Short Update on the Ivany Report, Part 2 

Earlier in March, I introduced an update on the ambitious Ivany Commission Report targets set for Nova Scotians to strive for by 2024.  I will continue on that theme in this issue.

The Commission stated that in order to change the future of our province, Nova Scotians would “need to do things differently and to change old attitudes that limit our capacities to come together in common cause.” It encouraged Nova Scotians to “set a limited number of ambitious but concrete targets that everyone can understand and orient their decision-making and behavior towards.” The Commission proposed 19 “stretch” or visionary goals to encourage Nova Scotians to push our limits and aim for profound change. Stretch goals are visionary, ambitious, and difficult to achieve.

Broadly speaking, the goals can be categorized as Population and Immigration, Business, Exports and Innovation, Labour Force, Sector Growth, and Stability and Sustainability.

The Ivany Report stated, “It is a simple fact: unless Nova Scotia first stabilizes it’s population base and then begins to increase the population of working age people, it will not be possible to sustain current levels of economic well being across the province, let alone improve them. There are only two practical ways to grow the population significantly over the medium term: expanded international immigration and net in-flows from inter-provincial migration.”

Three of the Ivany Report goals can be categorized under Population and Immigration.  These are Inter-provincial Migration, International Immigration and Retention of International Students. We are progressing and on-track with all three of these goals.

According to the latest Statistics Canada reports, Nova Scotia’s population has risen for the third consecutive year, which is a significant development after decades of population stagnation.  We are at an historic high for population; 964,693 as of October 1, 2018. We have reversed outmigration to other provinces, attracting more working age residents than we lose. The Provincial Office of Immigration has updated its strategy for attracting immigrants, resulting in a whopping increase of 14,000 new residents to Nova Scotia. We are retaining far more international students studying in Nova Scotia and on-track to exceed the target of a 10 percent retention rate by 2024.

For an on-going check on the progress off the Ivany Report, the One NS Coalition has created a public website with a dashboard summary of progress. Check it out at oneNS.ca

There is still much work to be done to meet the ambitious targets set out by the Ivany Report.  I will continue to work with provincial colleagues, community groups and individuals to secure positive outcomes to these targets.  As always, I welcome your comments, questions and suggestions. You can always reach my office by connecting to info@hughmackay.caor by calling 902-826-0222.