I am a medical doctor, a family practitioner aged 66, who has practiced in a group here in the Strait since 1976.

For the first 20 years, I was not entitled to incorporate, and for the following 20 years, I have been incorporated. In the mid-1990s, I saw a diminishing financial future here so I started to move to the United States since I had a US green card and a US medical license. When Nova Scotia allowed professional incorporation for doctors in 1996, I changed my mind. I and my family stayed in here in the Strait.

With impending retirement comes my concern for attracting successor doctors to our group practice. New graduates face considerable expenses to begin medical practice, large student debt and a long training period. Incorporation helps new doctors to invest in their practices while paying down debt. Without this, there is diminished ability to invest in their practices. These are small businesses. How can we attract doctors to come and stay here?

Trained doctors, be they Canadians or immigrants, will be induced to set up elsewhere if Canadian taxation becomes unfavourable. I knew many doctors who left before 1996, they don’t come back. Please consider this future exodus before changes are made.

Dr. James A. Collins

Port Hawkesbury