There was a time when the thought of a New Democratic government in Nova Scotia would send shivers down the spines of most businesspeople in the province, but as the Darrell Dexter begins its third sitting of the legislature things haven't been as bad as some were predicting before his party ended more than a decade of Conservative rule in 2009.
The government kicked off its session on Friday with a throne speech that's full of optimism for the future with priorities such as better health care, more jobs and a healthier economy as well as making sure Nova Scotia doesn't return to those days when government used the credit cards to pay for promises they should not have made.
The coming months and years will be fraught with challenges. Finance Minister Graham Steele has made no secret that some rough seas lie ahead, but the province seems to be using a common sense approach. While the first two years of NDP government have been far from gentle seas, at least there's a plan in place that allows Nova Scotians to see the end of the tunnel.
If there's one thing government does deserve credit for it's thinking outside the box and health care is a prime example. Instead of throwing more money at a growing sinkhole, the province thinks it has found a better way that includes treating people's primary needs before they jam up emergency departments with ailments that should be dealt with in a clinic setting and not a hospital.
At the same time, it plans to finally take a stance against cyber-bullying by giving young people the support they need to stand up and speak out about their experiences. It's also creating a 211 information system that will allow Nova Scotians to access social services from their home telephone.
As ambitious as those plans are, the government needs to know it needs to deliver on those promises and maintain the momentum it has gained. Nova Scotians will be watching very closely and could very quickly lose faith in an administration that seems to be doing pretty good despite the fear-mongering of the last campaign.