Now is the Time to Accelerate

July 6, 2017

Written by: Ron Hanlon, President & CEO, Halifax Partnership

Ron Hanlon - Portrait - WebLooking back on my second year as the Partnership’s President & CEO, one thing is abundantly clear: this has been a great year for Halifax, and the Halifax Partnership. 

The recently released 2017 Halifax Index provides a progress report on Halifax's economic and community development over the last year. The good news is we are among the top Canadian cities for economic growth, and last year was a record year for population growth. We are off to a good start in our journey, however there is still a lot of work to do and we must continue to move forward with a positive sense of urgency.

We all know and understand the demographic challenge our province is facing: our aging population, the fact that thousands of people leave Nova Scotia’s workforce each year, and the shrinking of rural Nova Scotia. The question is, how do we not only overcome our challenges, but accelerate past our challenges to become the fastest growing, coolest, most diverse city in Canada, known as the best place to start, build and grow an innovative knowledge-based business?

This is why we have set measurable, long-term economic growth goals: a population of 550,000 and GDP of $30 billion by 2031. These are aggressive goals, and we have a plan in place to meet them. 

A new Halifax means a new Halifax Partnership. We are reorganizing and refocusing the Partnership to drive the opportunity in front of us, with an all-in, go-for-it mindset. 

         Citadel Hill image from AR - web

Over the next three years, we will invest heavily in Halifax’s innovation agenda and selling Halifax globally. We will lead the development of Halifax’s Innovation District in partnership with private, public, post-secondary and government partners. We will aim to deeply understand the capabilities and growth opportunities of our innovation community and connect the dots to companies and institutions to fast-track commercialization. We will also expand our Sell Halifax Program to market and sell Halifax more aggressively by developing and strengthening business and innovation relationships in key markets. 

Companies around the world are amazed by our innovative environment, educated workforce and global student population. Our job is to lead the charge to make Halifax the most inclusive, international, opportunistic place for business to grow.

The future has never been brighter for Halifax. Our TLC (Talent, Location, Cost) advantages make us the “best deal in Canada”. 

We’re moving in the right direction. Let’s all work together to dare to be positive and spread the word about our great city. 

For more, please read the Partnership’s 2016-17 Annual Report, Accelerate.