On November 5th, the Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick, Richard Currie, spoke to a sell out crowd at a Beaverbrook Luncheon in Fredericton, NB. The Canadian business icon spoke to the luncheon theme of A Celebration of Generosity and stressed the need for a new kind of generosity from governments. While noting his own rise from humble roots in the south end of Saint John, Currie outlined his own definition of generosity, “To me, generosity comes from two sources – individual or institutional, really governmental. My thoughts on individual generosity are well known: there is just no point in accumulating wealth and some level of influence without making generous use of it.”
Then he turned his attention to government and, in particular, the government of his province. He noted, “…when it comes to government it is important today to realize that New Brunswick is a failing province. The latest confirmation came from Standard & Poor’s moving its outlook for New Brunswick from stable to negative. It is a failing province because the rest of Canada has been too indulgent towards it. And like all indulged people or institutions, it has grown dependent on the largesse or generosity of a proverbial rich uncle.”
The “rich uncle” of Currie’s analysis is the federal government and he directed his listeners and all New Brunswickers to an ideal source of information.
“The decades of dependency brought to New Brunswick and all of the Maritimes and indeed accepted by this region comes from a rich uncle called the federal government. The background and evolution of all this has been well examined, especially by Brian Lee Crowley. I encourage all of you to read his outstanding work on the history of a situation which has now become virtually entrenched and is increasingly unaffordable by the uncle and hopefully unacceptable to New Brunswickers.”
Currie refers to MLI Managing Director Crowley’s best-selling book, Fearful Symmetry, which was published in 2009. It appears that some people are taking note of Currie’s speech, as evidenced by a recent letter to the editor in the Daily Gleaner from Ernest MacFadzen.