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‘The subject whois truly loyal to the Chief Magistrate will neither advise nor submit to arbitrary measures. JUNIUS Roger P. Parkinson Publisher and Chief Executive Officer William Thorsell, Editor-in-chief Colin MacKenzie, Managing Editor Margaret Wente, Editor, Report on Business Sylvia Stead, Deputy Managing Editor ‘Sarah Murdoch Associate Editor John C. P. King, Deputy Managing Editor Earle B. Gill, Executive Editor ‘The Globe and Mail is a division of Thomson Canada Limited 444 Front St. W., Toronto, Canada MSV 289 ‘Telephone (416) 585-5000. Fax (416) 585-5085 ‘The Globe was founded in 1844 The Mail was founded in 1872 ‘Wednesday, October 8, 1997 The legacy of Frank McKenna Brunswick Premier Frank ‘McKenna is a class act, as his way of bowing out of the province's po- When he was first elected in 1987, Mr. | the easiest for a politician to break, espe- cially when he is not only the undisputed ‘king of his province but a major player on the national scene, most notably on the unity issue. Obvious successors are few, ‘Opposition is in disarray and many im- portant projects are still incomplete. Leav- ‘ng now, at the top of his game, is the best possible way to go, but requires both disci- pline and rare self-knowledge. More impor: tant than the manner of his leaving, though, is what Mr. McKenna did as pre- | mier, Three qualities most distinguished the McKenna premiership: his vision, his i ernment’s ability to be an active force for change? Then grasp the nettle of budget- balancing years earlier than other govern- _ ments and run a string of surpluses that is the envy of most other provinces. _ Welfare dependency is a social and eco- nomic blight? Then make New Brunswick’ face laboratory for welfare experi- mentation, not only trying out bold new constitutional recognition of the equality of the two linguistic communities. ake especially based on informa- are displacing the old pri- a eo mary and secondary industries? Work hand in glove with New Brunswick Tele- phone to make the telephone network one of the continent's best and attract a criti- cal mass of call centres in Moncton, draw- ing in other information-technology-re- lated jobs. International trade is a key to economic success? ‘Then speak out strongly for the North American free-trade agreement during the 1988 federal election, even at the cost of alienating the federal Liberal leader who was campaigning on the other side, Private-sector investment is the only way to create real lasting jobs? ‘Then spare no effort in reaching out to the leaders of the private sector, and other opinion leaders, to change the image of the province from picturesque backwater to economic dynamio where business is not merely welcome but aggressively wooed. ‘More impressive than all these accom- plishments, however, is the way Mr. ‘McKenna has made New Brunswickers be- lieve in themselves and the future of their province. Their optimism, enthusiasm and determination is palpable, a radical — and welcome — departure from the gloom and helplessness and dependence of the not-so- distant past. ‘Mr. McKenna’s record has blemishes too. As a callow young premier he fumbled the Meech Lake debate badly and contrib- tuted to the accord’s failure, a fact that he now recognizes and rightly regrets. In spite of his commitment to combating wel- fare dependency, he took the cheap popu- list route of attacking Ottawa's plans to re- form unemployment insurance, a program that he well knows has deeply damaged and distorted his province's economy. On his watch, New Brunswick Power, a Crown corporation, accumulated ruinous debts to finance politically motivated but unnecessary power development. In spite of all his efforts, attempts at economic de- velopment and diversification have in fact, been somewhat disappointing. On balance, however, this is a record that can and should make the other pre-