First published in the Progress Bulletin - 2014-05-28
Three months have passed since the release of the report, "Now or Never - An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians". This report, prepared by the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy, received unrivaled media coverage and public discussion during this period.
The seriousness of the report's findings continues to be echoed by government and business leaders, environmentalists, community groups and ordinary citizens. All quickly cite the reasons for our problems – out-migration of youth, an aging population demographic, lack of exports to bring new wealth to the province and a heavy dependence on government spending to fuel and support our economy.
I suggest it is time to move on. We have talked enough and action is what is needed to change the course of events and assure this province has a prosperous future.
I was fortunate enough to participate in the Now Lunenburg County launch and saw a group of citizens begin to take action. Ninety people from across Lunenburg County talked about the community they would like to see in 10 years.
We all wanted the same things – a place where young people could find meaningful jobs and opportunities, a community that was open and accepting of immigrants and retirees, less government, and preservation of our pristine landscapes and coastal areas. There was an underlying sentiment expressed in various comments that we must respect our traditions without feeling they are limiting our future.
The participants that day identified "fear of change" as one of the biggest impediments to moving ahead as a community. Even the exercise of discussing the root causes of our challenges is an important first step toward meaningful action. At the end of the day, 15 projects were identified that will contribute to making Lunenburg County a better place. Project leaders volunteered and a timetable of events to support the projects was posted. Within the next month, work will begin on the projects, if you have a project idea or want to become involved, visit the website for more information on this initiative. You can sign up for the newsletter and get the details about what will happen over the next four months.
Now is the time to think clearly about the future we want. We need to break down the silos we work in, find ways to collaborate and begin taking action that will assure future prosperity for Lunenburg County.
Tina Hennigar is the population growth coordinator for NOW Lunenburg County.