The Nova Scotia government announced the panel tasked with finding ways to turn around the province’s economy on Monday.

Stephen McNeil's government created the One Nova Scotia Coalition in response to the Ivany report, which called for a united effort to renew the economy.

Key goals in the 10-year plan are addressing the province’s aging population and outmigration.

The 15 people are:

  • Rick Clarke, president, Nova Scotia Federation of Labour
  • David Corkum, chairman, Union of Nova Scotia Municipalities; Mayor of Kentville
  • Martha Crago, vice-president of research, Dalhousie University
  • Henry Demone, CEO, High Liner Foods
  • J.P. Deveau, president, Acadian Seaplants
  • Saeed El-Darahali, president and CEO, SimplyCast.com
  • Joella Foulds, executive director, Celtic Colours International Festival
  • Danny Graham, head, Engage Nova Scotia
  • Jevon MacDonald, GoInstant.com
  • Rankin MacSween, president, New Dawn Enterprises 
  • Chief Sidney Peters, co-chair, Assembly of Nova Scotia Mi'kmaq Chiefs
  • Dr. Gaynor Watson-Creed, medical officer of health, Capital District Health Authority

Panel member Saeed El-Darahali’s five-year-old start up company has successfully kept many young workers in the province.

It connects businesses to potential customers over 15 platforms, including email, YouTube and Twitter. It employs 35 people.

“We need to find opportunities for our young [workers] to be basically trained for three months. That’s all that it takes," he said. "I believe that private sector will take chances because someone has already taken the risk and taken the hand-holding for them.”

East vs West

Jennifer Jackson recently graduated with her MBA from Dalhousie University. She interned at SimplyCast and now works there.

“It’s the only reason I’m still in Nova Scotia. I was planning to move out west,” she said.

Justin Keddy has worked at SimplyCast for a year. He’s in an atypical situation — he’s working in Nova Scotia while his father and step-mother went to Alberta to find work.

“They've been encouraging me to come out there,” he said. “But I’m enjoying what I’m doing here.”