A complete attitudinal change is what Nova Scotians are being called on to achieve.
By Wendy Elliott
A complete attitudinal change is what Nova Scotians are being called on to achieve, Ray Ivany said Wednesday, following the release of the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy released its final report.
“I wish there was an easy answer,” said the president of Acadia University, who chaired the commission, “but it’s going to be a ton of hard work.”
After over a year of consultation across the province, Ivany and the commission set out some perimeters in ‘Now or Never An Urgent Call To Action for Nova Scotians.’
Ivany said he got plenty of inspiration from fellow commissioners, like John Bragg, and other successful entrepreneurs, like John Risley. He mentioned in his list the Jost family and Hans Peter Stutz of Domain de Grand Pré.
“Who could have predicted the success of Nova Scotia’s wine industry 20 years ago,” he asked.
Then he went on to call the research and marketing of the Honeycrisp apple one of the best recent innovations in Nova Scotia. Ivany also had kudos for David Cudmore and Scotian Gold for increasing the sales of apples five fold.
“We need more of those success stories,” Ivany said. “Not just entrepreneurs, we have a wonderful, highly-educated work force with a work ethic that goes back generations.”
Residents of this province must learn to celebrate entrepreneurship because, “the evidence is clear - Nova Scotia hovers on the brink of an extended period of decline,” he said.
The commission learned that the province’s economy today can barely support Nova Scotia’s current standards of living and public services, and will be much less able to do so in the future, unless current economic and population trends are reversed.
“What’s been missing on the part of leaders in all sectors, not just government, is the shared vision
and commitment to make it happen.”
Ivany called for a vision that is not slanted by partisan politics and values rural resources and proceeds with more immigration. He added that Nova Scotians cannot expect the provincial government to solve all their problems.
Within the report, the commission identifies 19 specific goals and 12 game-changing strategies for transformative change and renewal.
“There is a profound need for Nova Scotians to come together around a shared vision for a better future,” Ivany said. “We are not doomed to permanent have-not status. We have more than sufficient assets, resources and capabilities to turn things around in Nova Scotia.”
During the public engagement sessions, the commission met with over 1,700 participants in 35 public meetings across the province, and engaged in
over 20,000 online interactions.
The final report is available online at http://noworneverns.ca/.