It was the biggest jobs promise in Moncton’s history—1,000 highly paid, technical positions over the next five years, courtesy of Melbourne, Australian-born-and-raised Martin Storm, the CEO of BMM Testlabs.
The announcement came on Thursday, Sept. 24, accompanied by provincial dignitaries of every stripe, including New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant (above), who announced that with this news the province “had the wind at its back.” Just how much wind and for how long remains to be seen.
BMM is an international testing facility for gaming companies and casinos with offices in Canada, Spain, Australia, South Africa and South America. Until now, it has operated a negligibly small outpost in Dieppe, employing fewer than 50 people over the past four years.
Still, the announcement—which was live-streamed around the world from Moncton’s downtown Capitol Theatre, where hundreds of local political and commercial players and their duly appointed minions gathered to make a mockery of crowd control and fire-marshal regulations—arrived like a winning lottery ticket.
Said Gallant: “This is a historic announcement in terms of the number of jobs being created by the private sector in partnership with the New Brunswick government. We are proud to partner with BMM Testlabs in creating 1,000 new good-paying jobs for the province.”
Added Storm: “BMM Testlabs is honoured to work closely with New Brunswick in this important initiative. (We) look forward to building on (our) already substantial business in Greater Moncton, as we consider the city an ideal location to grow our Canadian presence.”
According to Opportunities NB, the public agency responsible for economic development in New Brunswick—and, not for nothing, $14-million worth of payroll supplements that helped sign, seal and deliver this particular deal—BBM’s commitment could represent an additional $75 million annually to provincial gross domestic product if, naturally, the economic auguries continue to predict fair weather ahead for the southeastern reaches of this Maritime neck of the woods.
For now, at any rate, Storm and Gallant are buddies in the sometimes profitable game of chance that is economic development.