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Building Our New Economy Act


(as introduced)

2nd Session, 62nd General Assembly
Nova Scotia
63 Elizabeth II, 2014

Private Member's Bill

Building Our New Economy Act

The Honourable Maureen MacDonald
Halifax Needham

First Reading: October 9, 2014

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act Respecting the Entrenchment
of the Goals Set Out in the Report
of the Nova Scotia Commission
on Building Our New Economy

Be it enacted by the Governor and Assembly as follows:

1 This Act may be cited as the Building Our New Economy Act.

2 The purpose of this Act is to entrench in statute the goals proposed by the Nova Scotia Commission on Building Our New Economy in its 2014 report, Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action for Nova Scotians, to guide the development of a 10-year action plan for economic transformation and renewal in Nova Scotia.


3 The Province shall endeavour to achieve or exceed the following goals by 2024:

(a) to be averaging a net gain of 1,000 working-age persons per year;

(b) with the co-operation of the Government of Canada, to be receiving annually its proportionate share, 2.7%, of all new international immigrants to Canada, that is, approximately 7,000 new permanent residents per year;

(c) to have an annual average of 10% of foreign students graduating from universities in the Province, the Nova Scotia Community College and other education and training bodies in the Province making the choice to become permanent residents of the Province.


4 The Province shall endeavour to achieve or exceed the following goals by 2024:

(a) to have the economy of the Province be generating 4,200 new business start-ups per year, a 50% increase over the 10-year average as at 2014;

(b) to have increased the total annual value of exports, international and inter-provincial, in the $14,000,000,000 range in 2014, by 50% to exceed $20,000,000,000;

(c) to have increased the number of firms in the Province participating in export trade by 50% over the level of 850 in 2014;

(d) to have a labour force participation rate at least as high as the Canadian rate, bringing more than 25,000 people in the Province into permanent attachment to the labour market;

(e) to have the employment rate for First Nations and African Nova Scotians be equal to the provincial average;

(f) to have the Province's youth unemployment rate be at or better than the national rate in that year;

(g) to have increased from 55% in 2014 to 65% the proportion of the Province's working age population with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, including apprenticeship completion;

(h) to have doubled research funding to the Province's universities and the Nova Scotia Community College to a total of $360,000,000, through both individual initiative and expanded collaboration, and with support from government;

(i) to have doubled from an average of 1,000 per year in 2014 to 2,000 per year the number of research and development partnerships between business enterprises and the Province's universities and the Nova Scotia Community College;

(j) to have the five-year average for per capita venture-capital investment be equal to or better than the Canadian average;

(k) to have gross business revenues from tourism reach $4,000,000,000;

(l) to have doubled on a sustainable basis the value of exports from each of the fisheries, including aquaculture, and the agricultural sectors;

(m) to have doubled the value of agricultural products produced for, and consumed within, the Province's domestic market.


5 (1) By December 31, 2015, the Government of the Province, in collaboration with the municipalities of the Province, shall have put in place, with appropriate legislative supports, a comprehensive development plan with practical strategies to meet the 2024 population and economic-renewal goals set out in Sections 3 and 4.

(2) Development of the plan referred to in subsection (1) must be guided by the following considerations:

(a) the plan should be supported by appropriate public and stakeholder engagement;

(b) support for the plan from business and labour organizations, strategic institutions, First Nations, lead voluntary-sector and community organizations and other levels of government should be formalized in memoranda of understanding and other declarations of partnership and collaboration;

(c) the plan must recognize that progressive land development can both strengthen the economy of the Province and reduce the negative impact on the environment, and that with the right strategic investments and standards for sustainability, it is possible to optimize benefits for other regions of the Province arising from the growth of Halifax, including improved public transportation and development of supply chains and satellite commercial and industrial centres.

6 (1) Once the plan referred to in subsection 5(1) is in place, the Government of the Province shall immediately initiate a comprehensive review of current municipal government structures and of federal and Provincial regional service delivery systems, for the purpose of improving efficiency, cost effectiveness and community engagement.

(2) The review referred to in subsection (1) must be guided by the following considerations:

(a) development of the strategy should be supported by appropriate public and stakeholder engagement;

(b) the review should build on the analyses and advice generated by previous studies and panels, ranging from the Graham Commission through to the recent Towns Task Force, the review panel on Regional Development Authorities, the Schools Review Process and the Government of the Province's consideration of shared-services options;

(c) prime objectives for restructuring should include

(i) greater service efficiency and improved "value for money" for taxpayers,

(ii) a critical evaluation of the fairness, effectiveness and sustainability of the current distribution of service responsibilities between the Province and municipalities,

(iii) greater engagement of communities with regard to economic development planning,

(iv) improved incentives for entrepreneurship,

(v) the integration and streamlining of services to business,

(vi) reductions in regulatory burden, and

(vii) the better alignment of tax policies with economic-growth objectives.

7 The Province shall endeavour to reduce the net-debt-to-GDP ratio to 30% or less by 2024.


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