Yesterday, at long last, we had, what I hope will be the first of a long line of good news announcements about major projects in Halifax and Nova Scotia. The federal government has made the penultimate pledge of support for a new Halifax convention centre. One of the few legitimate objections to this investment is the viability of the convention centre business. What makes us think we can compete with the giant convention centres in major cities around the world?
The positioning of Halifax is that it is safe, clean and fun and we are certainly that. We are famous for being friendly, welcoming and being genuinely happy to help people enjoy what we have to offer. We are genuine in our hospitality and that is almost impossible to duplicate.
We are also in Nova Scotia and to people who come from large urban areas or the suburban sprawl that characterises so many cities, the placement of a city so close to the natural beauty and small town charms of this province that we take for granted makes Halifax a truly unique setting for conferences and conventions.
But what will really make the difference is the ability to sell Halifax and Nova Scotia to the world. While a great deal of this falls on the shoulders of the convention centre staff that burden is shared by are a small group of prominent Nova Scotians who have the opportunity to influence decision makers and encourage them to bring their meetings and conventions to Halifax.
Taking the ‘no’ out of Nova Scotia
The best line of the week goes to Peter MacKay’s speechwriter who said “lets take the “no” out of Nova Scotia.” What a great line. What a great sentiment. This is an excellent compliment to our line, “start with yes!”
I can’t even say that we are “negative” but I will say that it is a whole lot easier to just say no than to say yes and then actually have to do something. Is it that we are lazy or is it that we are just content with the life we have and not motivated to reach for something more. While I like the concept of “social capitalism” I am a firm believer that things get done, for better or worse, because of personal gain. Admittedly, this idea has gone terribly wrong of late but if we could embrace the idea that we need to work hard, take risks and be innovative in order to improve our lots individually and as a province we would have to also embrace the idea that no one gets rich by saying no.