Nova Scotia and its great big audacious population growth target
According to Statistics Canada’s annual estimates, between 1997 and 2015, the population of Nova Scotia increased by a total of 4,100 people. Over an 18 year period the population increased by only 4,100. Last year, the province added 10,200 - in one year. And the two previous years added 11,700 and 11,800 respectively.
This same pattern played out in New Brunswick.
I’m not sure what happened but even as PEI started to grow its population in a sustained way through the same period the larger Maritime provinces went into an extended population growth deep freeze.
In the past five years, Nova Scotia added over 49,000 to its population - about the same population growth as between 1987 and 2015 - a 28 year period.
Politicians didn’t really perceive a political need to focus on population growth or they would have.
What changed in the 2015-2016 timeframe?
The Now or Never report (also known as the Ivany report) had been published and clearly warned about the risks of a shrinking workforce. I think that report represented a turning point for the Bluenosers.
Sometimes it is important to set a few big hairy audacious goals even if it is not clear how you will get there. Set the goals then work backwards to determine what needs to happen to get there.
Now the Premier of NS wants 2 million population by 2060 which will take an unprecedented level of population growth and everything that goes along with it.
Not including the Indigenous population which had been living in Nova Scotia for centuries if not millennia - it took 420 years for the province to reach one million. Now the goal is to add another million in less than 40.
If I’m lucky I just might be around to see it.