It's going to take from 10 to 15 years to turn around the provincial economy and thinking it can be done in four years is unrealistic. That message was given to the Liberal Party's policy forum on economic development that was held in Saint John over the weekend by Yves Bourgeois who teaches regional and urban economics at the university.
He tells CHSJ News the province should be looking to extract more value from our natural resources instead of just exporting them. Bourgeois points to forestry as an example where value added products could be made. He also talks about producing high end furniture and biomass fuel.
Bourgeois points to Singapore, which was one of the poorest countries in Asia at one time but took the long view on developing its economy and is now the most prosperous.
Bourgeois says the continuing debate over bilingualism is silly because the more languages you know in a global economy, the better. He advocates the teaching of Spanish starting in grade 3 which would be an asset later on to take advantage of economic opportunities in Latin and South America.