The provincial government has made a good first step toward addressing the economy’s needs by taking an all-party approach.
The 15-member commission put together to implement recommendations in response to the recent Ivany Report will be led by Premier Stephen McNeil and co-chaired by PC Leader Jamie Baillie and acting NDP leader Maureen MacDonald.
Since the release of Building Our New Economy, as led by Acadia University president Ray Ivany, responses have been varied. Most will agree that the goals underscored are right on target, running the range from economic development to the need for population growth and a change in municipal governance. In addition to a call for more immigration to address population woes, it highlights the need for research and development to take advantage of a more tech-based economy.
But as usual, such challenges are easy to agree on, while accomplishing them is another matter.
Also, many have observed that similar such studies have been done and, after the hoopla settles, they gather dust on a government shelf.
Setting up a commission in response can sometimes mean that the direction forward isn’t readily understood. And because the recommendations are general, that might well be the case. Still action has to start somewhere.
Immediately following release of the Ivany report, some opposition politicians used it as a pretext to snipe at the Liberal government, claiming they were missing the boat on key items.
Criticism for the sake of criticism would have continued had the McNeil government decided to make this new commission a Liberal pet project.
Thankfully, the realization is there that this represents some immensely crucial building blocks for the province. Results will be achieved in the long term, many of them beyond the term of an elected government.
Having input from all the parties not only means a wider range of ideas, but it will suspend the show of political discord on at least this one vital subject.