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Economic Growth Goals Act


(as introduced)

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

Private Member's Bill

Economic Growth Goals Act

The Honourable Jamie Baillie
Cumberland South

First Reading: October 14, 2014

Second Reading:

Third Reading:

An Act Respecting
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 Economic Growth Goals Act.

2 The purpose of this Act is to enshrine in law the goals for the transformation of the economy of the Province as set out in the 2014 report of the Nova Commission on Building Our New Economy.

3 (1) By 2024, in order to guide the development of a 10-year action plan for economic transformation and renewal in the Province, the Province will aim to meet or exceed the following goals:

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

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

(c) an annual average of 10 per cent of foreign students graduating from Provincial universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and other education and training bodies will be making choices to become permanent residents of the Province;

(d) the Provincial economy will be generating 4,200 new business start-ups per year, a 50 per cent increase over the current 10-year average;

(e) the Province will have increased the total annual value of international and inter-provincial exports by 50 per cent to exceed $20,000,000,000;

(f) the number of Provincial firms participating in export trade will have increased by 50 per cent over the current level of 850;

(g) the Province will have a labour-force participation rate at least as high as the Canadian rate, bringing more than 25,000 Nova Scotians into permanent attachment to the labour market;

(h) the employment rate (the percentage of the working-age population currently employed or "officially unemployed") for First Nations and African Nova Scotians will be equal to the Provincial average;

(i) the Province's youth unemployment rate will be at or better than the national rate in that year;

(j) the proportion of the Province's working-age population with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, including apprenticeship completion, will have increased to 65 per cent;

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

(l) the number of research and development partnerships between business enterprises and Provincial universities and the Community College will have doubled to an average of 2,000 per year;

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

(n) as Province's leading source of service sector exports, gross business revenues from tourism will reach $4,000,000,000;

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

(p) the value of agricultural products produced for, and consumed within, the Provincial domestic market will have doubled; and

(q) the Province's net debt to GDP ratio will be 30 per cent or less.

(2) By the end of 2015, the Government of the Province, in collaboration with the municipal units, will 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 subsection (1), and development of the plan will be guided by the following considerations:

(a) it 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; and

(c) the plan must recognize that progressive land development can both strengthen our economy and reduce our negative impact on the environment and, with the right strategic investments and standards for sustainability, 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.

(3) Once the development plan referred to in subsection (2) is in place, the Government of the Province will immediately initiate a comprehensive review of current municipal government structures and of federal and Provincial regional service delivery systems, improving efficiency, cost effectiveness and community engagement, and this work will 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'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 Provincial and municipal levels,

(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.

4 (1) The Government of the Province shall carry out a public review of the goals set out in this Act and the activities of all Provincial government departments that relate to them and shall report every five years to the House of Assembly on the progress made toward achieving those goals, on the adequacy of the goals and on anything that any of the members of the Executive Council consider should be brought to the attention of the House in relation to the long-term objective of transformation of the economy of the Province.

(2) The report referred to in subsection (1) must be tabled in the House of Assembly.


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