Cup is more than half full

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The communications and data transfer made possible by modern technology never cease to amaze. Such advances also offer optimism about the potential for high-tech industries to flourish in even the more far-flung reaches of this province.

A Pictou County native offers an illustration of such possibilities – along with the conviction that sophisticated business operations do not have to be located in a city.

Chad Munro operates his Halifax Biomedical in Mabou, a spot in Cape Breton known for its stunning beauty, but also well off the beaten track. The company provides diagnostics for spine treatment and joint replacement.

It has also recently expanded into the U.S. with an office in Cambridge, Mass., a result of growing demand for such pre-operative information to aid decisions for surgery.

Munro describes his location as a highly preferred choice – the kind of place he wants to live and raise a family.

We have a tendency to think of the rural areas of Nova Scotia in terms of the traditional livelihoods – farming, fishing, forestry – a charming picture, but perhaps also a bit of a stereotypical view. How many others, from elsewhere, and less familiar with the province, have a similar image? We have to ask, how many with entrepreneurial designs might fail to see the possibilities grasped by Munro and his company?

Add in factors such as availability and price of property in comparison to cities anywhere across the country.

Just such considerations as this are at the heart of the “Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action” report released last week. The panel, led by Ray Ivany, laid out goals and long-term strategies crucial to turning around the economic decline that threatens this province.

Here’s a casebook illustration of what is possible, that enjoying the beauty of Nova Scotia and pursuing a profession can co-exist nicely.

The province needs to highlight such advantages, while also identifying any disadvantages or challenges and dealing with those.

Geographic location: Pictou County, Nova Scotia, Mabou Cape Breton U.S. Cambridge, Mass.

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