It's been almost three years and Nova Scotia's first NDP government continues to look forward, fulfilling its commitments to provide better health care, create good jobs, grow the economy and make life more affordable for families.
After 250 years of Liberal and Conservative governments, Nova Scotians wanted leadership that promised a better deal for today's families.
Previous governments had left the province's finances in a mess. Poor decisions and over-spending had put Nova Scotia on a track toward a $1.4-billion deficit and contributed to decades of the worst economic performance in the country.
Nova Scotia cannot change its past; but our government can learn from past mistakes to ensure it makes the most of the opportunities before us. Things are changing for the better under an NDP government, and with the opportunities on the horizon, I am confident we can create a brighter, more confident Nova Scotia.
The National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy has shown that our province can compete with any jurisdiction in Canada on a fair and balanced playing field. The $25-billion contract will bring thousands of good jobs to the region and untold opportunities for Irving Shipbuilding and its suppliers.
There's also the Lower Churchill hydroelectricity project and construction of the Maritime Link, the dredging of Sydney Harbour and development in the Port of Sydney, and the hundreds of millions of dollars Shell Canada has committed to explore Nova Scotia's offshore.
These are game-changers, and never before has our province had so many on the horizon at one time. It's opportunities like these that are lifting the spirits of Nova Scotians and giving businesses confidence.
An NDP government is creating the conditions for a more productive economy, with good jobs and better growth, and fostering a better business climate for enterprises of all sizes, in every part of Nova Scotia.
It's all about moving forward, about seeing this province not just survive, but thrive.
The NDP knows the wealth generated by sustainable economic growth, which also meets aggressive environmental goals, is the foundation for better health care and education and the reduction and elimination of poverty.
Just as a talented, skilled and reliable workforce is one of the major attractions for businesses to locate and expand in Nova Scotia, people are the reason that I as premier and the NDP government are investing in opportunities that create a better future for the families of our province and region.
Part of my job as Premier is to seek out and make the most of the opportunities available to us — to sell our province the world. In Nova Scotia, I have asked business and community leaders to help with that by contacting my office with their ideas on how to move our province forward and capitalize on what's before us.
I will not stand idly by and allow the mistakes of the past to be repeated.
Previous governments squandered the few big opportunities that came Nova Scotia's way. Not this time — the future starts here, in Nova Scotia.
Darrell Dexter is Premier of Nova Scotia