News Release Archive

Economic Renewal Minister Richie Mann is challenging business,
labour and local community leaders to work together to strengthen
the province's growing economy.

Mr. Mann said Nova Scotia is well poised to move confidently
toward the 21st century but only if all those who have a stake in
the future work together. The minister was speaking to the Nova
Scotia Chamber of Commerce members at its annual meeting in Port
Hawkesbury today.

"The real answers to economic growth will come from within
communities themselves. Government will support good ideas but
the drive has to come from Nova Scotia communities. That's the
essence of community economic development -- communities taking
control and driving the process," he said.

Mr. Mann pointed out that all economic indicators are predicting
a bright future for the province. "Nova Scotia's economic
prospects are better now than they've been in a long time.
Clearly we're making economic progress in this province, and
we're preserving the programs that sustain the well-being of our
people. Just as clear are the many challenges we still face. Our
economic recovery has not been as strong as many of us would

He urged communities to build on their assets and pointed to the
work at the Strait of Canso, where the community has organized
around its deep water port. "The Chamber of Commerce, the
Regional Development Authorities that surround the Strait, the
municipalities, the shipping industry, the stevedores and the
province are all involved."

"There's another great example right across the causeway in
Guysborough County, the lighthouse capital of Nova Scotia," said
the minister. "At the end of June, a lighthouse information
centre will open in Port Bickerton. Guysborough is working every
one of its 16 lighthouses into this project. Many people are
getting involved."

"The lighthouse business is growing in Guysborough County from
the inspiration and initiative within the community. It's
building on an existing asset - the lighthouses - and it's
meeting a growing market," said the minister. "Eco-tourism and
cultural tourism are expanding world-wide and are industries in
which Nova Scotia can succeed."

Economic Renewal Agency staff have been meeting with business
from across the province to get ideas for the next phase of the
department's economic development plan. "That's the plan we
started three years ago - the plan that eliminated the deficit,
redesigned government, and created one of the most competitive
tax structures in the country," Mr. Mann said.

He said business people have told government to help where it
can, and then to get out of the way. "We've been listening. And
we're prepared to do our part. We'll look at placing jobs and
decision-making authority in communities. We'll continue to look
for public-private partnership opportunities when we build new
schools, correction facilities, or other activities where the
economy and taxpayers will benefit."

"We'll keep provincial spending under control, and ensure a
stable fiscal environment so that we are able to fulfill our
responsibilities. We'll support community-based economic
development initiatives, with expertise and with funding. We'll
help more companies to export more products to more markets.
We'll continue to invest in post-secondary education, knowledge
and innovation."

Mr. Mann pointed out that while government's role is important,
it was no more important than the role of business leaders,
entrepreneurs and community members in the crowd. "The economic
future of this province is not standing at the podium, it is
sitting in the seats of this room. You are the people who have to
create the jobs. You are the people who must create the future of
our communities, and our great province. And we'll be there to
help. I ask you to hold me accountable for my part. And I will
hold you accountable for yours," he said.


For more information or for a full copy of the speech, contact:

Contact: Angela Poirier  902-424-3900
         Fax:            902-424-7008

trp                     Mar. 21, 1997 - 4:52 p.m.