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So, what’s the problem Nova Scotia?

April 15, 2014

Well, Nova Scotia, it seems like you’ve done it again. Not only do you lead the country (per capita) in:

  1. obesity rates;
  2. smoking rates;
  3. drinking rates;
  4. poverty;
  5. teen pregnancies;
  6. STD’s;
  7. property taxes;
  8. domestic violence; and
  9. church attendance,

now I see that your Grade Three children just achieved the lowest literacy scores ever recorded – since you started keeping track of such statistics. Literacy rates that also puts them at the bottom of the pile in comparison to the rest of the country.

Yet another monumental achievement on the road to economic despair. For what is the future, if it is not in the hands of our children?

Recent government statistics also reveal that 75% of all new immigrants to Nova Scotia leave within the first year of arriving. The two predominate reasons given for leaving are lack of opportunity, and racism.

So I have to ask, what’s it going to take before we realize that the current approach is broken, and is not working?

How long before we realize that maybe we have a cul-de-sac mentality happening here when it comes to figuring out how best Nova Scotia will situate itself in the new century?

And it’s not like these statistics should surprise anyone! We are a province of old-farts – the oldest in fact. Nova Scotia also has the oldest population of any province in Canada. We’re old and we are Maritimers, we like to say that we’ve been doing things a certain way for generations.

And now almost all the good young talented kids have gone out west.

And it looks like we are giving up on the next generation of kids as well. The lowest literacy scores ever posted!

It doesn’t instill confidence, does it?

History, homogeneity, and culture all have their part to play in this economic mess. I’ve never met a Canadian people more afraid of change than Nova Scotians. Nor, have I met a culture that sets the bar so low when it comes to expectations.

When a neighbour told me that the furnace man she had called missed every appointment he had made and re-made with her over the past month, she still never thought to call another furnace man. She just shrugged and said she figured that he would come eventually.

When personal health care workers and nurses go on strike to demand better working conditions the people demand that the government legislate them back to work and tell them that they should just be happy that they have a job.

The 27 men that run this province love to pat each other on the back and pretend to scratch their heads in bewilderment when anyone asks them “why does the Nova Scotia economy suck?” All the while secretly playing with vast funds of money that they do not have to be forthcoming about.

What government, these days, has a multi-million dollar slush fund at their disposal and does not have to show how they spend that money? Nova Scotia does. That’s who.

Another 5,000 people left the province last year. Towns here are disappearing as districts amalgamate to cope with the shrinking populations. Empty storefronts litter downtown Halifax like weeds.

Are we any stupider than any other average Canadian? I think not. The Halifax Academy is proof enough that a good education can create just as many top students and scholars as any other Academy. The University of King’s College here in Halifax is considered one of the best – if not the best – liberal arts universities in the country.

Dalhousie and Acadia Universities are no slouches either – ranking consistently as two of the top-twenty best universities in Canada.

So Nova Scotia – what’s the problem?

Why are we so content to be the low functioning equivalent of the American biblebelt?


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