Our Work

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

Margaret Mead

The challenges laid out in the One Nova Scotia Commission report are complex. No one alone has the all answers. Collectively however, we do. As part of a united response to these challenges, the Coalition is exploring options we think can make a difference. Along the way, we are encouraging and helping to mobilize action by individuals, communities, networks, groups, organizations, businesses, governments, post-secondary schools, and non-profits, wherever we can.

We are working across many sectors and levels of government, to figure out how to move new kinds of ideas and projects forward in a non-partisan, inclusive and collaborative way.

As the saying goes, however, you can bring a horse to water but you cannot make him drink. Any plan will never be more than a plan unless we strengthen the ties that bind and find the common will to make it happen.

The work plan below is our guide through this process. This is a working document and we look forward to sharing more with you very soon on the path to our next milestone.

September, 2015

[Other topic(s) as determined by Coalition]

August, 2015

[Other topic(s) as determined by Coalition]

July, 2015

July meeting on Growth Clusters, Rural Communities & Culture

June 23, 2015

June meeting on Sustainable Natural Resource Development

June 2, 2014

Coalition Meeting to develop framework for workplan

June 2, 2014

oneNS Coalition Membership Officially Announced

April 30, 2014

End of Commission of Inquiry

April 3, 2014

oneNS Coalition Announced in Budget Speech

February 12, 2014

Commission Final Report “Now or Never” Released

October 15, 2013

Commission Public Engagement Round 2 Begins in Amherst

June, 2013

Commission Research Phase Begins

May 10, 2013

Interim Report

February 12, 2013

Commission Public Engagement Round 1 Begins in Halifax

November 29, 2012

Commission of Inquiry into Rural Economy Announced

Our Shared Goals


Goal 1: Inter-provincial Migration

Nova Scotia will be averaging a net gain of 1,000 working age persons per year. (Over the past 10 years the province has lost an average of 800 persons per year because of net outmigration).

Goal 2: International Immigration

With the cooperation of the federal government, Nova Scotia will be receiving annually its proportionate share (2.7%) of all new international immigrants to Canada, i.e., approximately 7,000 new permanent residents per year. (The current 5-year average is 2,400 per year).

Goal 3: Retention of International Students

An annual average of 10% of foreign students graduating from Nova Scotia universities, the Nova Scotia Community College and other education and training bodies will be making choices to become permanent residents of the province (i.e., roughly double the current rate).

Economic Development:

Goal 4: Business Start-ups

The  Nova Scotia economy will be generating 4,200 new business start-ups per year, a 50% increase over the current 10 year average.

Goal 5: Value of Exports

Nova Scotia will have increased the total annual value of exports (international and inter-provincial), currently in the $14 billion range, by 50% to exceed $20 billion.

Goal 6: Firms Participating in Export Trade

The number of Nova Scotia firms participating in export trade will have increased by 50% over the current level of 850.

Goal 7: Labour Force Participation Rate – Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia 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. (The Nova Scotia rate is currently 63.4% compared to the Canadian rate of 66.4%).

Goal 8: Employment Rate – First Nations and African Nova Scotians

The employment rate (i.e., percent of the working age population currently employed or “officially unemployed”) for Aboriginal and African Nova Scotians will be equal to the provincial average. (The rate is currently 62% for African Nova Scotians and 53% for First Nations people, compared to the provincial rate of 68% ).

Goal 9: Youth Employment

Nova Scotia’s youth unemployment rate (currently 19.5%) will be at or better than the national rate in that year (currently 14.0%).

Goal 10: Post-Secondary Education and Training

The proportion of Nova Scotia’s working age population with a post-secondary certificate, diploma or degree, including apprenticeship completion, will have increased from the current 55% to 65%.

Goal 11: Universities Research and Development

Through both individual initiative and expanded collaboration, and with support from government, Nova Scotia’s universities and the Nova Scotia Community College will have doubled research funding to total $360 million .

Goal 12: Research and Development Partnerships

Through both individual initiative and expanded collaboration, and with support from government, Nova Scotia’s universities and the Nova Scotia Community College will have doubled research funding to total $360 million .

Goal 13: Venture Capital

The five-year average for per capita venture capital investment, which was $24.80 over the 2007 to 2011 period, will be equal to or better than the Canadian average (currently $41.10).

Goal 14: Tourism Expansion

As Nova Scotia’s leading source of service exports,  gross business revenues from tourism will reach $4 billion (approximately double the current level).

Goal 15: Fisheries and Agriculture Exports

The value of exports from the fisheries (including aquaculture) and the agricultural sectors will each have doubled on a sustainable basis. (The report prepared for the Commission by APEC identified current fisheries and seafood exports valued at $860 million and agricultural exports at $240 million).

Goal 16: Domestic Markets for Agricultural Products

The value of agricultural products produced for, and consumed within, the Nova Scotia domestic market will have doubled. The current value is approximately $230 million.

Governance and Fiscal:

Goal 17: A Province-Wide Plan to achieve Nova Scotia’s New Goals for Sustainable Economic Growth and Population Renewal

By the end of calendar year 2015 the Nova Scotia government, in collaboration with the municipal units will have put in place, with appropriate legislative supports, a collaborative development plan with practical strategies to meet the 2024 population and economic renewal goals.

Goal 18: Reform of Municipal Government and Service Structures

One the development plan described above is in place, the provincial government 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.

Goal 19: Fiscal Health

By 2024 the Province of Nova Scotia’s net debt to GDP ratio, which was 36.7% for the year ending March 31st, 2013, will be 30% or less.