(Originally published in the January/February 2012 edition of Business Voice)
One of the things most commented on since Irving Shipbuilding won the right to build Canada’s next generation of combat vessels is the unprecedented level of support, enthusiasm and commitment that burst out in every part of our city and province.
As business people, politicians, civil servants, workers, and citizens, we saw – and felt – firsthand what confidence – real confidence – can do and just how strong a motivator self-belief can be.
So, as Irving negotiates the fine details of the contract with the federal government, we at the Partnership are focusing on how to make the most of this new-found confidence as we identify and capture future opportunities to grow.
And, make no mistake; there are sound reasons to keep a beady eye on the future. Economies from around the world are suffering the jitters – again. Growth forecasts in Canada and abroad is single digit at best. We recognize that we have significant fiscal challenges ahead which must be met if we are to maintain the standard of living we enjoy today.
And this is why we are redoubling our efforts to put in place HRM’s Five Year Economic Strategy. This plan was built – like the shipbuilding effort – by tapping into an equally unprecedented level of collaboration and alignment between the private and public sectors.
Measuring Our Progress
The Halifax Index is how we will measure the economic progress of the region as well as the progress and impact of the Economic Strategy. The Index, to be launched in May 2012, will provide a yearly overview of our challenges, make suggestions for action and inform of any necessary modifications to the Economic Strategy’s Action Plans.
The Halifax Index is not just one number that tells us how we’ve fared in the past year. It will contain a comprehensive set of key indicators - people, business, culture, environment, activity and quality of place - that make Halifax what it is and make us who we are as citizens. The Index will provide deeper insight into what’s happening in our community than anything currently available in any other city in Canada.
The Power of Partnership
We are convinced that rewards of partnership and collaboration will become increasingly evident as we implement our economic strategy and grow the confidence we have in our collective future.
I hope we continue – at every level of our community and our province – to work together and to wring out every ounce of opportunity that this great city has to offer our people and the world.
For more information on the Strategy and implementation visit: agreaterhalifax.com.