It’s about the software, stupid

My MLA, Richard Brown, is the only member of the Legislative Assembly with a real-world technology background, so he’s the closest thing we’ve got to a technology expert in the house. Here’s what he said on Tuesday, speaking about the Atlantic Technology Centre:

But I believe in technology. You have to understand, information technology is software development. That’s where the money is to be made, not in grandiose buildings. I personally would have invested in the people more than in the building myself.

Leaving out the fact that Richard is trying to embarrass the government and score politically, he make a valid point: the new economy isn’t about infrastructure, it’s about ideas.


Ann's picture
Ann on May 6, 2004 - 14:34 Permalink

And on December 15, 1999 Richard Brown said:

When is he (Minister of Development) going to get on with setting up this centre so Islanders can start getting together, and setting up companies and creating work for Islanders?”

…the longer we wait, the longer we discuss, the longer we try to delay thing, the less islanders will have an opportunity to get into this deal..”

Things are what they are.

Peter Rukavina's picture
Peter Rukavina on May 6, 2004 - 15:26 Permalink

I always knew that having ready access to electronic Hansard could be used both for good and for evil.

Rob MacD's picture
Rob MacD on May 6, 2004 - 17:26 Permalink

But I thought “it isn’t what you think. It’s what you know”?

christopher's picture
christopher on May 6, 2004 - 19:40 Permalink

a lot of us wanted a tech centre — convert a few downtown buildings for half a mill or so and have a centre for Island companies doing real tech development work. What we didn’t want was a Potemkin Village filled with government vendors and a network which appears to have been designed around the philosophies of a 19th century telephone company by a 1950s computer comapny. Innovation happens on the edge: the ATC’s network doesn’t even provide reasonable connectivity for many of its edge bodies and does not allow them to run local services or access/manage network devices. However, I gather it would like to charge an arm and a leg for this non-service. Perhaps Ann could give us the explanation of why this should be so: no one else seems to be able to get it, including senior bureaucrats.

Alan's picture
Alan on May 6, 2004 - 22:40 Permalink

Just to be clear, Ann, for those who do not know…is this the Ann that did or may still work for the Office of the Premier or some such related office?

Besides his statements are not contradictory at all. On one hand he says get on with doing an important job well, one the other he’s confirmed the Tories have made a hash of it. Like Christopher, I saw what might have been and was quite surprised to see it turn into a resettlement office for existing IT suppliers to the government. Is that still the case, have any new jobs been created or just mainly move-abouts still?

Ken's picture
Ken on May 7, 2004 - 05:03 Permalink

Unlike investment in mobile people, or rapidly obselete equipment at least the building is a building after. It is overbuilt for the market, but once we forget it was supposed to be a technology centre at least it’s an investment in real estate. Unlike the investment in Polar which is invisible, unrecoverable and contorted markets.

The ATC is and always was a building, nothing more or less.

Can anyone recall any new building that paid technology dividends? What idiots we were to fall for it in the first place — control freaks with a budget.

Sell the building to cut the losses of operating it, put the money into programs at Holland College Summerside before that building is lost too.

What excites me is a government willing to admit a mistake and cut it’s losses. Also, a private owner would fill the place and be kinder to the tenants, not expecting any political favours just rent.

Cody Swanson's picture
Cody Swanson on May 7, 2004 - 16:34 Permalink

Although I applaud the effort made by the government did anyone honestly think that the ATC would be anything but a monumental fiasco? How are a group of people that know nothing about the tech sector supposed to build something to develop it? I assume they hired

Ken's picture
Ken on May 7, 2004 - 22:06 Permalink

Seriously, it’s unjust.