, our Member of Parliament is not suggesting that exporting our young talent to Alberta is good for the economy of Nova Scotia? 

If he is, then I respectfully suggest that he take a course in Economics 101, and/or perhaps drink less of the Ottawa Kool-Aid.

The empirical evidence and research clearly shows that a “remittance economy”, such as the one our MP seems to be suggesting, is not an effective economic development strategy, nor is it good for families and communities. It may work , if indeed we were recruiting people to “come here” with their skills and talents, at the same or similiar rate that we are sending our people “there”. But that is not the case.

A strong economy, one based on sustainable growth, involves as a minimum, three things:

    A strong Country – based on economic opportunity and diversity

    Strong Regions – based on economic opportunity and diversity

    Brain circulation, labour mobility & capital

Perhaps what our MP meant, is that opportunity in Alberta represents opportunity here?

Our cost of labour and capital are lower here; and accessible, cost effective transportation and infrastructure is largely in place across the country. Many of our companies are already making product here and shipping it West. More of us should follow their lead!

Creating jobs, opportunities and income “here” from opportunities “there” – that is sustainable economic growth!

Building a vibrant East by meeting the needs of a vibrant West, is an economic model worth chasing.

Simply sending home a cheque to the wife and kids (or the husband and kids), while important, dosen’t cut it as an economic development strategy.


Dianne Kelderman, M.A, M,ED, M. CED

President, Atlantic Economics