No surprise really, but I was still startled somewhat to see the article online at CBC.ca that ACOA is dumping all of the regional economic development organizations or REDOs as they seem to like calling them. That’s all of them! New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, PEI and Newfoundland and Labrador. Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve never been a really big fan of these agencies or ACOA and its predecessors for that matter. Only someone who was dumb and blind would miss the fact that all of these agencies favour their “stable” of companies and individuals and it’s a damn hard task to break the mold, although I succeeded a few times. Even more, they do not really give a damn about who they hurt along the way.
Personal feelings aside, however, add this dump to the elimination of funding for a plethora of not-for-profits, the elimination of numerous critical environmental positions in government, the characterization of environmentalists as terrorists and it is not hard at all to develop some very uneasy feelings. Certainly there will be substantial job loss and with decisions going to ACOA Head Office in Ottawa, you can expect more favouritism than ever … putting it mildly and kindly!
And outfront leading the charge is our newly minted and “beloved” New Brunswicker Bernie Valcourt, the reincarnated Mulroney Minister who had to resign from Cabinet as the result of a drunken motorcycle accident that cost him an eye in the process. One wonders where Bernie’s real interests lie? According to the CBC a memo sent to all REDOs explain their redundancy as follows:
“The Government of Canada‘s agenda is focused on strengthening business growth and eliminating overlap and duplication,” the letter states.
The core funding that ACOA has provided to regional economic development organizations (REDOs) will instead be invested directly in small- and medium-sized businesses and communities in support of initiatives that deliver economic growth and job creation throughout the region.
“Given the length and nature of the funding relationship ACOA has had with REDOs in the Atlantic region, ACOA is providing all REDOs and their associations a one-year notice of this policy decision,” the memo states.
So there it is folks. If you are or were a not-for-profit, an environmental group, a small business owner, an aspiring young or old entrepreneur, perhaps it’s time to rethink your future here in good old Canada? Perhaps it’s time for all of us to re-examine how we do business here in good old Canada? Perhaps it’s time to take a close look at the “Occupy Movement” and begin to take charge of our own destiny here in Canada rather than depend on our elected representatives who almost never really look after the interests of their constituents. In fact perhaps, while we are at it, we all need to take a closer look at business development and controls in our respective provinces.
We can take control and Part 2 of this series will provide some ideas for us all to “chew on”.