During his recent address at the Halifax Chamber of Commerce lunch, Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil backed the government’s decision to increase immigration. He also encouraged people to follow the Ivany report recommendations, which could slow the province’s economic slide.
The lunch event drew over 750 people, making it the biggest attendance ever for the event. McNeil did not offer any details about how the government would boost immigration. However, the audience seemed to be receptive to his message.
McNeil said that people held incorrect notions about opening up the province to newcomers. People felt that increasing immigrants would lead to a lesser number of opportunities for the citizens of the province. However, he believed that opening up the province created more opportunities than ever. McNeil also urged the business community to adopt the recommendations prescribed by the Ivany report, as this would help the province stem its economic slide.
Released earlier this month, the economic development report forecast an extended period of decline for the province, unless a reversal of the population and economic trends took place. Additionally, the report also recommended bringing about a change in the current suspicious attitudes about business.
When asked whether his government would implement any of the recommendations put forward by the Ivany report by making them into laws, McNeil refuted the possibility. He said that legislating prosperity was an impossible task. However, he did urge people to develop a “Do It Yourself” attitude, which would help in reducing their dependence on the government.
The chamber’s president Valerie Payne asked the premier to balance the budget by April 2015. To this, McNeil responded by saying that the goal would not be within reach for the next three to four years, at the very least. He reiterated his government’s commitment to eliminating the deficit within a specific timeframe, as it formed a part of their first mandate. Before concluding his address, the premier also promised a broad review of the public schools in the province.
Source: CBC / Radio-Canada