To the editor,
I have not read the Ivany report as yet, but, media coverage that it has received leads me to believe that it is a great summary of what many business leaders and some politicians, particularly those at the municipal level, have been saying for years.
The PRDC workshops held at the NSCC Pictou Campus about eight years ago, concerning Pictou County economic revival and stimulation, came to virtually the same conclusions that are reported to be in this major document. Attending those workshops at the time, were the elite of Pictou County's business leaders, municipal and provincial politicians and Academic leaders among other interested contributors.
Premier Stephen McNeil, in a speech to the Halifax Chamber of Commerce last week, stated that it will be up to private enterprise and businesses in general to lead the province to economic prosperity, while reinforcing the provincial government‚Äôs stand that they "would not become (or at least continue to be) bankers for business."
To many this makes sense if you believe that governments should govern, and not interfere with the free enterprise system. To me it makes sense if, while not being "bankers," they create an atmosphere in which business can, at least, have a shot at success. A very successful Pictou County businessman one time told me that if your business needs government grants to start or to operate then you better re-think your business plan. As a small business owner himself, Premier McNeil has a great deal of credibility on this subject. I believe that Nova Scotia businesses will welcome a level playing field, where they can compete on their merits and not against government subsidized start-ups, etc.
In Saturday‚Äôs News, my letter to the editor was published, challenging the merits of income splitting in relation to revamping the income tax brackets, as a way to leave more spendable after-tax dollars in the hands of those who will actually spend them. This same principle applies to business as well. If there is no reward in sight, or at least the opportunity to make a decent profit, why would anyone start a business? My guess is that they will not.
The PRDC workshops also touched on the benefits of immigration, being a welcoming community, buying local, and other topics included in the Ivany report. Let us hope that Ray Ivany's status and credibility will turn his report into policy.