By Jamie Baillie
As leader of the opposition, I want to express our strong support for the Ivany Commission recommendations. Nova Scotia is at an urgent crossroad; we face either a long and slow decline or a renewed and more prosperous future. As a political leader and as a father, I choose the bright future we all desire for our province. So let’s get going!
I wrote to the premier to endorse the commission’s recommendation to set all its population, economic development, governance and fiscal goals in law. They are too important to let them fall victim to “politics as usual.” Doing nothing in the wake of our many challenges is not good enough.
Let’s agree that this report, “Now or Never,” not be allowed to gather dust on the government bookshelf. Making these goals a matter of law sends a clear message about the importance of changing course as a province. We are prepared to do our part.
The Ivany Commission calls for new leadership from all of us: government, community, and business. As the Opposition, we intend to work for progress on the goals outlined in the report. The time for debating our population and economic goals has passed. They are self-evident. The legislature will be the place where we debate how best to achieve them.
Respectful debate is a sign of a healthy democracy. This is no time to be timid. Doing nothing in the face of such hardship is unacceptable. The cost of doing nothing is too high.
During the last election, the Progressive Conservative Party platform, Change that Works, set real population goals and economic recovery plans that fit nicely with the Ivany Commission recommendations. We spelled out a detailed plan to get the economy going, get our finances in order, and grow the population. We remain as committed to that plan today as we did before and during the election.
I extend my deep thanks to Ray Ivany, John Bragg, Irene d’Entremont, Dan Christmas and Susanna Fuller for their work. They have presented us with a big challenge and also a great opportunity.
Nova Scotians, here and abroad, native-born and the many we hope to attract, deserve our best efforts to build a modern, prosperous, self-sufficient province. They deserve nothing less. So let’s get on with it!
Jamie Baillie, FCA, MLA is leader of the Progressive Conservative Party of Nova Scotia