Proposals to Strengthen Nova Scotia's Economy
"No silver bullet, but lots of silver buckshot," - it's how Jack Wadley describes various initiatives to address Nova Scotia's demographic problems. Wadley served as president of CARP, an organization representing Nova Scotia's seniors, for nearly 25 years before recently retiring. He now spends much of his time thinking about how to solve the province's problems.
According to Wadley, among Nova Scotia's aging population is a smaller demographic made up of young families with children. To keep this demographic from abandoning ship, he says, the provincial government must focus on making life easier for them. You can introduce them to the bonus program, which can help them try their luck, maybe even get richer. The seniors' spokesperson gives four basic suggestions for what can help keep these young families in Nova Scotia.
*Jack Wadley is not his real name. He asked not to use his real name for fear of losing his job.
Jack Wadley's suggestions
1. Make housing more affordable
Wadley says the high cost of housing, especially detached houses, is a big problem for young families wanting to settle in Nova Scotia. While the provincial government has taken small steps to make housing more affordable, Wadley says there's still more work to be done to make housing in Nova Scotia financially affordable.
2. Solve transportation problems for young families
Wadley says difficulty accessing schools and other public services because of poor transportation infrastructure is another major problem for young families thinking about staying in Nova Scotia. The former CARP president says it doesn't make sense that higher speed limits aren't in place on the Bedford and Chebucto highways. He suggests increasing speed limits on some roads (with flashing traffic lights at intersections to remind drivers to slow down) so young families can get where they need to go faster.
3. Improve access to government services
Wadley suggests that the provincial government improve access to its services for young families in rural areas. He says this will not only improve the overall accessibility of services, but it will also show that Nova Scotia is still a welcoming place for newcomers.
4. Offer more incentives
Finally, Wadley recommends paying attention to specific groups of people who might be considering moving elsewhere. These include young families and new Canadians, as well as rural Nova Scotians. Wadley believes the provincial government should develop more targeted programs to help these groups of people as well as local communities.
*It's important to note that Wadley's suggestions are his personal views on how to solve Nova Scotia's demographic problem, not CARP's official position.
In his comments, Jack Wadley leaves advice for both young families and the elderly. He says both groups are integral to maintaining a strong economy in Nova Scotia. Wadley says he thinks most people will agree with his suggestions but admits there may be opposition in some groups. He suggests that these groups take a step back and look at the big picture when considering his proposals.