07 December 2010

The Boom Gap

The value of building permits in Newfoundland and Labrador went from $79.9 million in September to more than $188 million in October.

Great, right?

Well, yes, as long as you are in St. John’s.  That’s where the bulk if the growth came: $149.6 million to be exact.

A mere 20% of the total value of building permits in the province came outside St. John’s.  That speaks volumes about how economic development is doing outside the capital city region.

And the source of that townie growth?  “Institutional” building permits. Government spending, in other words.

Spending public money seems to be a popular economic development idea these days.  The provincial government has been pushing it since at least 2005. The local business community likes sucking the public tit.

But neither the provincial government nor the business sector seems to give a rat’s behind that this trend is very unhealthy. Very unhealthy, indeed.

- srbp -