Nancy Conrad
Nancy Conrad, Senior Vice President, Policy
 

Every year the Chamber releases a pre-budget submission outlining what we are looking for in the province’s spring budget. The submission also serves as the basis for our advocacy work over the coming year. The following is an excerpt from our submission that was released earlier this year.

It has been almost one year since the provincial government created the One Nova Scotia Coalition. While the Now or Never Report has seen surprising acceptance among Nova Scotians, there is a strong public perception that the government, and the Coalition, have failed to adopt the necessary sense of urgency.

There are many groups and individuals out there looking to ‘do something’ about the Now or Never Report but there is no coordinated vision on what we need to do to achieve its goals. If Nova Scotia is going to succeed, we need to all be pulling in the same direction. This is why the Coalition’s soon to be released ‘Now to How’ white paper is so important. Nova Scotians need to know, not just where we need to go, but what they can do to help us get there. If the One Nova Scotia Coalition is not the right actor for a certain problem, then they need to identify champions and empower them to lead us forward. At the end of the day what Nova Scotia needs more than anything else is bold action, not another report with suggestions.

The Now or Never Report listed ‘attitude’ as one of the major barriers to success in Nova Scotia. This is an area that the Coalition can make an immediate impact. The Coalition has representatives from all three political parties and from all aspects of Nova Scotia society. They are uniquely placed to say what needs to be said in order to turn our province around.

As a component of its own strategic plan to see Halifax become a top three economic growth city in Canada, the Chamber created a ‘YES!’ campaign. The goal of the ‘YES!’ campaign is to change attitudes around creating a positive business environment, ensuring that our default response to a new idea or business opportunity is yes. Of course, this does not mean that we cannot ever say no to anything, but at least we are beginning the conversation on a positive note, with yes. Specifically, we are calling on Nova Scotians to stand up and say ‘YES!’ to:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Retaining new graduates
  • Immigration
  • Major projects
  • Innovation
  • Diversity
  • Growth

The Chamber recommends that the province:

  • Release a bold action plan for achieving the goals of the Never or Never Report
  • Help Nova Scotians take a more positive view of private sector-led economic growth