A Competitive Province Will Keep Young People Here
October 15, 2010
I graduated from Prince Andrew High School in 1992. While many of my classmates chose to go elsewhere for post-secondary education, I chose to stay in Nova Scotia for my university degrees. Following university I established my business in Nova Scotia, while I watched even more of my former classmates head west or even out of country seeking opportunity.
Of course, some people have returned to Nova Scotia to be close to family, but they’ve often made sacrifices to do so. I frequently talk to friends who simply find it too expensive to return to Nova Scotia when compared to other locations. With among the highest income, gas, and sales taxes, as well as rapidly rising energy and household costs, it’s difficult to encourage young people – and immigrants – to bring and keep their families here. In turn, it is more difficult to attract companies to a province seen as uncompetitive on taxes, energy costs, transportation, and infrastructure.
I know Nova Scotia has a lot to offer, from a dedicated and well educated workforce, to an excellent quality of life. But I have also seen that in just a year that many of the NDP government policies and decisions are making Nova Scotia rapidly more uncompetitive and unattractive.
The NDP government’s approach has been to raise taxes, increase the price of electricity through added fees, increase the provincial deficit, and drive up the provincial debt. Now it appears as the government will also allow tuition fees and student debt to rise dramatically.
Economic growth depends not only on attracting new businesses, but also on ensuring Nova Scotia is a place young people find engaging, exciting, and attractive. For young and old it means making Nova Scotia more affordable and competitive.
As the fall session of the legislature approaches it will be my priority to encourage the government to stop making this province less competitive and less attractive.
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