Purchasing A Table.


There was a recent announcement on the AP newswires that New Hampshire will have a trade mission to Canada this spring with Governor Lynch meeting with Canadian Premier Charest I believe the meeting site to be Montreal.

I’m a supporter of anything that says New Hampshire trade mission I think anything that can be done to sell the state to larger markets is going to lead somewhere; clearly personal contacts are what often leads to this sale-- they’re only so far things like direct mail, websites and glossy ads in the New Yorker magazine can accomplish. I don’t know if New Hampshire purchases ads in the New Yorker but I think you see what I’m talking about here. I’m confident that Governor Lynch and his staff will do an acceptable job in representing the state the word acceptable works here because I don’t think the four term governor is going to do anything that would involve risk or take any type of maneuver that could cause any waves—very similar to his tenure in office. Stay the course, calm seas and a steady breeze.

So what might happen on this New Hampshire Trade Mission to Canada?

Enter Politics.

With the great city of Montreal in the background I’m confident they’ll be a reception at a hotel like the Queen Elizabeth or my favorite, the Marriott Chateau Champlain which is adjacent to the QE. It’s also adjacent to a sponsor that I’d bet will purchase a table at the reception; the Canadian National Railroad (CN).  This would not be any type of coincidence either the CN does has an interest in New Hampshire. It’s called the St. Lawrence & Atlantic Railroad that runs from near Montreal down through northern Vermont, New Hampshire enroute to Portland, Maine. The CN used to own the SLR but in the 1990s sold it to a U.S. company called Emons Holdings who later sold it to its current reported owner, Genesee & Wyoming Railroad. Pure speculation on my part: but I think the CN still owns this line, the U.S. operator is simply a long-term lessor there is no real ownership of the line. But the companies like CN don’t answer my questions so I can’t prove this statement.

Alright so the CN purchases a table at the reception. It will be a nice reception with wine, cheese and a shrimp style dip that tastes most excellent! They’ll be polite and intellectual based conversation and it will be upbeat, the issues that face New Hampshire like the massive budget defict and the continued plight of the downtrodden will be nowhere to be seen. So by now you might be asking: what is CN getting out of this deal, or at least the purchase of the table?

About $45 million dollars.

The Genesee & Wyoming Railroad has applied and continues to apply for state, federal grants to upgrade their line through New Hampshire, a line I don’t think is even profitable and a line that no longer serves the now closed papermills in Groveton, Berlin and Gorham. But in politics this doesn’t seem to matter: receptions and table purchases mean access or in this case the Governor who will make the decision to grant the funds whether it’s a good business move or not. In the past I’ve asked Executive Councilor Ray Burton what his thoughts are on things like a NH Trade Mission to Canada one time he responded: “It will be a fun trip.”

I’d have to agree with him on this one.