Jobs Here

As Liberal MLAs speak out against the NDP’s moves to bring ship building contracts, engineering jobs and IBM’s data analytics centre all home to Nova Scotia, another prominent business voice is speaking out against the politics of negativity.

No one can accuse Halifax Chamber of Commerce Valerie Payn of being a partisan New Democrat. She has worked for the Halifax Chamber of Commerce for 17 years and has been named as one of Atlantic Canada’s top CEOs by Atlantic Business.

As Stephen McNeil attacks on job growth continue, Payn offered this letter last week:

The rash of negativity around recent announcements by Projex and IBM, and their plans to set up business in Halifax, leaves me bitterly disappointed. Let’s face it. These companies could go anywhere in our increasingly shrinking world. Yet, they have chosen to locate in Halifax.

Do we really want new jobs, to keep our young professionals here, to grow our economy? … Or do we not?

These are jobs of the future; well paying, and suited to our provincial assets. These jobs, and these companies, are a good fit for us. So, I would ask all those who have been so vocal in their negative comments, “What — exactly — do you suggest? Is there something I am missing?

One thing we all agree upon is that we cannot continue to export our young people, year over year over year — and yet expect to be a strong and fiscally stable province. Surely, we cannot expect to do the same thing …. take the same approaches over and over… and expect a different result. Seriously, can we expect change… but not actually change? Am I missing something?

Let’s not spend precious time over the next year focused on an upcoming election, when that might be, and what it might mean. We have much more important issues facing us.

And let’s not for sure, absolutely for sure, not lash out at those businesses who choose to locate here. Unless, of course, we would prefer that they, and others like them, not come. And let them take their business elsewhere.

Believe it or not, Nova Scotia, they have other options.