Last week the Canadian Taxpayer Federation criticized the Nova Scotia Liberal government’s relationship with charity Engage Nova Scotia.
It is good the Canadian Taxpayer Federation has shed some light on this as it raises interesting questions about Engage Nova Scotia.
Engage Nova Scotia is a registered charity set up in the wake of the Ivany report. Its stated goal is to challenge the attitude/culture of Nova Scotia to bring 'fresh attitudes to Nova Scotia'. Due to a lack of private donations to Engage its funding formula was amended by the Liberal government to allow other levels of government to contribute taxpayer money, also matched by the Liberal government. The Canadian Taxpayer Federation points out 'the government also assigned three of its staff to Engage Nova Scotia at a further cost of $250,542 in salaries in the first year of the contract, free office space in the World Trade Centre and furniture and computer equipment.’
So basically Engage Nova Scotia is a government initiative paid for with taxpayer money.
The Ivany report mentioned three problem areas for Nova Scotia; economic, demographic and attitude/culture. Everyone would agree the major problem for Nova Scotia is the economic and the other two factors are impacted by economics; if the economy is terrible you leave and if you are terminally poor or unemployed your attitude is impacted. However, Engage Nova Scotia has very explicitly chosen NOT to address the economic and has instead focused on the nebulous 'attitude/culture' area.
So why is Engage Nova Scotia refusing to look at economics? Imagine if it did. It would start issuing solutions to fix the economy in line with the common sense policies of the Atlantica Party; eliminate corporate welfare, lower taxes, encourage the private sector, deregulate etc. And since the Liberal government actively opposes these policies Engage Nova Scotia would be condemning the very government which is supporting it.