Gallant government unveils economic plan
5 pillars set out framework for stimulating the economy, ensuring co-ordinated effort
The New Brunswick government plans to focus on developing new economic opportunities in areas ranging from marijuana and maple syrup, to cybersecurity and the Energy East pipeline, Premier Brian Gallant announced on Tuesday.
The government's economic plan, unveiled in Fredericton, also calls for increased collaboration with partners in both the private and public sectors and will serve as a guide to "channel and synergize" efforts, he said.
"This plan sets out the framework for driving the New Brunswick economy forward. It is a directional plan outlining how government will mobilize to ensure there is a co-ordinated, complementary effort to improve New Brunswick's economy and realize maximum benefits," Gallant said in a statement.
I guess he's expecting to bet his economy on having people get the munchies and then go eat pancakes.- Bruce Fitch, interim Tory leader
"Within the framework of this plan, specific policies, programs and projects will be developed and implemented."
But interim Progressive Conservative Leader Bruce Fitch dismissed the plan, saying it lacks specifics.
"It doesn't contain a target, a number, a milestone. There's nothing that they can measure whether or not they've succeeded in rolling this plan out," he said.
"There's nothing new in there except for marijuana and the maple syrup, tourism sector. So I guess he's expecting to bet his economy on having people get the munchies and then go eat pancakes."
Based on public consultations
The 24-page report, based on public consultations across the province during the past year, lays out five main pillars:
- People: strengthen the provincial workforce.
- Innovation: expand the capacity for innovation.
- Capital: grow investment from the private sector.
- Infrastructure: foster public and private sector investment in strategic infrastructure.
- Agility: foster agility and nimbleness in the public sector and across the economy.
Some of the other opportunities currently being pursued include: smart grid, business support services, home-based work, boosting new farmers, blueberry development, local food and beverages, and a tourism infrastructure succession plan.
Economic Development Minister Francine Landry describes the plan as "ambitious but achievable."
The government hosted 22 economic opportunity summits, seeking input from hundreds of community and business leaders about the challenges and opportunities they face.