Nova Scotia

Job targets for JobsHere rejected

Economic development officials say there is no need to set job targets for JobsHere, a government strategy designed to grow Nova Scotia's economy.

Economic development officials say there is no need to set job targets for JobsHere, a government strategy designed to grow Nova Scotia's economy.

Liberal MLA Geoff MacLellan raised the issue Tuesday at a meeting of the economic development committee of the legislature.

MacLellan said the strategy is flawed because there are no targets when it comes to the number of jobs it might create or keep in the province.

"We spend these hundreds of millions of dollars here with JobsHere, with the [Industrial Expansion Fund], the jobs fund," he said.

"How do we not have a range of jobs that say look, we're between 2,200 and 2,500 for this industry, this sector, this portion of JobsHere?"

The JobsHere strategy, announced in November 2010, is a three-year, $60-million plan to promote economic development.

It’s about helping industries innovate and compete on a larger scale, Sandra McKenzie, deputy minister of economic development, said Tuesday.

"The goal is to grow the sector," she told the committee. "We don't set a target on the jobs within it because we believe as you grow the sector the jobs will come."

New Democrat MLA Clarrie MacKinnon dismisses MacLellan's complaint.

"I think it's almost a ridiculous thing to be asking," MacKinnon said, adding it's difficult to predict what will happen one day to the next.

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