Look to prairies for inspiration

Governments cannot build economies or create jobs. Governments provide environments for entrepreneurs to generate jobs and wealth.

To the Editor,

Re: Private money will rule change, Letters, Oct. 18.

I would like to build on Terry Short’s recent letter related to “new roads not feasible”.

Governments cannot build economies, nor do they create jobs directly.

Governments can provide an environment that allows entrepreneurs to build companies generating jobs and wealth.

What companies are looking for is transportation, low real estate and tax costs, and an educated population.

Transportation is a “chicken and egg” problem. Need the road for development. Need development to justify the road.

Port Alberni is an extremely attractive place to live for young, educated workers. Relative to the rest of Canada, and the rest of the island, real estate is a bargain.

I lived in Saskatoon when Saskatchwan was a have-not province. The population of the province was declining year after year. The glory days of wheat were long gone. Saskatchewan was the province you “flew over”, or drove through but didn’t stop, like Port Alberni on the way to Tofino.

The province mounted a television and print ad campaign aimed at entrepreneurs, investors and existing businesses. Today, Saskatoon is the fastest growing city in Canada. (Amazing given their cold, long winters). The economy is no longer based on wheat.

I am not sure if one can draw a direct link between the campaign of 2006 and the results the province achieved, but I am sure it helped.

I laud our mayor for approaching Jimmy Pattison and others in raising the profile of the Alberni Valley.

Tim McNeil,

Port Alberni

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