Ivany report should be law, argues Nova Scotia opposition
Premier Stephen McNeil says government can't 'legislate prosperity'
Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil says there's no question the recent Ivany report is a blueprint for change, but he's not ready to enshrine all the goals into law.
"I don't think you can legislate prosperity," McNeil told CBC's Information Morning.
The Liberal leader was joined by Opposition Leader Jamie Baillie and Maureen MacDonald, the acting NDP leader, for a panel discussion about the economic development report.
A report called "Now or Never: An Urgent Call to Action," written by a five-member panel led by Acadia University president Ray Ivany, said the province is teetering on the brink of long-term decline.
It offers 19 goals and 12 long-term strategies, some of which call for lofty targets and drastic changes.
McNeil said his government is studying the report’s goals around economic growth and attracting immigration, but he doesn't think drafting laws is necessary.
Disagreeing, Baillie said legislation is the only way to ensure long term action.
"The Ivany report wants us to stay focused over a long period of time, this ten years of struggle we have ahead of us, to turn around, they should be a matter of law," the Progressive Conservative leader said.
MacDonald said legislating change is the best way to make sure the report is sustained through any changes in government.
"My fear is if we don’t do that, the recommendation of this report in fact will not be fulfilled," she said.
The three political leaders did agree they need to work together to help stave off economic decline.