By John Moore, Columnist
It might be said Nova Scotia is firing on all cylinders. Our Province is recovering nicely both economically and from Covid. Our population is growing and soon will hit the Million mark. In HRM our population is increasing by 10,000 per annum. People from all over want to call Nova Scotia home.
There is no question this is putting a squeeze on housing. A recent report by Turner Drake projects house prices in HRM will continue to rise over the next 5 years before levelling off. There simply aren’t enough single family dwellings to meet the demand. A recent research analysis in the U.S. rated Canada as the best country to live in the world. Another poll by Maclean’s Magazine rated HRM as the best city to live in Canada. That means HRM is the best city in the world in which to live. No wonder people are flocking here!
In addition, Nova Scotia is ranked with New Zealand as the safest place as far as Covid is concerned. HRM is also ranked highly when it comes to climate change. It was one of the first to declare a climate emergency. In terms of extreme heat events HRM is also ranked at the lower end of the spectrum at no. 12 across Canada. Being near the ocean in our case seems to be like a natural air conditioner. Nova Scotia was also the first in North America to come out with a biodiversity plan. It hasn’t been without controversy but at least something is being done. The government is to be applauded for its effort.
There is no question there will be inconveniences as HRM tries to catch up with its housing supply. All one has to do is look at the skyline in HRM. It seems it’s full of cranes. Apparently, there are more cranes here than in Boston. Given our climate change initiative all this development seems a bit contradictory. It is a fine balance between economic development and the environment for sure. Recently the province identified 16 new wilderness areas which after a public consultation process will be protected. The former Maskwa leased 35 acres, adjacent to the Blue Mountain Birch Cove Lakes wilderness area, is one of them. This is all great news for the environment and for those who enjoy the great outdoors.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the Olympics. Nova Scotia has a great contingent of athletes, two are gymnast Eli Black and kayaker Mark DeJong. They are both considered Olympic veterans given this is their 3rd Olympics. That in itself is an Olympic sized achievement, and both deserve gold medals given what they had to endure during these past 16 months. Our athletes should receive huge salutes and appreciation from all of us. They are representing the best that is in Nova Scotia. Our forebears would be in awe of what they see today in our great province. Let’s hold our heads high and be thankful we live here!