Welcome rivalry, says Dal prof – Metro US

Welcome rivalry, says Dal prof

While some lament Halifax’s competition with Moncton to attract events, a Dalhousie political science professor thinks we should welcome it.

Jack Novack, an expert in local governance, thinks Moncton competing with Halifax for events could actually benefit both cities.

“There is sense in government that competition is dirty,” he said. “But in fact, it ought not to be competition in the crass sense but competition in terms of competing for the best ideas, the best innovation, the best opportunities.”

According to Novack, Moncton’s comparative advantages can be thought of not as a barrier to Halifax’s growth, but as a catalyst for and a call to creativity.

“The fact that Moncton has done well, done something creative and innovative to draw attention to itself, maybe that would spur the creative juices in other municipalities,” he said. Halifax was recently lambasted for losing the Uteck Bowl – the men’s CIS football semifinal – to Moncton. The game’s move caused Coun. Sue Uteck concern.

“If we don’t smarten up and do something, Moncton will be the destination event (city),” she said last week.

But according to Novack, rather than focusing on which city is hosting what event, or which municipality has what infrastructure, municipal governments should concentrate on what they can do for the public good.

“This is not sitting on two sides of the football field, hoping for your team,” he said. “This is about doing the best they can for the public.”